It is estimated that more than half of Australian adults don’t have a Will in place.
Without a valid Will, you can cause devastating consequences for your family, friends or other benefactors on your passing, as your Estate may be managed by State authorities rather than in accordance with your wishes.
What many people don’t realise is that you can make a Will for free in Queensland, through The Public Trustee.
Most Wills are straight forward and not difficult to do. The following guide outlines what you need to know when making a Will with The Public Trustee.
Step #1: Make an Appointment
Your first step is to make an appointment with The Public Trustee so you may take advantage of their free Will making service. You can contact them on 1300 360 044. The Public Trustee has offices throughout Queensland and in some regional areas, there may be a local courthouse or Centrelink office that can assist you.
Step #2: Prepare for your appointment
You will need to take some information to your appointment including current identification, information about your estates such as addresses of any property you own, bank account details and information about shares and other assets you own. It’s also important to think about your wishes and this will include the people that you wish to name as your beneficiaries. You will need to provide their names and addresses too.
Step #3: Choose an Executor
An executor is a person who will be responsible for managing your estate and distributing your assets according to your wishes after you have passed away. Executor responsibilities may include collecting assets, paying debts, preparing tax returns and distributing the assets (of your estate). Choosing an executor is among the most important decisions you will need to make. You must trust that they are willing to take on this role and that they have the skills to control your estate according to your wishes.
Step #4: Making it legal
Probate is the legal process for ensuring the legitimacy of your Will once you have passed away. This involves filing your Will, and any other required legal documents, with the Supreme Court. Once probate has been completed, your executor can take over management of your Will.
Step #5: Keeping it safe
It’s important to keep your Will in a safe place and to inform your Executor of its location. The Public Trustee can keep your original Will in a safe deposit at no charge.
Taking the time to organise your Will provides you and your family with peace of mind that your estate will be managed according to your wishes. For more details about making a Will with the Public Trustee please call1300 360 044.