What Makes a Will Legal in Australia?
No matter how you write your online wills, the following standards must be met for it to be enforceable in Australia:
You have to be of legal age in your province
The minimum age to form a will varies by province, although some legal systems let a juvenile do so if they have been married, had children, or have a common-law partner. The age restrictions per province are covered in our Glossary.
- Written by a sane person – You have a clear mind and are conscious of your actions.
- A wet signature was obtained in the presence of two witnesses
The testator’s signature on paper with ink must appear at the conclusion of a typed will (you, the maker of the will). Only the will that has been printed and signed is accepted by the court. Aside from British Columbia, where citizens are able to sign, witness, and store their wills entirely online.
- Signed in the presence of the testator by two witnesses; the witnesses may not be beneficiaries of the testator’s inheritance. It should be noted that the testator’s signature or acceptance of the testator’s signature must come first.
If the will is not properly signed, it is not legally binding, and you will probably be regarded as having passed away intestate.
With online wills, we assist you in making sure your online will is a legitimate and legal document by guiding you through the process. Each of our publications includes an instruction page that lists the conditions in your province and provides information about testifying. Additionally, all Willful papers feature signature and initial boxes that make it apparent where each signer should place their signature.
Holographic wills, which you have written on paper, are free from the aforementioned requirements. Holographic will often don’t need two witnesses, however. Holographic wills, however, are not recognized in PEI and are not legally valid in BC if you possess real property (such as a house).
For people serving in the military, those in the armed services, and seafarers, there are also certain exceptions to the official criteria.
No one is required by law to have a lawyer create their will; as long as the aforementioned requirements are met, your online wills are valid.
What advantages come with using a platform for online wills?
The advantages of utilizing a website like Willful to create an online will include:
Price – a small portion of what it would cost to hire an estate lawyer. You don’t have to see a lawyer if you have a straightforward estate (in many cases). In around 90% of circumstances, a platform like Willful is adequate.
Convenience – You don’t need to book an appointment or work around someone else’s schedule to write your online wills at home or at work.
Time – using a platform like Willful to create your online wills online takes less than 20 minutes once you’ve made key decisions (your executor, guardians, beneficiaries), and you can do it at a time and date that’s convenient for you. Simplicity – we ask you crucial questions and guide you through the process, making creating your online wills easier than ever. Visit http://employmentlawtimes.com/you-cant-afford-to-miss-these-crucial-tips-on-online-wills/ to read about You can’t afford to miss these crucial tips on online wills.
Who are online wills meant for?
You may be a good candidate for willful and online wills if:
- You are single, legally married, divorced, or in a common law relationship (if you’re separated, there are complications):
- You own property in Australia
- You have assets/investments in Australia
- You have a child or children
- You have a pet and want to name a guardian and/or leave a portion of your estate to that guardian for their care
- You want to leave specific gifts (for example, art or jewelry)
- You want to leave a cash gift
You don’t need to include any special conditions since you have several beneficiaries to whom you will divide the inheritance and don’t have any complicated “if this then that” situations.
In order to set down your preferences and designate someone to act on your behalf in the event that you become sick or incapable, you should draft a power of attorney paperwork (sometimes known as a living will)
Time to Consult a Lawyer
Even while most individuals can create a simple will without legal assistance, the following situations do:
Consult a lawyer if you wish to attach restrictions on your gifts. Any constraint that restricts the beneficiary’s ownership of a gift is a condition. For instance, suppose you want to leave your wife the home, but you want your sister to inherit it after she passes away. Or maybe you want to leave your daughter a sizable monetary inheritance, but you’ll only give it to her provided she maintains her sobriety. These things could be doable, but they might be complicated legally, so you should get legal counsel.
Consult a lawyer if you are unsure if you are “of sound mind.” You are probably of sound mind if you are aware of your possessions and what it means to leave them to others in your online wills. Get legal assistance to prove that you are actually knowledgeable about what you are doing if you or anybody else has any doubts about this.
Consult a lawyer if you believe that someone could dispute or contest your online wills. To ensure that your wishes are upheld after your passing, a competent estate planning attorney may add further protections to your online wills. You can also read about Make a Will: Public Trustee by clicking here.
The estate tax
To avoid estate tax if your property is worth millions of dollars, see a lawyer. For the great majority of people, this is not a problem since estate tax is only applicable to very wealthy individuals. No federal estate tax is owed in 2022 unless the estate has a value of more than $12.06 million. There are state estate taxes as well, although the exemption amounts tend to be significantly lower—in some cases as low as $1 million. Find out whether there could be an estate tax on your estate by doing some study. If so, get advice from a tax expert or estate planning lawyer.
If you do decide to seek legal counsel, be prepared so that you can address any particular concerns and avoid paying the attorney to impart their knowledge on estate planning. Spend some time locating a lawyer who is qualified, attentive to your needs, and willing to collaborate with you to create your estate plan.