Do I need a lawyer to make a last will and testament?
Your last will and testament is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. It is also a process that involves a range of considerations. While you don’t, by law, need a lawyer to make a will, getting expert guidance can ensure that your final wishes are carried out effectively.
There are several professionals who can help draft your will, such as banks, accountants, organisations that specialise in wills. Can you draft your will yourself? Yes, you can, granted that it meets all the legal requirements for a valid will. DIY wills are even available at stationery shops. There are significant benefits to having a professional help you draft your will. Such as Capital Legacy, SA’s #1 wills and estates specialists.
Other than the “who”, it’s even more important to focus on the “what” to meet the legal requirements for valid wills. Here, you’ll need an expert to make your will to ensure you check all the boxes.
Anyone aged 16 years or older, who is mentally competent, can draft a will.
A will must be in writing – either by hand or typed – and the signature of the testator/testatrix must appear on every page. These signatures must be made in the presence of two or more competent witnesses.
Witnesses must be aged 14 years or older and may not be listed as one of the beneficiaries. They must sign the will in the presence of the testator/testatrix and of each other. Witnesses only need to sign the last page of the will.
Your original signed will must be held in safekeeping, as a copy of a will is not deemed a valid will.
With estate planning considerations, the guidance of a professional also offers peace of mind. When you start your estate planning journey, you will ensure your assets are distributed the way you want and that your loved ones are provided for when you pass away.
But what exactly does “estate planning considerations” mean? It means making a plan for everything you own, and everything you owe. It also means making sure there’s enough money to pay off debts, estate taxes and other costs that arise upon your passing.
Drafting your will is directly linked with your estate planning considerations, but that’s not all it entails. Things such as your marriage contract/s, capital gains tax and any other income taxes must be considered.
We understand that this can all seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to make this process as simple as possible. At Capital Legacy, we offer a full suite of will and estate administration services, all under one roof.