A Will is a vital legal document that distributes your assets when you die.

Without a valid Will, your assets are likely to be divided in accordance with the Administration Act, which sets out a formula for distribution among family members. Often the formula outlined in the Administration Act does not reflect people’s wishes. The best way to ensure that your assets are divided the way you intend is to have a valid Will in place.


If you intend to leave some or all of your assets to people with a disability, people with an addiction, or to young children, you may wish to opt for a Testamentary Trust over a standard Will. We can explain Testamentary Trusts to you in detail during your appointment.


Often people believe that if they die with out a Will, their assets will be given directly to their husband or wife. This is not necessarily the case. Under the Administration Act, a portion of your estate may also go to your children, even if they are estranged from you.

If this occurs, your spouse may have to set up Trust to protect your children’s share of your estate. Alternatively, they may need to find an independent person to guarantee your children's entitlements until they turn 18 years of age.


This can leave your spouse in a very difficult position and can be avoided by simply making a valid Will.


There are many other areas of law which interplay with Wills, and which may alter your ability to distribute your assets.

By way of example, property law details the rule of Sole Survivorship. This rule states that if two people own a property as joint tenants and one person dies, the property will be owned in full by the surviving person.


You may be intending to leave your half of a property to your children, but this may not actually be possible.


It is important to explore these issues with a lawyer before making your Will, so that you can be certain your assets will be left to your intended beneficiaries.

Did you know


Superannuation is a complex asset. Often you cannot distribute your superannuation interests under your Will.


For example, there may be a binding nomination on your superannuation policy which states who is to receive your superannuation entitlements if you happen to pass away. This nomination may supersede the terms of your Will.


Again, it is important to seek legal advice about your Will to ensure that your family is financially protected in the event of your death.


When a person dies, their nominated Executor will often need to make an Application for Probate before they can distribute the asset pool.


If you die without making a Will, a friend or family member may be required to apply for Letters of Administration, instead of Probate. Applications for Letters of Administration are often significantly more complicated, and often much more expensive, than Applications for Probate. They can also create conflict between family members, as it is unclear who you intended to be ‘in charge’.


By making a Will, you will ensure the distribution of your assets is carried out as quickly and as smoothly as possible for your loved ones.


If you get married or divorced after making a Will, your Will becomes nullified. Many people wrongly believe that they have a valid Will in place, and are unaware that their recent wedding or divorce has, in effect, revoked it.


If you are planning on getting married or divorced, we are able to make your Will ‘in contemplation’ of this event. This will ensure that your Will remains valid, even after the wedding or divorce takes place.

Contact Coast Wills & Estate Law to make your Will or Book Online now.