• Sandra Stuart

What can you include in a Will?

Common things people include in writing their Wills under Australian law are:

  1. Executors. Who will be the trustees responsible for administration of the estate?

  2. Will made in contemplation of marriage. If you are planning to marry your partner you should say so in your Will so that your Will is not automatically revoked by law when you marry.

  3. Preferred guardians for minor children if both parents have died.

  4. Gifts to immediate family members and dependents, usually spouse and children.

  5. Gifts to other loved ones, for example, friends, extended relatives, step children, in-laws, foster children, etc.

  6. Gifts of sentimental or valuable items.

  7. Legacies to charities.

  8. Testamentary trusts to provide ongoing support especially where beneficiaries do not manage their own financial affairs.

  9. Right of residence allowing someone to continue to live in property you own after you die. This could be for a certain period of time or until a certain event happens.

  10. Life estate allowing someone to benefit from the whole or part of your estate until they die, then following their death, the executor will transfer the assets to the remaindermen specified in the Will.

  11. Inheritance of the rest and residue of the estate. After any specific gifts are made, who will inherit the remainder?

  12. Funeral or burial requests. People often like to include wishes for how their remains are dealt with or how their lives are celebrated.

The following things are not included in Wills but are other documents that are commonly considered at the same time as making a Will:

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