Wills & Estates – FAQs

1. Do I need a Will?

A Will gives you the opportunity to control what happens to your assets when you die.   If you don’t have a Will in place State legislation dictates what happens to your assets.   A Will provides security that your loved ones are provided for as you wish.   At Walls Bridges lawyers, we assist in the preparation of Wills and provide legal advice on this issue.

2. What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without a Will State legislation governs what happens to your assets.  In Victoria, this is the Administration & Probate Act 1958.   Generally, your assets are divided up between defacto and married partners, and children.  At Walls Bridges lawyers, we can provide you with legal advice on this issue and help you put in place a valid Will.

3. What happens with superannuation if I die?

Superannuation sits outside of your estate. If you die, your superannuation will only pass to your estate if it is directed into your estate. You can generally make non-binding and binding nominations directing your super to be paid to your estate, or to a dependent outside of your estate. At Walls Bridges lawyers, we provide legal advice in relation to assets falling in and out of your estate.

4. What is a testamentary trust Will?

A testamentary trust Will gives your beneficiaries the option of taking their entitlements pursuant to the Will within a trust structure. This may allow your beneficiaries to structure their entitlements in a tax effective way. A testamentary trust Will can also provide some asset protection in the event of bankruptcy or family breakdown.

5. Do I need to apply for probate?

Generally, probate is required if a person died with a Will and they have significant assets in their estate, or real estate. The executor named in the Will applies for probate. At Walls Bridges lawyers, we provide legal advice and representation in relation to grants of probate.

6. My family member died without a Will what is the process from here?

If the family member dies with significant assets in their estate, or real estate, a grant of administration is required to administer the estate. Generally, the person who applies is the person with the greatest interest in the estate.   The beneficiaries of the estate are determined by applying State legislation, in Victoria, the Administration & Probate Act 1958. At Walls Bridges lawyers, we provide legal advice and representation in relation to grants of administration.

7. I have been left out of a Will – what do I do?

If you have been left out of a Will there is a 6-month time limitation from the grant of probate or administration in Victoria to bring a claim against the estate. The legislation in Victoria was significantly amended in January 2015 and persons able to bring a claim are now restricted. At Walls Bridges lawyers, we provide legal advice and representation in relation to Will disputes.

Videos

Why should you have a Will?

What is the Will Process when someone passes away?

How does Marriage or Divorce affect your Will?

The affects of Super

Super and Providing for your Children

Are DIY Wills Legally Binding?