Advice For Writing A Will From A Solicitor

Advice For Writing A Will From A Solicitor

When it comes to making arrangements for what will happen after your own passing it can be time consuming, confusing and a subject that frankly, we would rather not consider. Organising a prepaid funeral and writing a will can seem a little morbid and feel a bit ‘ahead of its time’.

To make the process a little more straight forward, this month Lady Anne Funerals has taken the time to create a downloadable Retirement Planning Guide to offer support and direction on all things retirement.

To kickstart us on our journey to a well planned retirement, we have sought the advice of David Chambers, currently a lecturer at the College of Law in St Leonards. He spent a number of years working at the Public Trustee in Wills and Estates. After that he spent over 20 years as a sole practitioner. David specialises in Civil Litigation, Conveyancing, Wills and Estates and Criminal Law.

Below is his advice for writing a will so you can get organised and keep everything updated.

 

Few people willingly contemplate what will happen at the end of their lives. As a result, many people put off making a will again and again. What they need to realise, though, is that the absence of a good, valid will makes an already stressful and emotional time even harder for those left behind. By considering the below, you will be making the process of your passing much easier for your loved ones.

 

Nominating an executor.

The first thing you need to consider is who you intend to be your executor or executors. Your executor will look after your assets and ensure that they are used and transferred in accordance with the terms of your will. An executor can be a person or persons or a trustee company.

Being an executor is not an easy task. If you intend to make a friend or relative your executor, you need to consider whether he/she has the business knowledge to do the job. You also need to make sure he/she is prepared to take on the task.

 

Distributing Assets.

Obviously you also need to give careful thought to how you want your assets to be distributed. The majority of people making wills leave their estate to immediate family without creating complicated ongoing provisions and conditions. If you want to have a will with more complicated provisions – like creating an investment trust for children – you really should consult a lawyer.

If you are preparing the will without using a lawyer (possibly using a will kit) remember that simple language and clear expression are by far the best way to go. In a simple will, the paragraphs you need to include are:-

  • An opening paragraph starting with “this is the will of…” followed by your name and address.
  • One revoking any prior wills you have made.
  • One naming and appointing the executor.
  • One setting out any specific gifts of assets or money and to whom those gifts will go.
  • One which gives the rest of your estate (or the whole of your estate if there are no specific gifts) to your intended beneficiaries. As well as an optional line that includes prepaid funeral information, burial or cremation preferences.

Considering a will needs to adhere to strict legal requirements in order to be deemed valid, it is advisable to consult a legal professional.

 

Signing the will.

When you are ready to sign the will, you will need two witnesses to be with you. Those witnesses should not be persons mentioned in the will. You all need to sign at the end of the will and at the foot of each preceding page (if any), all using the same pen. The witnesses’ names and addresses should be inserted at the end of the will where they sign.

Lastly, once you have signed your will, give a photocopy of it to your executor and then store the original in a safe, secure place. Make sure you tell your executor and your next of kin where the original will is stored.

This month, Lady Anne Funerals will be offering a free Retirement Planning Guide that is downloadable on our website. The guide describes the steps that need to be considered in detail including deciding on prepaid funeral arrangements, wills, superannuation, financial planning and transitioning from work into retirement. If you wish to seek further assistance with prepaid funeral arrangements in order to take the pressure off of your loved ones in the future the ladies at Lady Anne Funerals would be happy to provide their kind and compassionate service. Get in contact with us to discuss how you can plan for the future.



We're here to help

Lady Anne Funerals is here to support and assist your family through what can be a difficult time, with a ladies touch. 

We are available to discuss a range of services to support your family, including: 

  • Personalised memorial services
  • Cremation and burial services
  • Religious services catering to all faith's
  • No service, no attendance 

Please get in touch - night or day - via the form or you can call us on the number below.

Phone: 1300 74 00 74

904 Victoria Road, West Ryde 2114

Let's Talk

Some of the families we've helped

“I just wanted to send you our sincerest thanks for everything you and your incredible team did for us in making the most perfect day, celebration and farewell of our beautiful Harper.

I have given a lot of thought to your business and the industry and I think it is perhaps the most important business for families to get it right when it comes to planning a funeral which may be sudden or may be a long time in the making. Either way, when one is faced with the unfortunate situation of needing to arrange a funeral, only then do you realise the importance of getting it right.

We experienced first hand the polar opposites the industry offers. It is not just about the cars, the booklets, the music and all the things that make up the day - its about the service, the care and most importantly it’s about the people.

From our very first conversation we could sense your genuine care to our situation and your attention to detail was obvious - this was very different to the previous conversations we had with others we had been referred to. Those other companies wanted to commence meetings with the paperwork side of things upfront which is a very confronting thing to do just days after losing your loved one - and when one of the others that I am referencing couldn’t even refernece our daughters name as our meeting started - we were horrified of how poor the service of care could be.

This is where you and your team shine. After feeling very lost in our search to secure the perfect funeral director to create the perfect day, my wife all of a sudden recalled you standing out the front of your office each morning watering the surrounding gardens to ensure a beautiful front of house. Well, I can assure you, it is not just the front of house that is beautiful - its the entire package that is beautiful.

Your manner, your direction and your expertise is evident from the get go. Nothing is too hard for you or your amazing team. The personal care made us feel like we were the only funeral you were working with at the time, and that’s exactly how it should be.

The finer detail, such as driving past our house so our daughter could go past our house one last time, then leaving the most beautiful flowers on our doorstep, to bumping into us at the Church because you were just doing your own research to make sure the day was seamless. This combined with your recommendations from every aspect as everything was very foreign to us, you were able to guide us to achieve the most beautiful farewell.

The day itself was simply perfect. Not once did we have a concern. The car was shining, your team dressed beautifully, cold water provided for us, directions for our guests, directions for us. Everyone commented on how amazing the day was and how incredibly your team were. Seamless is the only word I can use. It doesn’t stop here.

Your personal care and guidance then allowed us a more intimate farewell the following day (we are so grateful for for this recommendation and possibly would have missed this special day if you had suggested it was the best idea). Again, you and your team made us feel like you had nowhere else to be, and no one else to help. Just us. The setting was beautiful, the celebrant (that you arrange and recommend) is a delightful, your team make this day even more special than the last.

This is something we never want to go through again but there will be so many others, that like us, have no idea where to start to look for the right funeral director for their own special day. All I can say is that I hope that they appoint Lady Anne Funerals. We learnt a lot quickly and it is again a business many do not ever consider needing but without question one of the most important businesses to select the right person and the right team.

I welcome any of your future potential clients to contact me if they wish to discuss our experience with the amazing Lady Anne team. We thank you for giving our beautiful baby the most incredible farewell that was exactly how we imagined it, you just made it happen.”

photo02_harper
Lee Dowdall
Karen has supported my Mum and me through the most difficult week of our lives as we not only planned a funeral, but interred my Dad to his new home. I will be forever grateful to Karen for her ongoing support, guidance, kindness, empathy and friendship over the last week. Karen has now become part of our extended circle of close family friends.
Daughter of the late Sveta Dordevich
Lady Anne Funerals has the compassion, understanding and empathy that many of the larger funeral homes do not possess. My aunts funeral was dignified and classy everything she deserved. I would highly recommend Lady Anne (and have) as they go above and beyond.
Joanne Marks
I am overwhelmed with the feedback on how beautiful it all was from all who attended. You and the other ladies were wonderful, looked so elegant, and made the day so very special for all who loved Paul.
Barbara Sommerville Enright
Karen and her staff treated us with the utmost respect we could not have been in better hands during this difficult time. My mum had organised her funeral with a prepaid funeral plan which she had purchased from Karen almost ten years ago this also made this upsetting time much easier to deal with and she got all the things that she wished for.
Malcolm Ellis
On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Lady Anne Funerals for a beautiful service yesterday for my aunt Dot. All who attended commented on how lovely the service was & the professionalism of all the staff. Thanks again very much for helping making a sad day one of celebration of Dot’s life.
Judith Neville

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