The death of a loved one is a stressful time. The last thing you want is to leave your family without proper care and provisions; therefore it is important for you to have a valid Will. A Will is a document which the law recognises as a means by which a person can give directions as to the administration of their estate and division of their assets following their death.

It is strongly advised that you seek professional advice when drafting a Will to ensure that it is valid and to appoint an executor of the Will.

The executor of a Will is responsible for carrying out the wishes of a person after they die. The role of the executor is to manage the estate within the terms of the Will and protect the assets of the estate. The executor of an estate must comply with various laws and rules that govern the administration of deceased estates.

Requirements of a valid Will

The Succession Act 2006 (NSW) requires that:

•  The Will is in writing.

•  Signed by the Will-maker or another person who is in the presence of the will-maker at the Will-maker’s direction.

•  The signature is made in the presence of and acknowledged by the at least 2 witnesses, who must also be in the presence of the Will-maker. Beneficiaries of the will cannot be counted as witnesses to the Will.

•  The signature must be made with the intention of executing the Will.

It is important to note that the signature does not need to be at the foot of the Will.

A Will should be reviewed at least once every 2 years or in the event of a change in life circumstances such as marriage, divorce, entering into or leaving a de facto relationship, the birth of a child, the death of a beneficiary or acquiring property. Your Will should reflect these changes and leave proper provisions for your loved ones.

Always seek the advice of a professional as this will save your beneficiaries from unnecessary expense, time and effort as the result of an invalid Will. Here at The Quinn Group, our legal team has many years experience in dealing with Wills and Estate matters. From drafting Wills and providing Estate Planning advice, to administering a deceased estate and assisting to contest a Will, we are able to provide professional and compassionate service across these and other related areas. If you would like advice regarding the preparation of your Will, call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) or on +61 2 9223 9166 to arrange an appointment, alternatively you can submit an online enquiry.