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Homemade Wills

Some people find it tempting to save the cost of having a Will prepared by a solicitor by making their own Will.  Will forms can usually be purchased from the Post Office or newsagents.  If filled out correctly and signed correctly, the Will shall suffice.  However, most Will forms are “stock standard” documents.  The will maker simply fills in the blanks as to the beneficiaries of the estate and who will be the executor.  They do not take into consideration circumstances where the will maker is part of a blended family.  Further, they do not provide for alternative executors if circumstances change after the Will is made.

A competent solicitor shall canvas options with the will maker to ensure the best outcome for the Will.  The advice from the solicitor in relation to the Will shall be given after the solicitor has full information in relation to the will maker’s assets, superannuation, debts (whether owing by or to the will maker) and any other entities (such as a company or a trust) in which the will maker may have an interest.

The purpose of a Will is to dispose of the will maker’s assets.  It is not unusual for a homemade Will to fail to dispose of all of the assets of the will maker.  This will not happen if the Will is made by a solicitor.  Also, a Will made by a solicitor will cover various scenarios, such as if a beneficiary predeceases the will maker.  Will making is complex and requires professional care.  If it is discovered that the homemade Will is inadequate or incomplete or incorrectly executed after the will maker dies, then it is unlikely that the will maker’s wishes will be adhered to.

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