How it works
The State Trustees Will Kit is an Australian legal Will template prepared by State Trustees, the trusted experts who have written over 100,000 Wills. It helps people with straightforward circumstances create a convenient and affordable legal Will.
What you get
Will template: A legally valid template to make your own Will with step-by-step instructions
Will Planning Guide: To help you plan your will.The Will Kit explains the important aspects of a Will, like nominating your Executor and beneficiaries and specifying guardianship for your children. A sample Will is also included for your reference.
Comprehensive Templates: The Will Kit has comprehensive templates to help you take an inventory of your assets and debts, and Will Notes to help you structure your Will.
What is a guardian, and why do I need one for my child?
A guardian is an adult designated to be responsible for the care of a child in the event that both parents die before that child reaches adulthood, or for some other reason there is no parent who can fulfil the parenting role for the child.
In your Will you can appoint a person to be guardian for your minor child or children. This person is formally known as a “testamentary guardian”. This person is not entitled as of right to have the minor child live with them or to otherwise take on a formal parenting role. A court has the power to make a range of orders to protect the best interests of the child, including orders about whom the child lives with and has contact with. The appointment of a testamentary guardian in a deceased parent’s Will is one of the factors the court will consider when deciding what is best for the child. If there is no court order, and neither of the child’s parents is alive or able to fulfil the parenting role, the testamentary guardian can step in to help in areas that would normally be able to be handled by a parent.
To avoid conflicts, where both parents are alive and bringing up the child, it is best if they can agree on the person they will nominate as guardian in their separate Wills.
How do I choose the right person?
As parents, deciding who will raise your child if you are not around is a tough but important decision to make.
A good approach is to sit down and make a list of all potential candidates, and step through the “pros” and “cons” of each one.
Here are a few things to think about while you’re going through the process:
- Whose values and beliefs most closely match your own?
- Who is best in a position to take on the responsibility of caring for your child or children — emotionally, financially and physically?
- Would the person have enough time and energy to devote to your child?
- Does your child feel comfortable with the person?
- Would your child have to move far away, and would that pose any problems?
- Does the person you’re considering have other children? If so, would your child fit in, or would it be too much of an extra burden on the family?
What happens if I don’t nominate a guardian?
The court can make orders about who will look after the child if both parents have either died or can’t carry out their role as parent. If you think your mother or sister would automatically have the right to take on the role, you’re mistaken. By appointing a guardian in your Will, you will have someone in place if the other parent can’t take on the role and the court has not made an order. Your choice can also be taken into account by the court if it has to step in.
If my children are minors when I die, when will they get their share of my estate?
Generally, beneficiaries under the age of 18 years cannot take their share or gift of your estate immediately. They must wait until they reach 18 or whatever age is specified in the Will (21 or 25 years is very common – especially with parents of teenage children).
Why do I need a Will?
Having a clearly written and up-to-date Will is important as it:
- helps ensure your property and possessions are distributed the way you want;
- outlines who you want to benefit from your estate;
- reduces potential conflict after your death;
- helps your Executor understand how you would like your affairs managed
Who can make a Will?
If you are over 18 years of age and have testamentary capacity (meaning you have the mental ability to know and understand what you are doing and why), you can make a Will. You can also make a Will if you’re under 18 years of age and are either married (or previously married), or have the consent of the court.