Wills & Estates Law

Wills & Estate Lawyer Shellharbour & Nowra

Your Will is a fundamental pillar in protecting your assets. Engaging a wills solicitor in estate planning is vital to ensuring your financial intentions are honoured. Creating a Will provides certainty, and ensures your loved ones and family members are protected. Estate planning will also save you on certain expenses in the long term.

As experts in wills & estates and family law, we will enable you to create a comprehensive estate plan to achieve your goals.

What is estate planning?

Estate planning refers to creating a plan for your personal and financial affairs for when you pass away. Engaging an estate planning lawyer, you can make a plan for your assets including your savings, your home, your investments, and with extra planning, your superannuation.

Estate planning should include:

  • A Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Enduring Guardianship
  • Superannuation death benefit nominations

The purpose of a will

A Will is a document which the law recognises as a means by which a person can give directions as to the distribution of their assets following their death.

If you don’t have one in place, how your estate including your assets and debts will be distributed when you pass away is often uncertain. In the absence of a Will, the deceased is assumed to have died ‘intestate’. In this case, your assets will be distributed to your next of kin according to the rules of intestacy. This may include surviving relatives you may not have chosen to inherit your assets. 

The legal requirements

In order to be deemed valid, a Will must:

  1. State that it is your final will, and revoke all previous wills
  2. Appoint at least one individual to be your executor/s
  3. Account for payment of funeral expenses and any debts
  4. Detail the distribution of your assets

About our will lawyer service

Our Wills are:

  • Prepared and written by expert lawyers
  • Legally sound
  • Easy & quick to create
  • Supported by advice from our friendly team

The process of creating a Will

To start preparing a Will, you should take the following steps

Step 1

Speak to our friendly will lawyers team who are qualified estate planning solicitors and discuss your intentions

Step 2

Ensure your details are correct (such as your identification details)

Step 3

Get to know the details. MDV Family Lawyers will guide you through the requirements for legally binding wills in NSW

Step 4

Appoint an executor, public trustee and guardian (if appropriate). Learn more about how to become an executor if there is no will.

Step 5

File your will carefully inform those in your will where they can find it

The role of the executor

An executor of a Will is the individual nominated to take care of a deceased person’s estate after they pass away.

The primary role of an executor is to represent the deceased’s interests and finalise their personal, financial and legal affairs.

The executor’s primary roles include the following:

  • Applying for probate
  • Notify any beneficiaries mentioned in the will
  • Making funeral arrangements
  • Preserve the assets
  • Value the estate and keep a record of the valuations
  • Reconcile any debts
  • Manage the deceased’s tax affairs
  • Divide the estate

Updating your Will

It’s important to update your Will when circumstances change. You may need to make updates if the following occurs after creating the Will:

  • Marrying or entering into a registered relationship after signing your Will
  • Divorcing a spouse that you were married to at the time of signing your Will
  • Entering or ending a de facto relationship
  • Having children since creating the Will
  • A child in the will has turned 18 years of age since you made the Will
  • You gained grandchildren since making the Will
  • Your business structure or superannuation changed

Ways to amend or update your Will

  • By attaching a Codicil to the existing Will (an additional document that changes certain provisions of the existing Will. All other provisions will remain valid.
  • By making amendments directly to your Will with MDV Family Lawyers
  • By making a new Will from scratch and revoking the previous Will.

Probate and estate administration

Before an executor of the Will can start distributing the assets, they need to obtain a grant of probate from the Supreme Court.

If the Will is granted probate, it is then deemed legally valid, enabling the executor to distribute the assets. The probate will also function as proof that the executor is authorised to administer the Will.

All grants are stored at the Supreme Court.

In some specific cases, a probate is not required. These circumstances include the following:

  • The property owned assets that are held as joint tenants (where there is joint ownership, and the property may then be passed onto the surviving owner)
  • When the assets are of low value (in the vicinity of $20,000 to $50,000).
  • Intestacy (where the deceased has not left a Will)

Ready to make an appointment with a will lawyer?

If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment with a will lawyer, call 02 4421 7455, email and book online below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.