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  • Christina McPherson

THE IMPORTANCE OF A WILL

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

A Will is a legal document that sets out your instructions for who want to inherent your estate, care for your children, and be the executor of your estate when you die. If you die without a Will, you lose the opportunity to share your wishes with your loved ones and your estate will be distributed in accordance with the rules contained within the Succession Act 2006 (NSW).


It is therefore important for every person over the age of 18 years to have a valid Will.





Making a Will is a positive step you can take to:

1. appoint a person you trust to carry out the instructions in your Will (your executor).

2. provide for the people you care about.

3. appoint a person to take over any director, trustee, or appointor positions you hold to ensure your

business and family structures remain operating.

4. Reduce the emotional strain on your loved ones and the administration costs for your estate.



If you die without a Will (known legally as ‘dying intestate’), the intestacy rules under the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) will apply. This may mean your estate is left in a way you did not intend. In summary those rules provide the following order of who are eligible to inherit:

1. Spouse;

2. Children;

3. Parents;

4. Brothers and sisters;

5. Grandparents;

6. Aunts and uncles; and

7. Cousins.


If you die without a Will and without eligible relatives, your estate will pass to the State (Crown).

In most instances a Will must satisfy the following three criteria to be accepted as a valid Will:

1. It must be in writing.

2. It must be signed by the person making the Will, also known as the testator.

3. The testator’s signature must be correctly witnessed by two independent witnesses.



It is also important that your intentions are expressed clearly to reduce the chance of any later argument over who you intended to receive what assets from your estate.




Whilst you can prepare your own Will or use a do-it-yourself will kit, it is recommended that you obtain professional to draft your Will to ensure it is done correctly and is appropriate for your needs. In my experience, this is the best starting point to preventing expensive and protracted Court proceedings in relation to your estate.


A professional will also be able to advise you in relation to what steps you should take to deal with other assets you may have such as superannuation and life insurance policies, which do not automatically form part of an estate.


You can request an online or in person appointment with an experienced estate planning solicitor you can contact McPherson Park Lawyers on:


(02) 4472 6377

Christina McPherson

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