What is a Will?
by FindLaw Team
A will is a legal document that names the people you want to receive the property and possessions you own at the date of your death.
A valid will is one that has been accepted by a court and put into effect by a grant of probate. In order for your will to be valid, it must be:
- in writing (handwritten, typed or printed);
- signed by you, ideally at the end of the document; and
- properly witnessed.
If your will is not made in this manner it may not be enforceable.
Before writing your will, you should think about:
- what assets you have;
- how you would like to dispose of your assets; and
- who you would want to act as your executor and administer your estate.
It is a good idea to have a solicitor draw up your will. Your solicitor will:
- ensure that the will is valid;
- provide advice regarding your obligations to make adequate provision for your spouse, de facto partner, children, former spouse, dependents and any person with whom you are living in a close personal relationship;
- provide advice about tax planning;
- provide advice about how to choose an executor;
- provide advice about the best way to arrange your affairs; and
- ensure that the will is drafted to give effect to your wishes.