Drafting a will that works

A will is critical to helping your beneficiaries understand how you want your assets shared or passed on, who will look after your children and whether you would like trusts established, and it can even provide instructions for your funeral. Your will must be: 

  • in writing
  • signed by the testator (the person who made the will; that is, you)
  • witnessed by two adults in your presence and in the presence of each other.

When drafting your will, you may need to consider:

  • the impact on beneficiaries if your situation changes
  • risks to your assets from a former partner
  • the capacity of your beneficiaries to manage their inheritance.

You will need to consider how your assets will be distributed by your will, and then nominate in your will an executor to be responsible for carrying out your wishes. It is also important to keep your will up to date as your situation changes; specifically, if you or your beneficiaries change marital status, have children or grandchildren, or if a beneficiary passes away.

Superannuation and your will

There are some assets that may not be distributed by your will. Superannuation and life insurance, for example, will only be distributed by your will if they are paid into your estate on your passing. Superannuation will not be distributed by your will if the trustee of your fund pays it directly to a beneficiary.

You can better control how your superannuation is paid by putting in place a Binding Death Benefit Nomination and, in some cases, by using a testamentary trust to tax-effectively determine which assets to distribute to each of your beneficiaries.

Our lawyers can help draft your estate planning documentation including wills, Powers of Attorney, and Binding Death Benefit Nominations, which will help you transfer your wealth with minimum taxation liability and maximum asset protection.

Explore the benefits of careful estate planning

Discover how well-structured and considered estate planning can help you distribute your assets the way you intend.