You can write your own will - there are kits available at newsagents and online. But like anything, what you pay for is what you get. A will contains instructions on how you want your estate to be managed and distributed after your death.
David: "It is amazing how many people don't have a proper will. There have been reports from time to time that less than half of Australians have a will or one that is up-to-date."
You can write your own will - there are kits available at newsagents and online. But like anything, what you pay for is what you get.
David: "There is no substitute for a qualified person ensuring you have a will that is valid. It is worth spending a bit more money to guarantee the assets you have accumulated in your life are properly dealt with when you die."
The construction of a basic will costs approximately $400, though this can vary. Alternatively, creating a will with your spouse will cost around $700.
It is also important to remember that a will is a living thing - it should be reviewed every couple of years.
David: "The people for whom you have left things may have died, more children or grandchildren may have been born - there are many reasons to change your will as time passes. People often decide to change their will after they have made it - this can happen two, five, 10 or more years down the track. If this involves a simple amendment, you can use a codicil. This is a very simple supplement that updates a will and is less expensive than a new one. I have seen wills with four or five codicils - this can get very confusing, so in such cases it is better to start a fresh new will."
"I was once acquainted with a wealthy widow who, having no spouse or children, left her estate to her nieces and nephews in her will. But in her later years, a philanderer came on the scene, wooed her and talked her into making a new will. Some time after this, she found out the man was having an affair with someone else and burnt the new will, thinking it would revive her initial one. However, she presumed wrongly and died without a valid will - a statutory order eventually stipulating her sister should inherit her estate. To avoid such complications, it is definitely best to re-assess and, if necessary, update your will every few years."