Do you have a legal Will?

What is a Will?

A Will is a document that contains your instructions on how you want your property to be distributed after you have died.

What is an Executor?

The Will appoints an Executor. Your Executor is the person who represents you after your death and does everything necessary to carry out the instructions you have set out in your Will. In carrying out your instructions the Executor is referred to as administering your Estate.

Why make a Will?

Without a Will, on your death your assets may not where you wanted them to go.

If a person dies intestate, rules contained in legislation decide how your assets are distributed taking into account your family situation. Some examples of the rules are as follows:-

  • If you die survived by a spouse without leaving children, then the whole of your estate will pass to that spouse.
  • If you die survived by a spouse and children, your estate is divided in set shares between that spouse and your children. Your spouse will receive the first $100,000.00, the personal chattels and one third of the balance of your Estate. The children will share the remaining two thirds of the Estate between them.
  • If you die and you are not survived by a spouse or children but you are survived by our parents, your parents will inherit your assets.
  • If you die and you are not survived by a spouse, children or parents but you are survived by brothers and sisters, then your Estate will be divided equally among the brothers and sisters who have survived you.
July 1, 2003

Do you have a legal Will? (contd)

The disadvantages of dying without a Will include:

  • Your property may not be divided according to your wishes.
  • Your children and other minors in your care may not receive the financial and other assistance you would have desired or will take their lump sum payment at eighteen (18) years of age, whereas you may have wished to nominate a later age.
  • Your de facto spouse, stepchildren, friends and favourite charities may miss out.
  • Your Estate maybe administered by someone you disapprove of.

Not everyone wishes to distribute their assets in accordance with the rules set out in the legislation. The making of a Will ensures that your assets pass to the people of your choice. The rules in the legislation do not take into account that you may have a special person or other friends or even charities whom you wish to benefit.

Further Information

If you would like further information about the AussieLegal Making a Will Kit, or you wish to order a kit via email or post, visit our website at or call 1300 728 200 and speak to one of our operators.

Other legal Kits available from AussieLegal:

Handling Probate

Create a Power of Attorney

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Family Law Kit


AussieLegal is Australia?s leading legal information and law firm referral service.

This information does not constitute legal advice in any way. As the information provided is of a general nature, neither AussieLegal not she said accept any liability for loss, damage, cost or expense that arises from relying on the information provided by them. The information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of it. This recognises that despite the participating law firm?s best endeavours to provide up to date accurate legal information and documents, you may misunderstand or misinterpret instructions.

July 1, 2003