Here are 4 tips on how to write a Will that’s legally binding

Writing a Will that will stand up in a court of law is best left to Will and Estate lawyers – they’re the experts. But there are a few things to consider when preparing a Will and Testament yourself. If you want to know how to write a Will in Australia, here are some tips on what you should consider throughout the process to ensure it’s legally binding. Getting it right means you get to have the last word on how to divide your assets and who looks after your children (if they are minors) and pets.

How to write a will: Last will and testament scroll on a table, tied with a pink ribbon
Mandatory Credit: Photo By Jonathan Hordle / Rex Features

1. Your details

For a Will to be considered a legal document, you need to be the age of 18 years of age or older. There are some limited cases where a person younger than the age of 18 can make a Will, but this is a more complex situation that requires expert legal advice. Ensure your full name is correctly written, as well as your current address and identification details.

2. Mental state

Make certain it has been clearly stated that you are of “sound mind” or mental health, and you are revoking all other Wills that you may have executed before. This is important in case the Will is contested or challenged. If there are several versions, it is important to know which is the most current and thus, the legally binding version.

3. Executor and beneficiaries

Bear in mind when learning how to write a Will that you’ll need to appoint an executor and beneficiaries. The executor is the person who carries out your instructions and administers your estate after your death. They ensure that your assets will be distributed as per your wishes. Those who receive your assets, or who are appointed guardianship of your children, are beneficiaries.

4. Witnesses and signing

Ensure there is a date and your signature on each page, and there are at least two witnesses available for signing the document to ensure it is legal. Creating your Will with a lawyer or in front of a Notary Public makes sure the Will is watertight and is a good step to take if you want to avoid any disputes.

Although it may seem more cost-effective to prepare your own Will, ideally it should be written with the help of experienced lawyers to avoid any disputes and ensure your last Will and Testament is fully carried out. Please feel free to contact our Wills and Estate Planning team during business hours on 1800 770 780 for advice on how to write a Will.

Relevant Wills & Estate Content

Legal Capacity and Wills
Living Wills and Mutual Wills
Revoking a Will
Ways to change your Will
Does A Person Have Capacity To Make A Will?
FAQ about Wills & Estate Planning

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