Make a Will

Challenging the Legal Validity of the Will
You can also challenge the legal validity of the will if you have proof that:

  • The Will was not properly signed or witnessed.
  • The deceased person was not of sound mind when they signed the Will.
  • The testator did not know or approve of the Will’s contents when they signed it.
  • The testator was subject to undue influence when they signed the Will.

Final Comment on Wills
Here are some final comments to consider:

  • It’s important for every adult to have a will.
  • The Will should be clear and simply written.
  • Your wishes should be set out clearly so there is no confusion after you have gone.
  • If necessary, ask a professional to help you set up your will.
  • To avoid family disputes after your death, arrange to have a professional as an executor.
  • Check out costs before you appoint an executor.
  • Make sure you are fully aware of the contents of the will and that it shows your wishes exactly. 
  • To avoid the risk of relatives fighting after you have gone, it may be a good idea to have an independent person (a lawyer or accountant) as a co-executor as they will act impartially when administering in your estate.

Issues to Consider

Some things you need to consider are:

  1. If you have an existing will and you are making changes, destroy the existing will when the new one is completed.

  2. If you have a prior will, make sure you tell your executors that you have a new will replacing the old will.

  3. Note down all your assets on a piece of paper. Ask yourself the question of whether you are happy to leave all your assets to your beneficiaries as they stand, or do you want any specific assets or items to be given to other beneficiaries. For example, do you wish to leave your engagement ring to your daughter, or that special motorbike to your son? It is easier to administer your will if you don’t leave specific assets to specific people, but if you wish to do this, make sure that they are listed accurately.

  4. Look carefully at the people you wish to leave your assets to. You may want to leave your assets to one or more of the following:
    • Your spouse.
    • Your children.
    • Your spouse, even if you are separated.
    • Your friends.
    • Your de facto.
    • Charities.

  5. If you are giving assets to your children, do you want them to get the assets on reaching a certain age?

  6. If your main beneficiaries die before you, whom do you want your estate to be left to?

  7. Are you happy with your executors and what terms have you laid down for any necessary changes?

  8. Do you want to appoint more than one executor to cover the situation where one of the executors dies or is unable to ace?

  9. Do you want to appoint a guardian for your children in the event that you and your spouse die before the children are of adult age? These guardians will be responsible for the children’s care and well being, including where they live and who they live with. 

  10. If you have a family trust, get advice from your lawyer as to how the assets in the trust should be dealt with in accordance with your wishes.