Completed your Will while listening to one of our epic writing playlists? Nice! Now that the paper work's all done, you’re probably ready to, you know, live your best freakin’ life. But hold on – not so fast!
Before we talk about what you should do after you finish writing your Will, let’s recap the things you might want to double-check first. Things like:
- Writing a list of your beneficiaries
- Writing a list of your assets
- Cataloguing any existing debts
- Choosing an executor
- Naming potential guardians for your dependants.
Once you’ve got that information together, you’ve got everything you need to write your legal Will. And once, you’ve written you Will? Well, here are four things that you might like to consider:
1. Check that your Will is valid
If you’re writing and editing your Will without the help of legal professionals, you’ll need to make sure you’re ticking all the legal boxes.
However, when you write your Will with Willed, every Will can be checked by a lawyer, so you won’t need to question its validity. That’s all part of our (exceptional) service! Just something to keep top of mind.
Psst: A typical lawyer will charge $600+ to write a Will. We charge a once-off cost of $159. That sounds like a pretty good deal, right?!
2. Sign your Will
When you make a Will, whether you use a lawyer or an online service, it’s crucial to know that the document isn’t a valid legal Will until you actually sign it properly. That means finding two people who are of legal age (ie. over 18 years old) to watch you sign the document and then to sign it themselves.
If you don’t sign your Will properly (aka. execute it), then we’re sorry to say, you don’t have a legally binding Will.
3. Store your Will in a safe/secure place
Your Will is one of the most important documents you’ll own, so you want to keep it in a secure location that only you (and a select few, like an executor) will have access to. This is because the executor will need the original Will to file for probate and administer your estate upon your death.
When determining the best location for a Will, you need to think about where it is unlikely to be damaged, lost or stolen. To minimise risk, it could be a good idea to store your Will in a safe place that you don’t reside in. For example, you could open a safe deposit box or purchase a small fireproof safe for your home.
Tip: Just like you might leave your travel itinerary with a trusted friend before a big trip, for safety reasons it may also be wise to let a close family member or a friend know about where the Will is kept. Say, if you were to pass away and your Will wasn’t able to be located, you could be found to have died intestate (aka without a valid Will). And yeah… truthfully, no one wants that. (Just keeping it real over here).
A note on digital Wills and security
At Willed, we take your privacy and the security of your data very seriously… So if you’re writing a digital Will online, know that it’s in good hands.
Wanna know more? Here ya go:
- Data sent between you and Willed is encrypted in transit using HTTPS.
- Customer data is logically isolated.
- Access to sensitive data is restricted to only those employees that need it to perform their roles.
Satisfied with our online security protocols? Let’s move on to number 4.
Know how to edit, update or revoke your Will
Wondering what happens to old Wills when a new one is made in Australia? That’s simple! They are revoked, meaning they are no longer valid. A Willmaker can revoke a Will at any time before their death. However, keep in mind that revocation is not valid if the Willmaker authorises another person to revoke the Will after one’s death.
Aside from this, if you’re wondering how to revoke a Will (or looking for instances where a Will would automatically be revoked), here are some examples:
If the Willmaker gets married and there is no mention of impending marriage in their Will, their Will would no longer be valid.
Divorce or annulment
Some Australian states and territories declare a Will to be invalid when a divorce is finalised, whereas others do not. So, your Will could potentially remain valid after divorce, depending on where you reside. (Best to check this with a legal professional if you’re unsure!)
Physically destroying your Will
To do this, the Willmaker needs to destroy their own Will on purpose, by tearing the document in half or by burning it. However, it’s important to be thorough with this process as Wills can sometimes be revoked in part. So, if you want to revoke the entire Will, be sure to destroy the entire document.
Here are Willed, we don’t do codicils (a legal document that amends your Wills). Instead, if you’re writing your legal Will with us, we allow you to make unlimited changes to your Will. All you have to do is log back into your account and make the changes. (But be sure to print and properly sign each new version every time you make a change… no matter how small!)
Note: There are other circumstances where a Will may be revoked. To learn more, read our guide on How to Revoke a Will in Australia. For further information, seek appropriate legal advice.
Once you’ve written your Will, it all comes down to these main checklist items: check that your Will is legally valid, sign your Will to make it legal, store it in a safe/secure place, and know how to edit or revoke it. Got questions? Get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today. We’ll help uncomplicate the complicated and unravel the mysteries of the legal Will, so you don’t have to!
Ready to get cracking on your legal Will? Rip off the Band-Aid and start the process now. Alternatively, contact our helpful team of lawyers on 1300 945 533 (yep, that’s 1800 WILLED) or [email protected] to get started.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting or tax advice.