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In this day of blended families and people living longer, it very important that your  Will is drafted by a specialist Wills and Estate Lawyer who has knowledge and experience in this complex area of law. After all this is the document that contains your last wishes.

What is a Will?

A Will is a legal document, that states exactly how a person property will be distributed upon their death. It can also include details about whether a person wishes to be buried or cremated.

What are the requirements for a Valid Will?

  • It is in writing and signed by the Testator (person making the Will) or by some other person who is present and signs at the direction of the Testator;
  • The signature is made or acknowledged by the Testator in the presence of 2 or more witnesses present at the same time and;
  • At least 2 of those witness attest and sign the Will in the presence of the Testator

Even though a Will may not meet all the formal requirements that are required it is possible upon application to the Supreme Court that the Court dispenses with the legal requirements and if the evidence is proved, finds that a valid Will does exist.

This is a very complex area of law and we have the skills, experience and expertise to assist you.

What happens if there is no Will?

If there is no Will, this means that there is an “intestacy” and one of the deceased person’s family members (or the Public Trustee, if there are no family members) must apply to the Supreme Court for Letters of Administration.

How are assets divided if there is no Will?

If there is no Will then the assets of the estate are divided between the family in accordance with the statutory order set out in the Succession Act 2006, whether that was what the deceased’s intention or not.

What can I do if I have been left out of a Will?

If you believe that you an eligible person such as a child or partner of the deceased person and you have been left out of the Will, then you can make an Application to challenge the Will, known as a  Family Provision Claim. You have 12 months from the date of the death of the deceased person to make a Family Provision Claim.

If you require further assistance about drafting your Will or challenging a Will please contact us today.

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