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WHO INHERITS WHEN
THERE IS NO WILL?

A 2017 survey by the WA Public Trustees found that half of West Australians over the age of 40 do not have a valid Will. The survey also found that only 19% of families with young children have a valid Will.

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Why a homemade Will or Will Kit may not be right for you

Homemade Wills and Will Kits can cost far more in the long-term than they seem to ‘save’ you in the short-term. As Master Craig Sanderson of the WA Supreme Court stated while determining the intent behind a homemade Will:

“There is no question but that engaging the services of a properly qualified and experienced lawyer to draft a Will is money well spent.”

Unlike other legal processes, there’s no opportunity for you to ‘correct’ your Will once you have died.

Filling in a form won’t necessarily cover the full complexities of your estate either. Instead, your family may be forced to try and figure out what you meant or go through the process of Administration if your Will is deemed ‘invalid’. This is at a direct cost to your estate and, in almost every case, is far more expensive than if a Will had been professionally created in the first place.

Many have also been shocked to discover that making amendments to your Will by hand notating and initialling may actually invalidate it, as will attaching items via staples or paper clips. This is because it draws into question the intent and completeness of your Will.

In this blog post, Willcraft Estate Planning explores some of the things you need to consider about making Wills at home, and why it might be better for you to engage a specialist Will lawyer.

Who can make a Will in Perth?

The real question isn’t who can make a Will, but who can best make a Will. As Registrar C Boyle stated during one of the many cases regarding the perils of homemade Wills in Perth:

“The fact is that unqualified people who intermeddle in the preparation of documents that have legal operation cause great harm […] This deceased could have had several Wills professionally prepared for a fraction of the cost that has been imposed on her estate…”

While you may know someone with legal training and some lawyers may occasionally prepare Wills, you want someone who deals with this sort of thing day in, day out. That’s exactly what Willcraft does! As specialist Will lawyers, Will preparation and Estate Planning in Perth are our business.

Basically, you don’t know what you don’t know. You could spend a lifetime building your assets… So why wouldn’t you invest a little bit of money to ensure every single I is dotted, T is crossed, and that your wishes can be carried out down to the letter?

How do I know if a homemade Will or Will Kit isn’t the right choice for me?

The type of Will you need depends entirely on your specific situation. Here are some of the overarching reasons it might be a good idea to engage a specialist Will lawyer like Willcraft to prepare a Will for you rather than making a Will at home:

  • Legal soundness – ensure that your estate is divided as you intend it to be and there’s no risk of misinterpretation, by using the legal phrases that have been effective for hundreds of years
  • Comprehensiveness – ensure you’re not overlooking any legal and financial complexities regarding your estate (e.g. businesses, asset ownership structures such as Family Trusts, and so on)
  • Tax planning, asset protection and inheritance structures – ensure that your beneficiaries inherit in the most beneficial way possible (e.g. by setting up different types of trusts, or determining that dependents inherit when they are older rather than at 18)
  • Family politics – ensure you have a ‘scapegoat’ of sorts regarding any uncomfortable issues that can arise with beneficiaries (i.e. “My lawyer had me word it that way”), or that you can leave an estranged family member out of your Will if you wish to
  • Safeguards – ensure contingencies are built in to your Will to incorporate your and your beneficiaries’ potential changing circumstances (e.g. regarding marriages, births or protection against bankruptcy)
  • Secure storage – ensure your Will is safely stored in a facility and that your potential Executors are notified of its whereabouts
  • Legal capacity – ensure you can prove you are of sound mind (e.g. if you are elderly, or if you have a stroke, accident or illness)
  • Avoid intestacy – ensure there is no ambiguity in your Will and no risk of you dying intestate (i.e. without a valid Will)

How much does Willcraft charge for making a Will in Perth?

After crafting Wills for individuals and families across Perth since 2010, Willcraft has created three Will service packages that can be tailored to your specific needs (see below). All of these packages are fixed price for individuals or couples, and include an optional home visit and secure storage of your Will.

You may also wish to consider creating an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), Enduring Power of Guardianship (EPG) or Advanced Health Directive (AHD). They are all individually priced at $150 but can be more cost-effective if packaged with a Will.

BRONZE WILL

Single Will from $320*

  • A simple Will for the straightforward distribution of an uncomplicated estate to your spouse, partner or adult children
  • Includes the appointment of Executors and guardians, and a gift list to distribute your personal possessions and any cash gifts
  • An optional home visit to gather the necessary information
  • Free and secure Will storage
SILVER WILL

Single Will from $650*

GOLD WILL

Single Will from $1,100*

  • A Will for more complex estates and distribution needs, which is termed a ‘Testamentary Trust Will
  • Can protect assets and beneficiaries in many ways – for example, tax minimisation strategies, blended family situations and vulnerable beneficiaries (e.g. children with addictions, or who may have marital issues or potentially face bankruptcy)
  • An optional home visit to gather the necessary information
  • Free and secure Will storage

*Prices are inclusive of GST and are current as at 31 March 2019.

How do I find out more about Willcraft’s Will services?

For assistance with Will preparation and Estate Planning, contact Willcraft by filling in our online form or giving us a call.

We’ll talk through your specific needs and circumstances, and the different options available to you. If you have a Will – including a homemade Will created yourself or through a Will Kit – we can review it to ensure it is valid and identify any oversights.

Our team of specialist Will lawyers has also created a whole series of fact sheets. They cover a variety of important things to keep in mind when you make a Will, as well as the different types of Estate Planning and Will services that we offer in Perth.

 

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