A Will is an important legal document that explains what you want to happen to your family, money, property and belongings when you die.
Over the last 50 years, we have helped thousands of people living in the north eastern suburbs of Melbourne to prepare their Will - and keep it updated to reflect major life changes (like marriage or divorce) that might affect their wishes.
You need a Will if you:
- have children under the age of 18
- own your home, business or investment property
- have shares, investments or money in the bank
- own possessions that you want to pass on like a car, jewellery or art.
Preparing a legally-valid Will is the best way to protect your family and ensure your wishes are clear and can be carried out. Without a Will, these decisions are left to a court appointed administrator, who will be working without any guidance from you.
How we help
Our experienced lawyers will guide you through the process of creating a legally-valid Will that reflects your wishes and what is best for your family.
As part of this process, we also recommend you set up Powers of Attorney to appoint a trusted family member or friend to act on your behalf (for example, to access your bank accounts, give directions about your medical treamtment and, if necessary, sell assets on your behalf) if you are unable to do so through illness or accident.
It is important to understand that your Will only deals with the distribution of assets that you personally own. The distributution of joint assets (like real-estate), superannuation and insurance payouts and any assets in a family trust are not covered by your Will. Careful estate planning will ensure these assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Estate planning is all about making sure your all of your assets are passed on to your chosen beneficiaries in the best, most tax-effective way possible.
At Tonkin Legal, we firmly believe there is no such thing as a ‘simple’ Will.
That’s because everyone’s situation and family dynamics are different. We are also not big fans of 'off-the-shelf' Wills that you can buy from the newsagent for the same reason. “Off-the-shelf” Wills are open to being contested and are often rejected by the Supreme Court.
1. Meet with us
We start this process by organising a meeting with one of the lawyers from our Wills and Estate Planning team. If you have a partner, it is a good idea for both of you to attend this meeting so we can prepare both of your Wills and Powers Of Attorney at the same time.
This meeting is all about getting to know you and your personal situation.
We will gather information about your partner, children and family. We will talk about who you would want to look after your children and plan for a variety of future scenarios. We will discuss who you would like to appoint as the Executor of your Will. This person is responsible for following the instructions in your Will after you die. We also talk about who you want to make personal, financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapable of making them due to illness or accident.
You need to bring the following items to the meeting:
- list of your assets and liabilities.
- list of who you want to benefit from your estate.
This first meeting will cost $450 (including GST) and takes about an hour.
2. Prepare a quote
Based on the discussions about your personal situation and information gathered at our first meeting, we will then prepare a cost estimate which clearly explains the cost of preparing your Will and Powers of Attorney (if required).
3. Prepare documents
If you are happy to proceed, we will then draft your Will, taking into consideration everything we discussed, and send it to you for review. If you have any changes, we incorporate these. We also create your Powers of Attorney.
4. Signing meeting
We then organise a final meeting, where you sign your Will and Powers of Attorney. We will securely store these documents safely for you. We provide you with a copy of these important documents for your files. It is a good idea to also give a copy to your Executor and your appointed decision-maker(s).