Over the past year, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, lawyers like myself have noticed an increase in people wanting to get their affairs in order and write a Will. This includes those in their 20’s and 30’s, not just the elderly.
Maurice Blackburn research shows more than half of Australians don’t have a Will, so it’s a positive step that more people are planning for their future. However, what’s of concern is that some people, in the rush to get things organised, will end up making an informal Will.
Informal Wills can range from something as simple as a handwritten note or a list typed into a phone, to a DIY kit or a templated online Will that hasn’t been filled in properly.
People think they are saving money by not getting professional advice, but if you draft a Will yourself, you’re more likely to forget things or get something wrong.
If a lawyer or a court needs to be called in to interpret a Will, it can add extra time and cost to the process of sorting out the estate.
It can also lead to disputes that could have been avoided if the Will had been prepared properly in the first place.
A Will is one of the most important legal documents a person will make in their lifetime, so it’s essential to make sure you do it right.
If you’re ready to make a Will, go to Maurice Blackburn’s online Will service, MyLife Wills®, where it will take just 30 minutes to submit your instructions.
You may also at some point be asked to help administer an estate after the passing of a friend or family member.
If the deceased had an informal Will, or no Will at all, this can be an overwhelming task to take on while processing the loss of your loved one.
Without a formal Will, there are no clear instructions to help you work out what to do with their estate.
If your loved one has passed without a valid Will, an application needs to be made to the court to appoint a person to act as administrator of the estate. This is called a Grant of Letters of Administration.
Many lawyers now offer video and phone consultations, and some also provide online services where Wills can be completed from home. The key to choosing an online provider is to look for those where lawyers are involved in the drafting process. This ensures a professional has written a Will that is tailored to your personal circumstances.
Remember, a Will is not just a tick-the-box exercise, and involves careful planning of your estate.
For an expert online Wills service, Maurice Blackburn’s MyLife Wills is the best of both worlds. Like an online DIY Will, you can provide the information for your Will online in the comfort of your own home or on your lunch break. It only takes 30 minutes, reducing face to face time with a lawyer, therefore reducing the cost. However, the significant difference with our online service is that we call you clarify your instructions and provide advice before an expert Wills & Estates lawyer drafts your Will. So, you can have the peace of mind that it’s legally valid.
Be smart about your Will and start online today.
Our experienced wills and estates lawyers are here to help - everything from getting your own affairs in order, to administering a Will when you're an executor, to challenging a Will.
Our Canberra office is now closed, but our team continues to serve ACT clients and are available for phone and video appointments. If you need legal advice, please call us on 1800 675 346.
We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.