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How binding is a will made from a will kit?


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#1 Missmarymack

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

I have 2 children and no will. It's probably about time I made one to ensure I have a say in who raises then if the worst happens.
We don't have any property, just cash and shares.

Would a will made from a will kit suffice or do i need to see a solicitor?

#2 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

I would reccomend that you have a solicitor draw up a will for you. It will cost you more but they know the correct wording to use and also how to make provision for future events.

#3 Perfect2

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

Oooh will be interested in everyones responses - I have often wondered about this too.

#4 BatDog

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:49 PM

Advice I received from a solicitor once was although it's preferable to have a solicitor draw up a will with all the fancy terminology, you can write it yourself on the back on an envelope if you want to. The important things are that you are of sound mind, have witnesses and have given due consideration to the contents.

In saying that, we have had our done by a solicitor as a child, substantial amount of superannuation and property were involved.

I don't see why a will kit wouldn't be fine but I would make sure the original was in a fireproof safe somewhere - another good reason for having a solicitor do it, they have the original, our executors have copies and the solicitor's details.

ETA: considering you have children and will need to consider who takes care of them, I would have a solicitor do it so it's done properly.

Edited by ~shelli~, 27 February 2013 - 01:50 PM.


#5 CountryFeral

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:54 PM

If you've filled them in and got them witnessed properly they are fine.

Remember too that the public trustee will do your wills for you at no cost.  They take a tiny percentage of the final estate when it is settled (ie: after you are dead) as their payment.

#6 PinkCherryBlossom

Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:59 PM

I second getting a solicitor to do it.  It was not a huge expense, and there is peace of mind knowing that a copy is kept with them.  Our solicitor was really helpful and brought up things we hadn't thought of putting in the will.  e.g. Donation of organs.

#7 BatDog

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

Get some feedback from people who have used the public trustee before you use them. Just saying that because two families I know who have had to deal with the Brisbane public trustee have ended up in a nightmare of delays, lost forms and unnecessarily dragging out finalisation of the estate. It took a friend of mine nearly two years to have a house title transferred to her name and some money divided three ways after her Dad died. It wasn't complicated but was dragged out and caused them so much stress. This might not be normal but ask around if you are thinking of going that way.

#8 Fienna

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:03 PM

QUOTE (countrymel @ 27/02/2013, 02:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you've filled them in and got them witnessed properly they are fine.

Remember too that the public trustee will do your wills for you at no cost.  They take a tiny percentage of the final estate when it is settled (ie: after you are dead) as their payment.


We had the PT do our wills - as my dad had with his. THe cost will probably be more in the end, but you don't pay to have the will drawn up and the PT don't take their percentage until everything is sorted out, any assets etc. sold. We also appreciated that we could have Dad's funeral and didn't have to pay until after the house etc. had been sold. The PT paid and then subtracted it from the proceeds later.
The part I especially like about using the PT is that they manage the probate etc. after you die so you don't have to rely on whoever you pick (often a family member) to do it. Glad we had 'professionals' to look after that side when my brother and I were so young!

#9 MrsLexiK

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:04 PM

I had a very wealthy client who used one of these and his will was accepted.  DH and I have these as the solicitor we went stuffed up the wording (was pretty simple) we don't have complicated stuff though, and everything is left to each other. I did put in it what was to happen if DH died before me.  We will have to rewrite these when the little one gets here but we will most probably use these.

I studied Legal studies for 2 years and covered probate, a document on a computer that has not even been signed has been given certificate of probate.  As long as certain words are present, you are likely to have it upheld.

Edited by MrsLexiK, 27 February 2013 - 02:10 PM.


#10 Fienna

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:09 PM

QUOTE (~shelli~ @ 27/02/2013, 03:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Get some feedback from people who have used the public trustee before you use them. Just saying that because two families I know who have had to deal with the Brisbane public trustee have ended up in a nightmare of delays, lost forms and unnecessarily dragging out finalisation of the estate. It took a friend of mine nearly two years to have a house title transferred to her name and some money divided three ways after her Dad died. It wasn't complicated but was dragged out and caused them so much stress. This might not be normal but ask around if you are thinking of going that way.


Our experience with the NSW PT was that, yes, it took a long time. But there was a private company and shopfront to be dealt with, as well as the house, cars, etc. In all it took about 2 years from when Dad died until everything was settled. This also included selling a rural property, which was on the market for about 6 months.

However - I found them very helpful and nothing got lost or seemed to be dragged out un-necessarily. We had the same contact person throughout the whole time, and she was very supportive, expecially of a 21 and 17 year old who had no idea what they were meant to be doing! We weren't any more stressed than we would have been otherwise (if that makes sense - it's a stressful time regardless). That is why I've chosen them for our own wills.

#11 MrsLexiK

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:12 PM

QUOTE (buffykaz @ 27/02/2013, 02:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I second getting a solicitor to do it.  It was not a huge expense, and there is peace of mind knowing that a copy is kept with them.  Our solicitor was really helpful and brought up things we hadn't thought of putting in the will.  e.g. Donation of organs.


typically you read the will once the person is dead and usually a few days after and when the first of the grieving has been dealt with.  If they are dead for a few days organ donation would be void.

#12 BatDog

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

That's good to know that it worked so well for you Hunca Munca. My friends were seriously stuffed around so much by the person they dealt with it was unbelievable. They intended to put in a complaint after it was all over, I must find out what happened with that.

I do hope that the few experiences I've heard about were not the norm.

#13 Fienna

Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:21 PM

I believe also that things like organ donation and who will look after the kids when you die can be specified in a will, but it's not binding. So that's why it's very important to discuss these decisions with relevant people while you're alive so that your wishes are more likely to be upheld after your death.

We have named a friend in our wills to care for our son if we were both to die, but understand that if eg my brother or DH's mother challenged our wishes that it is quite likely they would be awarded guardianship, as they are family members. Our wishes would be considered but the fact that they are in our wills doesn't mean they will automatically be upheld.

#14 ~Sorceress~

Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

I'm perfectly happy with the online will kit we used original.gif . It was very straightforward and explained all the steps we needed to take.

Of course, I hope not to have to test it any time soon!

#15 bebe12

Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:42 PM

hi,

A $30 will kit is better than no will.  So while you decide if you go with a PT or solicitor go to post office or newsagency and fill one in.

My girl friend had to go through PT with out a will and that was a mess, Mainly because her mother and sister who had not spoken to GF or her dad in 15 years still got a slice of it all and it took 3 years to work through. (Problems were due to no will not the public trustee)

#16 netballgirls

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:28 PM

My Dad had his will with Public Trustee SA - It was great. Minimal charges, especially for the big mess that he left behind, I don't think that our family would have been able to sort it out without a solicitor and costing a lot more than Public Trustee. I suppose it depends on your assets.

#17 Lady Lovely Locks

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:46 PM

A will is better than no will! That said, I would be very careful reading the fine print. A lawyer friend of mine told me that a few of the free do it yourself will kits stipulate that a certain percentage (10% I think I recall her saying) is retained by the company. Eek!

#18 PatG

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

Not sure what state you are in OP but in QLD (unlike NSW I believe) you can get the Public Trustee to write up your will for you at no charge and not list them as executors - you put whoever you want.  The only interaction anyone would have with them when you die is to get a copy of your will if they can't find your one.  So it is a completely free process, both before and after you die.

Edited by PatG, 27 February 2013 - 05:54 PM.


#19 GenWhy

Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:37 AM

Second that a will kit is better than no will. HOWEVER it depends on your circumstances. A will can always be contested. DH and I have used a solicitor as we don't have simple wills due to an ex wife and children from the previous marriage. A lot of people don't realize that divorce doesn't nullify a will. Remarriage affects it but best to have it done correctly and ask the solicitor to keep a copy on file.

#20 Missmarymack

Posted 06 March 2013 - 01:34 AM

Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm thinking the idea of a will kit while we decided who to write a proper one with is a very good idea. I know who my children would likely be assumed to go to if something was to happen to DH an I and I can't bare the thought of it sad.gif
Will have a look at the PTs too, I hadn't thought of that.
Thanks everyone original.gif

#21 Feralishous

Posted 06 March 2013 - 01:54 AM

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