Writing a will is a personal experience, and it can be incredibly difficult to decide how your assets should be distributed. But if you’ve put in the time and effort to make those decisions, there’s no reason a legal will has to be hard to write.
While it’s never a bad idea to hire a lawyer. Start by searching about professional wills and estate lawyers in Sydney.
How lawyers write wills
The lawyer usually asks the client to bring in copies of any wills that have been made in the past. This is so that the lawyer can see how the will-maker’s wishes have changed over time.
The lawyer then asks a lot of questions about what the client wants to happen when they die – who will inherit what, when, and why. At this stage, it may seem like that the lawyer is just being nosy, but it’s a good idea for them to get an understanding of the family relationships and dynamics before starting a new will.
The lawyer then drafts a will and sends it to their client for revision. The client reads through it carefully, looking for errors and making changes where necessary (for example, if they’ve decided to leave more money to one person). They return the revised version to the lawyer, who makes any necessary changes before drafting the final version.
Once this is done, the lawyer organizes a time for their client to come in and sign it. The signing must be witnessed by two other people – these witnesses cannot be beneficiaries (this would make them ineligible to receive their inheritance), but can be family members or friends.
Once signed and witnessed, the will is stored in safekeeping with the lawyer until it is needed.
Here are some of the things an estate planning attorney should do when writing your will:
1.Include specific language regarding distribution of assets
It might seem obvious that you want your assets going to specific people, but if you don’t say so explicitly, there’s no guarantee that the court will interpret your wishes correctly. For example, if you only bequeath your “house” without specifying which house, or if you only leave a share of your “estate” without specifying what that means, there could be confusion about what you meant later on.
2.Include provisions for any children under 18 at the time of death
If you have minor children and die before they reach adulthood, it’s important that they have a guardian appointed as soon as possible.
You might think that wills are dangerous and complex—and you’d be right. But not all wills are created equal. You can make them scary, or you can make them helpful. By involving your lawyer as part of that decision-making process, you’ll transform future legal challenges and court proceedings into a dialog between the parties rather than a confrontation.
Take the first step today and hire a lawyer to write a will for you. The best part is that you will not regret your decision.