Top 7 ✅ Aussie Will Must-Haves
Buying a standard 2-6 page Will from the internet, the Post Office, or from a lawyer, is easy to do.
However, these basic standard Wills can cause (and fail to prevent) serious problems.
It’s not possible to include everything in this one post, but let’s look at seven important 'must-haves' every Will needs.
#1 More than a few pages ✅
How many pages your Will has is the easiest way to tell if it is up to scratch or not.
It takes Will Wizard’s consulting estate planning lawyers at least 30 pages to adequately include all of the required legal clauses and precedents needed to provide the guidance, authority, flexibility and advantages to help beneficiaries and executors maximise and protect inherited wealth long-term.
If your Will is less than 10 pages long, it MUST be missing some seriously important stuff.
Unless it’s written in really really tiny 1-point font size.
#2 All the things you should expect from Wills ✅
If your Will can't get the basics right, your beneficiaries are in real trouble.
Even basic Wills should include information like your name, address and occupation, cancellation of previous Wills, definitions, first and second choice executors & trustees, initial administration, testamentary expenses, personal possessions, estate distribution, first and second choice guardians, gifts, back-up distribution plan, organ donation (optional) and burial preferences (optional) to name but a few.
However, standard basic Wills generally fail to include these most basics provisions.
At Will Wizard, we do the basics very well and provide so much more.
Our comprehensive Wills also make the job of your executor as clear and simple as possible while providing maximum opportunities for inheriting family members to benefit from and protect inherited wealth long-term via the establishment of testamentary trusts.
Relying on a Will that does not give a loved one the option for a testamentary trust is pointless. Relying on a Will that does provide testamentary trusts gives your loved ones enormous advantages and protections when compared to relying on a standard Will that does not include these special trust provisions.
The two main reasons that so many people choose to rely on Wills that provide testamentary trusts are the tax advantages they provide beneficiaries and the asset protection they provide inheritances when a beneficiary goes through a divorce (or de facto break-up) or suffers financial problems like a bankruptcy, a business failure or owe creditors.
Will Wizard includes everything in your Will that gives your beneficiaries the option to receive their inheritance in their own testamentary trust. You don't have to do anything in your lifetime except rely on one of our Wills and sign it as per the instructions we provide. Everything is done for you by your Will.
To learn more about testamentary trusts try our free online guided tutorial. The tutorial is at the beginning of our online form which is also completely free to try.
It really is the best way to learn about Wills and testamentary trusts.
#4 Sensible planning for young (or child) beneficiaries ✅
How is it possible that most Aussie Wills still don't plan for young beneficiaries? It seems so obvious that a Will should plan for the possibility of a young person receiving an inheritance. But most Wills say nothing about this scenario.
Whether it is your child or grandchild, this possibility, no matter how remote, must be planned for.
At Will Wizard we include Preservation Testamentary Trust provisions and sensible directions to executors instructing them on how to manage and protect a young person's inheritance until they are of age to do so themselves.
We also give Will owners the option to choose a more mature 'controlling age' over 18 that a young beneficiary must obtain before they are permitted to have complete control of their inheritance. Many people believe an age between 25 - 30 is a suitable controlling age.
Beneficiaries still have access to their inheritance for important health, well-being, education, housing and living expenses, but are not permitted to make large immature purchases with their inheritance.
We explain this further in our free guided tutorial and form, along with explaining how our Wills help to protect the inheritances of beneficiaries dealing with a crisis such as a divorce, a mental health concerns or addiction.
For Will Owners with young children, our guided tutorial and form helps you nominate your first choice and second choice guardian.
A guardian's role is to ensure that a child is properly cared for, and we include in you Will Wizard portfolio a Memorandum of Wishes document where you can leave further notes outlining to the Family Court your reasons for nominating certain people over others.
#5 Clear priorities, instructions & authorities for executors ✅
This is another area where every standard basic Will fails miserably.
They usually just nominate your executor (if you’re lucky they may even nominate a second-choice executor) and leave it at that.
The job of your executor is already time-consuming & stressful.
Without clear priorities and instructions, your executor is left in the dark.
Without sufficient authorities to undertake what is a complicated and difficult process, executors are left with a blunt spear.
This makes the process slower, expensive & complicated. Like a map with invisible ink. Your executor will get lost, and your beneficiaries will suffer.
But a quality comprehensive Will helps to minimise the headache.
In Wills from Will Wizard, an entire segment is dedicated to guiding and instructing executors so they never get lost.
#6 Support documents ✅
Modern Wills need supporting documents to be completely effective. Only a few of the top-end law firms come close to providing the support and guidance documents that every single Will Wizard customer receives. These documents are delivered with your Will(s) in your secure Will Wizard portfolio that we deliver to your home or office at no extra charge.
The Plain Language Will Summary is a clause by clause recreation of your Wills that explains in simple to understand terms the meaning and purpose of each clause in your Will. Like all quality Wills, our Wills are written in legalese, which is difficult for non-lawyers to understand. By including the Plain Language Will Summary we are helping to ensure that our customers understand exactly what their Will says.
The Guide For Will Owners provides simple step by step signing instructions. Signing your Wills correctly is critical to making them valid legal documents that will stand up to scrutiny if contested.
Once you have signed your Wills correctly, the Guide For Will Owners also provides a simple list of next steps that should be considered, such as steps you can take to help ensure all of your assets, both owned (house, car etc) and controlled (super, life insurance etc), are distributed via your Will.
Will Wizard also provides the following documents as standard in your Will Wizard portfolio: a Guide for Executors, a Guide for Beneficiaries, a Guide to Powers of Attorney, a Beneficiary Loans & Assets Record, a Family Heirlooms & Chattels Record, a Memorandum of Wishes, a Social Media Data Record, and a Pet Guardian Nomination Record.
#7 Free changes, free delivery & a money-back guarantee ✅
We are yet to find a competitor that provides two free Will updates each year for three years, plus free portfolio delivery and a money-back guarantee like we do.
So that’s seven important things that every Australian Wills should include.
Does your Will include all seven?
I suggest the first thing you check is how many pages your current Will has.
If it’s less than 10 pages long, you need a new Will.
If it’s less than 5 pages long, you really need a new Will.
If your Will doesn’t provide your loved ones with the option to benefit from testamentary trust protections and tax benefits, then your current Will is missing the point.
One of the main functions of a Will is to help loved ones minimise tax and protect inherited assets long-term. This is simply not possible if your Will doesn’t provide loved ones with the option to inherit via a testamentary trust.
Thanks for reading.
There is plenty of further information about our Wills, estate planning and testamentary trusts if you explore our site.
Don’t put it off any longer. Get started now
Try our guided form and tutorial. It's free and simple to try.
Or watch our three minute tutorial on Wills & testamentary trusts.
We’d love to hear from you.
Will Wizard Co-Founder
As always, if you have questions about the suitability of any Will for your needs and circumstances, seek independent legal advice.