Writing your Will
If you haven’t prepared a Will now is the time to get it sorted. Put simply, your Will documents what you want to happen to your assets after you pass away and can help ensure the right people are looked after.
If you don’t have a Will, you die intestate, meaning the law decides how your assets are to be distributed and this might not be in a way that you would have hoped for.
One you have written your Will you’re not required to tell your family and friends what is in it, however, it is imperative that you let someone trusted know you have a Will and the whereabouts of the original document.
Don’t leave it to chance
Your Will is one of the most important documents you’ll ever prepare so don’t try to hide it in a secret place as you could run the risk of your Executor not being able to find it.
Your original Will should be kept in pristine condition. Avoid attaching other documents to it with pins, paper clips or staples as they can cause damage and potentially raise questions about the whether there might be a missing a part or an amendment.
When the time comes, your Executor is required to locate your Will and submit it with an application for a Grant of Probate so they can act with legal authority and begin administering your estate.
Storing your Will
Many people choose to store their Will in a safety deposit box in their sole name. However, this can place restrictions on who can access its contents which could mean after your passing your Executor might need a court order to open the box and retrieve your Will.
It takes considerable effort to prepare and write a Will so be mindful to store it and your other legal documents safely, preferably somewhere outside of your home.
Storing your Will with your solicitor is another option however, consider what happens if they move office or if the practice closes down. You don’t want your important documents going missing or ending up in the possession of someone else.
If you’re looking for a secure storage solution for your Will, State Trustees can help. Over 80,000 Victorians safely store their Wills and other important documents with us in the Victorian Will Bank.
Locating your Will
Not being able to locate your original Will can be problematic whilst also being emotionally and financially draining on your family and friends. So whether or not you store your Will with us, it’s important that you let someone trusted know where your Will is located and can be accessed when the time comes.
Because your Executor requires your original Will to act upon your wishes, it is your responsibility to let them know where they can find it when the time comes.
You can record the location of your Will and other important documents (such as your Powers of Attorney) with us in the Victorian Will & Powers of Attorney Registry. The Registry is a free service maintained by State Trustees that records details of your completed Will and Powers of Attorney documents.
The Registry can assist your Executor and Attorney to locate your documents with ease to ensure your wishes are known and acted upon when the time comes.
Write, register and store these documents. They are your voice.
Don’t leave them to chance.
We can help
If you need help preparing your Will or Powers of Attorney State Trustees can help. Our professionals can guide you through the process of Will-writing and preparing Powers of Attorney. We can provide you with independent and impartial advice so that you can make the best possible decisions.
For more information about how we can help call us today on 03 9667 6444 or 1300 138 672 (outside Melbourne).