Do I need a Will?
Over 50% of Australian Adults have not prepared a Will of any kind.
This could potentially mean that their families are left out in the cold in the event of their death.
Those who pass without making a valid will run the risk of having their assets distributed in a way you would not have chosen nor wanted.
Although some providers say that they offer Wills “free of charge” many in return want control of administration of your estate and may take a percentage of your entire estate (up to 4.4% in some cases) at the time of your passing.
DIY Will Kits
DIY Will kits can become risky when creating your Will. Making the slightest mistake could end up costing thousands later and force your loved ones into a lengthy legal battle in court to fight for your wishes.
Common reasons why people don’t have Will
Sometimes drafting your Will can be time consuming, taking hours of your time at a Lawyer’s office.
Having a lawyer prepare your Will can be costly. It can average between $500-$1000 per person.
Legal terminology can become confusing and overwhelming, making it difficult to understand what is being asked and what that means for your Will until it has occurred.
More Frequently Asked Questions.
What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that helps your family by directing them in a legally binding manner as to your wishes and what to do with your things after you’re gone.
What is an executor?
An executor is the person named in a Will who is appointed to carry out the wishes of a person after they die. They organise to collect the assets of the deceased, pay any debts, and distribute the property as set out in the deceased’s Will.
What is a beneficiary?
A beneficiary of a Will is a person that you name in your Will, as someone who you want to receive items or assets from your estate after you die.
Who can witness my Will?
A witness must be over the age of 18, must NOT be a beneficiary in your Will, a spouse, child or parent of a beneficiary.
Is this legally binding?
Once you have executed (signed and witnessed) your document it becomes valid (legally binding).
Can my executor also be my beneficiary?
Yes, your executor can be a beneficiary under your Will or an independent person. Usually, your executor will be someone close to you such as your spouse or child.
What do I do with my Will after it has been signed?
Keep your Will in a safe place where it can be found. Tell your family members where they can find the original Will. You may wish to give copies to family members.
Is Ailira a lawyer?
Ailira enables you to generate legal documents, such Will, by completing an online form. Ailira generates a template document based on the information you provide.
Ailira does not constitute the provision of legal services. You may request or Ailira may recommend the provision of legal services from time to time, Ailira will refer you to a suitably qualified and registered legal practitioner in an appropriate jurisdiction if possible, but will not provide any such services itself.
What can an Ailira Assistant do for me?
An Ailira Assistant, such as the person who may have given you this FAQ, can help you use and operate Ailira. They can answer questions about the operation of Ailira, book times with you to use Ailira, help you use Ailira, and print your completed Will.
An Ailira Assistant is not a lawyer, and cannot – and will not – give you legal advice. They can however introduce you to a suitably qualified and registered lawyer in your area.
What would happen to my assets/money if I did not have a Will?
If you die without making a Will, you die “intestate”. In this situation, your assets will be distributed according to a statutory formula, and not according to your specific wishes. This could even mean that the Government gets your estate.
The person or persons who will assume the responsibility for distributing your assets in this way will be those who have authority to do so under legislation. The Public Trustee might be appointed and there may be more fees charged than if you appointed an executor of your choosing.
When is an Ailira Will not suitable
A Will generated by Ailira may not be suitable for you if any of the following apply.
- You have a Family Trust or Self-Managed Superannuation Fund.
- You are giving one of your beneficiaries an inheritance of more than $500,000 and you want them to receive their inheritance in a tax effective way.
- You are cutting out (or giving only a reduced proportion to) a child, spouse or dependent.
- You have a child, spouse or dependent who is not good with money or who has a drug or alcohol problem.
- You have a child, spouse or dependent who might marry someone who is a ‘gold-digger’, who is bad with money or who has a drug or alcohol problem.
- You want to set up a trust for someone with a disability.
- You want to make sure that your superannuation is passed on in the most tax effective way.
- You, or a company or trust that you own, are the owner (in whole or in part) of a business.
If any apply, then we recommend obtaining legal advice from a suitably qualified and registered legal practitioner, which we can help introduce you to if you would like.
What happens If the original signed Will is lost or damaged?
If the original signed Will is lost or damaged, then you need to prepare a new Will as soon as possible. If you pass away and your Will has been lost, then application would need to be made for Letters of Administration and your assets may be distributed to your beneficiaries according to the statutory formula instead of in accordance with your specific wishes. If a draft of the Will exists or the contents of the Will can be confirmed, then an administrator may be able to apply to the court to have that document admitted and your assets distributed among your beneficiaries according to your wishes. This can be costly to your estate.
If you pass away and your original Will is found to be damaged, then your executor will still be able to apply for Probate but will be required to explain how the damage occurred. This requires additional legal documentation and can be costly to your estate.
Why don’t I just write a Will myself or get a Post Office kit?
Many people do, but most people who buy a Post Office Will kit never finish it. This is because there are quite a number of questions asked, and unfamiliar terms to look up and decisions to make, and most people start it and then put it away in their bottom drawer without finishing it. Ordinary words like ‘trust’ ‘property’ and ‘benefit’ can have very specific meanings in law, and it is very easy for someone writing their own Will to make a mistake, that later causes thousands of dollars of legal fees in disputes over its legal meaning.
Ailira is able to answer the questions that you need answered in order to be able to properly decide how to generate your Will. Ailira will not let you use legal terms inappropriately, so you simply cannot make the kind of mistakes you could with a blank piece of paper or a Post Office Will kit.