8:30am - 5:00pm     02 9233 4744     Level 3, 131 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000 

A Will is the most important document you may sign.

Your Will gives you the power to determine the distribution of your estate upon your death and the comfort of knowing your assets of financial and sentimental value will be managed according to your wishes. 

THE VALUE OF A WILL

By virtue of intestacy provisions, your estate will otherwise be distributed using a legislative formulae that is applied regardless of your personal situation, creating additional costs, delays and unwanted outcomes.

In general, a legally drafted Will presents your wishes and grants you the opportunity to pass on your assets to chosen beneficiaries. What we offer at McNally Jones Staff are well-constructed Wills which not only secure your wishes, but also ensure your estate will be distributed with certainty to your chosen beneficiaries in a smooth and efficient process.

While tempting to put off, we can show you that creating a Will is not as difficult as you may think.

CREATING A WILL WITH US

Step 1

Familiarise yourself with the details

Although we will always ensure your Will is valid, it’s best to know some basic requirements in order to enable you to make an informed decision. We provide comprehensive information detailing the roles of an executor, beneficiary and guardian for all of our clients, and attach a questionnaire to be filled out so that we can ensure your will satisfies your wishes.

Step 2

Beneficiary decisions

Our firm understands that assigning beneficiaries is not an easy task. We are here to support you and will encourage you to take your time to put serious consideration into your wishes. We appreciate these wishes and will provide expert advice that reduces the risk of someone changing them.

Step 3

Appoint an Executor/Trustee and guardian

As a testator, you must appoint an Executor/Trustee and a Guardian. Our lawyers are experienced with the advantages and disadvantages of appointing certain persons as Executors/Trustees or Guardians. We are able to use this experience to ensure your appointment decision is an informed one. A good starting point is understanding the responsibilities of an Executor/Trustee and Guardian.

The role of the Executor/Trustee is to prepare all necessary documents to be lodged with the Supreme Court to enable the Executor/Trustee to administer your estate and give effect to your Will. Executors/Trustees should be prepared to consult a solicitor to undertake these tasks on their behalf.

If any of your beneficiaries are minors at the time of your death, any gift to them will be administered by the Trustee until they reach the qualifying age you have specified in your Will for them to receive their gift.

If you die, your spouse will assume the guardianship of your children who are minors. If your spouse predeceases you, the guardian you appoint will take responsibility for decisions in respect of the welfare and care for your children under the age of eighteen (18). You should ask someone before you nominate them as the guardian.

Step 4

Cross-check

Our lawyers draft Wills on a daily basis. Their attention to detail will ensure your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes. We will always ensure you understand the implications of each drafted provision.

Step 5

Sign your will

Your Will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses who are over eighteen (18) years of age. These witnesses are unable to be beneficiaries in your Will, so be sure to select them accordingly. With us, this procedure can be completed in person.

Step 6

Safe Storage

We will store your Will in safe custody. While entirely safe, it remains accessible and we are happy to send you a copy for your own records.

UPDATING WILLS

A Will reflects your wishes at a point in time. We advise that your Will be reviewed every four to six years unless there are significant changes to your circumstances in the meantime. As an example, if you subsequently get married, this will revoke a previously made Will. Furthermore, if you subsequently get divorced, any benefit given to your former spouse, or appointment of your former spouse as Executor, will be revoked unless stated otherwise. These issue would need to be addressed in a new Will.

RIGHTS OF BENEFICIARIES

If you omit any member of your direct family, or omit someone who was dependant upon you, as a beneficiary, that person may apply to the Supreme Court to make a family provision claim on your estate. The family provision legislation allows for an eligible person to challenge a testator’s Will if they believe they should receive part of, or, all of a deceased’s estate. Our lawyers will assist in determining whether a particular person is an eligible person or not, and if so, provide further guidance on steps that may be taken.

POWER OF ATTORNEY & ENDURING GUARDIANSHIP

McNally Jones Staff offer Enduring Powers of Attorney, General Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianships. We ensure that our clients have complete knowledge and understanding of the functions and purposes under these documents so that their wishes can be best served.

Power of Attorney

Under the Powers of Attorney Act 2003 (NSW), an Enduring Power of Attorney enables an adult who has legal capacity (the donor) to appoint a person or agency to make property and financial decisions on their behalf, including but not limited to any decisions relating to money, bank accounts, shares and real estate.

This differs from a General Power of Attorney, as the Enduring Power of Attorney continues to operate after the donor loses legal capacity (mental capacity). A General Power of Attorney is only valid while the donor has legal capacity (mental capacity).

Enduring Guardianship

Under the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW), an Enduring Guardianship allows an appointed person to make personal decisions related to lifestyle and medical treatment on your behalf. The Enduring Power of Attorney does not allow this appointed person to make lifestyle or health decisions.

As a requirement under the Powers of Attorney Act 2003 (NSW) and the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW), individuals must have their Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship documents witnessed by a solicitor.

Please contact us for further information if you are interested in granting a Power of Attorney and/or an Enduring Guardianship.

Award Winning Lawyers – Since 1977

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McNally Jones Staff acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. 

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