What is a Will?

by FindLaw Team

A will is a legal document that names the people you want to receive the property and possessions you own at the date of your death.

A valid will is one that has been accepted by a court and put into effect by a grant of probate. In order for your will to be valid, it must be:

  • in writing (handwritten, typed or printed);
  • signed by you, ideally at the end of the document; and
  • properly witnessed.

If your will is not made in this manner it may not be enforceable.

Before writing your will, you should think about:

  • what assets you have;
  • how you would like to dispose of your assets; and
  • who you would want to act as your executor and administer your estate.

It is a good idea to have a solicitor draw up your will. Your solicitor will:

  • ensure that the will is valid;
  • provide advice regarding your obligations to make adequate provision for your spouse, de facto partner, children, former spouse, dependents and any person with whom you are living in a close personal relationship;
  • provide advice about tax planning;
  • provide advice about how to choose an executor;
  • provide advice about the best way to arrange your affairs; and
  • ensure that the will is drafted to give effect to your wishes.


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