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What is a Will?

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?