Making a will is something most people have on their to do list. Not everyone gets around to it though. It is estimated that about 50% of Australians die without a valid Will.

Do you need a Will? The short answer is yes.

Everyone aged 18 and over should have a Will. A Will is the best way you can ensure your assets are distributed to those you want to benefit when you die. Without a valid Will, you have no say about how your assets are distributed.

Dying intestate (without a valid Will) can cause complications, delays and extra costs for those you leave behind.

Common excuses I see for people not having a Will include the following:

  • ‘I don’t have any money or assets’ – you are likely to have bank accounts, superannuation (perhaps with large life insurance benefits within), personal items, perhaps a car or a pet. Having a Will is also critical if you leave behind minor children and want to appoint a testamentary guardian.
  • ‘I am married, doesn’t it all go to my husband/wife?’ – No, intestacy laws vary from state to state and it may be that only a portion of your estate to your partner and then the rest to children/dependants or, in some jurisdictions, your parents! There is not much room to adjust the split. This may mean that property you have worked hard to obtain together will have to be sold to pay out other beneficiaries.
  • ‘I’m young and healthy, I won’t die any time soon’- it goes without saying that life is unpredictable.
  • ‘My family will sort it out’ – without a Will you are leaving your family with uncertainty and additional costs.

But what happens if you don’t have a will? By not having made a Will you have:

  • No control over your beneficiaries – your estate will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy laws in your state or territory and this may change without you knowing.
  • No control as to who is going to administer your estate and how – what is to stop the administrator of your estate from distributing assets against your wishes?
  • Potentially put your beneficiaries at the risk of an estate dispute – disputes can arise as to the preferred administrator and who the potential beneficiaries might be.
  • Potentially cost the estate and beneficiaries court costs, legal fees and administrative expenses – you risk exposing your administrator and family to increased costs arising from potential disputes and inefficient administration of your estate.

There should be no excuse for not having a Will in place to avoid the above disadvantages.

Do not hesitate to contact us for assistance in formalising your estate planning needs.







Coffs Harbour


Anastasios Nicolaidis, Estate Lawyer FGD

Article By: Anastasios Nicolaidis

Estate Lawyer

Taso has been taking care of the legal needs of individuals for over a decade. His experience includes drafting wills, handling deceased estates, navigating commercial disputes, assisting with property transactions, and civil litigation (estate and general). When it comes to disputes, he strives to deliver. He delivers advice in a way that ensures clients appreciate the benefits and risks. His calm and thorough approach to litigation makes him a formidable and respected opponent.

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