Draft a Will with your Requirements

Are Deathbed Wills Valid?
Although a deathbed will is often hastily drawn up it would be valid and binding if it is put together in the normal way. The closer to death the will is prepared, the more likely it would be challenged by a beneficiary who is unhappy with their lot. This can lead to expensive costs of defence and can bring heartaches and disruption to other beneficiaries.

Sometimes a will on the deathbed is hastily put together and fails to set out clearly what the deceased wanted. A deathbed will should be put together if there is no other will in existence. However, it is best to have a will written up well before death.

Is an Oral Will Valid?
Because of the possibility of fraud or misunderstanding, an oral will is generally not recognised. A valid will has to be in writing and must be witnessed. As they say, an oral will is not worth the paper its printed on. The lesson is – never rely on an oral will or an oral agreement - always get it in writing, preferably with legal counsel involved.

What Happens if I Don’t make a Will?
The legal procedures can be complicated and time consuming and would result in extra expense and worry, as well as hardship if you don’t make a will before you die. The law sets out a procedure as to who is entitled to what property when a deceased person dies without leaving a will. If a person dies without a will, that person dies “intestate” (that is, without leaving a valid will).

What if I Die Without a Will?

Important points include:

  1. If you die intestate and you have living relatives they may have to be tracked down and an administrator would be appointed to sort out the estate.

  2. Dying without an up to date Will can cause real problems.

  3. Unless the Will specifically provides for it, marriage automatically revokes an existing Will.

  4. 4. Unless the will specifically provides for it, a divorce revokes that part of the will relating to the ex-spouse.

  5. If you have adult children and you die leaving a Will written many years ago before having children, then your children may have to go to court to get anything.

  6. A de facto partner has no absolute right to a share of your estate if you don’t have a Will. To receive anything at all, the de facto partner will have to bring a claim against the estate.

  7. If you lived in a de facto relationship and you die without leaving a valid Will your partner would receive half the relationship property. This is what they are entitled to under the Act. If you want them to receive more you would have to specify this in a Will.