Writing a Will is a crucial step in ensuring that your wishes are carried out after your passing. However, most people are unsure about who is responsible for writing their Will, who can access it and how it can be located in the event of my death.
Who Writes My Will?
The most common approach to writing a Will is with the assistance of a solicitor or estate planning lawyer. A lawyer can provide comprehensive guidance whilst sharing their expertise and knowledge during the process. This will ensure that your Will is clear, that it complies with the legal requirements, and it accurately reflects your wishes. While it is possible to write your own Will, it is highly recommended to seek professional advice to avoid any potential errors or ambiguity. Working alongside a lawyer allows you to have any unique circumstances or concerns addressed immediately. This also provides an extra layer of protection because they can implement safeguards to strengthen the validity and enforceability of your Will. Additionally, they can help you explore options for minimising estate taxes and maximising the value of your assets for your beneficiaries. Book an appointment with one of our family lawyers here to arrange your Will.
Who Is Entitled To A Copy of My Will?
In Queensland, the accessibility of your Will is limited to those who are a beneficiary, executor, guardian or other person mentioned in the current Will (named or referenced). These provisions apply after a person has passed away. However, it’s worth noting that you have the freedom to share your Will voluntarily with trusted individuals, such as family members or legal advisors, to ensure your wishes are understood and can be appropriately executed when the time comes. The decision to share a copy of your Will while you are alive is entirely discretionary and should be based on your personal preferences and circumstances.
Will Someone Automatically Be Sent A Copy Of My Will When I Die?
No, the distribution of your Will is not an automatic process. It is your responsibility to ensure that trusted individuals, such as your executor or loved ones, are aware of its existence and location. That is why sharing the details of your Will with those you trust and providing instructions on accessing it will help ensure that your wishes are properly executed after your passing.
Is There A Register Of Wills In Brisbane And The Sunshine Coast?
Unlike some countries, Australia does not have a central register of Wills. This means that there is no official database where all Wills are recorded.
How Can A Beneficiary Obtain A Copy Of My Will?
Usually, a beneficiary can obtain a copy of the Will by contacting the executor, solicitor, or Public Trustee to initiate the process and ensure that their rights are upheld. If you are unable to locate a deceased person’s Will in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast, we suggest seeking legal advice from a professional in the relevant jurisdiction to provide guidance on further actions to take to obtain a copy of the Will. Additionally, you can check local newspapers for any advertisements regarding the Will or inquire if the deceased had a safe custody box at a bank or solicitor’s office.
Should I Keep A Hard Copy Of My Will Somewhere? If So, Where?
Keeping a hard copy of your Will is strongly recommended. Whilst there is no correct place to store your Will, we suggest choosing a secure location that is easily accessible to your executor or trusted individuals. Don’t forget to inform your executor or loved ones about the location of your Will, providing them with the necessary details to retrieve it promptly. Additionally, it is recommended to give another copy, or the original, to your executor or solicitor.
What Are The Time Limits To Accessing The Will Of A Deceased Person?
In Queensland, an executor should wait for six months prior to distributing an estate, especially if there is the potential of a claim by a beneficiary who has missed out. If the estate is distributed before the six months is up, the executor can be personally liable for any claim brought against the estate. For this reason, most executors are advised to wait six months before the estate is distributed to make sure there are no claims.
Writing a Will is a pivotal measure to safeguard the fulfilment of your wishes once you have passed away. Seeking the assistance of a lawyer for writing or accessing your Will can provide several benefits and provide added protection against challenges.