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  • Writer's pictureLynchLaw

The Pitfalls of Preparing Your Own Will

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

“I’ll just go to the newsagent and buy a Will kit…. I don’t own a lot and it’s not that hard to fill in.”

A recent case in Queensland where the husband purchased a Will kit and handwrote his wishes a month before his death, has ended in the Supreme Court ordering that the deceased’s estate be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. The deceased had been in a de facto relationship for 13 years and had married only 2 days prior to his death.

The problem with the deceased’s Will is that although he left ‘gifts’ in his Will, he didn’t name a beneficiary of those gifts.

The Succession Act 1981 (Qld) sets out the formal requirements when making a Will:

  1. The willmaker may only dispose of property to which the willmaker is entitled at the time of their death;

  2. The willmaker must be 18 years of age to make a will;

  3. The will must be a) in writing; and b) signed by the willmaker in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time; and c) the witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the willmaker.

It is also important that your Will contains instructions to your executor as to how your estate is to be administered. If your instructions are vague or too broad, the executor of your estate will potentially be caught up in a ‘family feud’.

If your Will is not prepared properly, there is a risk that your best intentions will not be carried out and your estate will be dealt with under the rules of intestacy.

The following diagram shows how an estate is distributed on intestacy:

To ensure your Will is prepared in accordance with your wishes, call Lynch Law to discuss how we can assist you.

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