A will is a document that sets out how you want your estate (your property) to be distributed when you die.
A standard will is one in which you choose to leave everything to your spouse and any children of the marriage.
A non-standard will costs more to prepare, but is recommended if you
- are in a de facto relationship
- have children from more than one relationship
- need to make special arrangements for a beneficiary
- have complicated financial affairs
- own a share of a business or company or have a trust arrangement.
If you die without a will, you are said to have died intestate. In this circumstance, your property will be distributed to your nearest relatives according to a predetermined legal formula, which may or may not be in accordance with your wishes.
Next Section: Who can make a will?