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

  5. 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 has to bring a claim against the estate.

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

If I Wish To Make Changes What Do I Do?
All you have to do is make an alteration by crossing out the particular paragraph in your original will and writing in your new wishes. If the alterations are minor you can make a codicil (this is a separate document in which you change a provision in your will), but if more than minor it’s usually better to make an entirely new will.

A codicil must be signed in the presence of 2 witnesses in the same way as a will.

I Want To Update My Will – How Do I Go About It?
There are two ways to update your will:

  1. You can prepare and properly execute a new will, revoking the old will.
  2. You can prepare and properly execute a codicil to the will.

It may be a good idea not to make changes on your will. Run any changes through your lawyer so you have someone else involved in the changes to save arguments later on.