With over 200 FAQ's, our 118 page Establishment iBook & 14 iGuides we have the most comprehensive Knowledge Centre for Australians both at home and abroad. Everything you need to create your valid Last Will & Testament is at your fingertips. You can think of it as your very own Wills Encyclopaedia.
Our advanced FAQs are for those of you who really desire to understand the nuts and bolts of it all, yet are still looking for a simple down-to-earth laypersons explanation.
Whilst there are over 200 FAQs you don’t need to read them all. Just read what is relevant to your situation and leave the rest. If your situation changes over time, they become an valuable resource for you to return to as needed.
If you think of a question that is important to you and it's not covered in the Establishment iBook, iGuides or Web FAQs, please let us know as it's probably important to someone else too. Simply contact us, describe the question and we'll see what we can do. There is also a wealth of knowledge that is provided by the Australian Government so click here or here to learn more.
Unlike some other products on the market where you only get access to the FAQs, information and resources for a limited period of time, at AustralianWills, there is no expiry period or limited access period.
Simply download the Knowledge Center onto your own PC, laptop, tablet etc. and it’s yours for life!
A Will is a legal instrument executed by a competent person in the manner prescribed by the governing law. It is a legal document that sets out who you want to receive your assets when you pass away. Making a valid Will is the only way you can ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes when you pass away.
A Will also gives you the opportunity to say whom you want to be in charge of settling your Estate. This is the role of the Executor. It can also give you the opportunity to say whom you want to serve as Guardians of your minor children, and it gives you the opportunity to protect any money or property you give to minor children and/or other beneficiaries who are not good candidates to receive an inheritance outright; i.e., via the creation of testamentary trusts.
A Will is important no matter how large your Estate is. With a simple Will you can make sure that any money and property you do leave behind is distributed to those you wish to receive it. It is also the only way you can designate guardians for your minor children.
Your Will affects only those assets that are titled in your name at the time when you pass away and for which there is no contractual transference to beneficiaries. This class of asset that is covered by a valid Will is generally known as “Probate Property” or “Probate Estate” in the USA and as the “Estate” in Australia.
Some examples of asset classes that are not normally covered by your Will are as follows: Life Insurance, Retirement Benefits (such as Superannuation Plans, Self-Managed Superannuation Funds [SMSF], 401Ks, ROTHs, IRAs, etc.) Concurrent Estates, Assets owned as a joint tenant with right of survivorship, “Transfer on death” or “pay on death” assets, Living Trusts etc.
A de facto partner does not necessarily fall within the definition of spouse in all states. If you have a de facto partner and your Will simply refers to him or her as “spouse,” that bequest may fail. If your de facto partner or civil partner can satisfy the legal requirements in Australia or America of proving the relationship, he or she may be entitled to share in your Estate on your passing. The necessity of proving the relationship can result in additional expense and distress at a time when your loved one is grieving, so we recommend you prepare your iWill explicitly naming your de facto or civil partner as a beneficiary.
Firstly, to put to bed a common myth, State laws do not require the assistance of a legal professional when you are preparing your Will, and most people do not need legal help to make a simple or basic Will (often referred to as a “Simple Will”). Any adult of sound mind is entitled to make a Will, and as long as the Will meets the legal requirements of his or her state, it's valid whether a lawyer/attorney/solicitor drafted it or you wrote it yourself on the back of a napkin. The most common ways to make a valid Will can be summarised as follows:
Services of a lawyer/attorney/solicitor: the cost will vary based on the complexity of the Will. If you find a lawyer/attorney/solicitor whom you like and feel confident about, discuss a range of fees likely to be charged prior to meeting with him/her to discuss the Will in detail.
Simple Will Kits: These are the easiest and most cost-effective way to assure your wishes are followed in every respect, assuming you have a simple Estate without complex tax and legal problems. There are many of these kits available online in both Australia and the USA.
Services of a State Trustee Company: in Australia, this can also be done through a State Trustee Company. While the initial cost is affordable, the Trustee Company normally assigns itself as your Executor and can take anything up to 6% of the Estate as its commission for administration.
A large number of people write their Wills with the assistance of a lawyer/attorney/solicitor, and while this can be expensive, it is an excellent way to proceed if your situation is not simple.
This normally applies to husband and wife Wills (or a de facto couple or civil partnership) that mirror or reflect one another’s intentions. When a couple want to make almost identical Wills leaving, for example, everything to each other respectively and thereafter to the children or, where there are no children, to a named beneficiary, they are referred to as “Couples Wills” or a “Mirror Wills.” They are individual Wills that are separate legal documents with similar content, and the respective partners usually become both sole beneficiary and sole Executor to each other. They are a cost-effective way for couples to generate valid Wills.
This question is a bit like asking, “How long is a piece of string?” We have seen online answers from other companies that say only five to twenty minutes, but it really depends on your circumstances, and most importantly, how prepared you are. For example, if you have a living spouse and you wish to leave 100% of your Estate to him/her, then technically you could have a simple Will ready to execute in less than half an hour. But the strength & integrity of the Will could be in question.
What other companies won’t tell you is that most of your time will be consumed in educating yourself on the various topics and terminology and then preparing your thoughts and inputs for your Will. This prelim can vary from one week to months depending on your situation and circumstances. Once you are prepared, the actual writing of your Will can be as quick as reported by other companies.
At AustralianWills our approach is twofold: first is to provide you with the resources you need to educate yourself on the topics that are important to you. Once you are an informed and educated individual on the matter, you will receive leading-edge, interactive tools so that you can easily create a strong and robust Last Will and Testament. Most of our customers start and complete the process within the course of two to four weeks utilising some of their after-hours time and/or weekends. Like some other products on the market, you can also complete an iWill or oziWill in as little as 15 - 20 minutes, but this is not something we would recommend. This preparation is not something you want to rush as the end result is there for a lifetime.
It is good practice to review your Will every three to five years to make sure that it reflects your wishes. There are various circumstances under which you should consider making a new Will, but the key ones are as follows:
>> If your circumstances change or the circumstances of your intended beneficiaries change necessitating a reassessment of the distribution of your Estate; i.e., who will get what percentage share of your Estate;
>> If one or more of the beneficiaries, Executors or Trustees named in your Will passes before you do;
>> If your relationship status changes; i.e., you marry, remarry or divorce. Marriage, remarriage or divorce is an event that normally make any previous Will either totally or partially inoperative;
>> If you move from one state to another in Australia, your Will should be reviewed to ensure it takes account of the new property;
>> If you dispose or buy a significant asset (e.g., a business or home);
>> If you have a child or grandchildren; or
>> If you believe your Will is out of date for whatever reason.
Generally speaking, you should not name your pets as beneficiaries. The law in this area is can be quite complex and it varies from state to state. However, you can still look after them and we'll walk you through this delicate matter in our Care for Your Pet iGuide.
This is a complex area of law and varies from state to state. Generally speaking, you can exclude anyone from your Will (except your spouse) as long as you have a strong reason to do so. In some states of the USA, if your spouse (whether married or de facto) is not provided for to the minimum set forth in the statute, your spouse may waive the Will and claim the “statutory forced share” provided by law.
If you leave out your spouse, one or all of your children (including step-children), or any dependant for that matter, he/she too may, after you have passed away, pursue a Court challenge to have your Will varied. If you desire to leave someone out of your Will, you need to be very clear about why you wish to exclude this person. If this is not possible or you do not think you have a strong enough argument, a simple Will may not be for you, and you should consider consulting a legal professional.
It’s adequate for most people, married or single, provided there are no complicated circumstances. If your Will requirements are complicated or if you are uncertain about making your own Will, then a simple Will may not be for you. In such case, you should seek advice from a legal professional such as a lawyer, attorney or solicitor. Furthermore, if your assets involve many millions of dollars, you may need the additional assistance of accountants, tax consultants and estate planners, etc., and the fees for these specialists may run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The concept of an International Will is the latest legal response to the operation of different testamentary succession rules in our modern society. In 1973 at the UNIDROIT Convention in Washington DC, the “Convention providing a Uniform Law on the Form of an International Will,” was presented to harmonise and simplify Wills that have international characteristics. The new International Will is recognised as a valid form of Will in all countries that are party to the convention.
No, not today. Not all states of Australia and the USA have signed up to the convention. We cover this important matter in depth in our Establishment iBook for you.
Technically speaking, the answer is no. Your Australian Will is not recognised by law in America; thus American state law will deem you passed away without a valid Will. In this case, you are said to have passed away “intestate,” and your American Estate will be distributed according to the law of the American state in which you reside (i.e., your domicile).
Similarly, your American Will is not recognised by laws in Australia; thus under Australian state law it will be deemed that you passed away without a valid Will and again, you are said to have passed away “intestate,” and your Australian Estate will be distributed according to the law of the Australian state in which you reside.
No, AustralianWills doesn’t currently offer this service, but we can refer you to various affiliates that can help you. Or you can choose your own USA law firm and for a small additional fee, we can provide you with the clause that needs to be included in your American Will so that it will work in complete harmony with your iWill, thus avoiding potential jurisdiction complications.
Yes. Our iWill & oziWill allows you to store the interactive data inside itself as you go, so you can continually update your draft until you have your final version ready to print and execute. This can significantly reduce paper consumption, thereby helping you live in a “greener” world.
Furthermore, because both you can save data in it and it never expires, if your circumstances change, you can easily create a new Will at no extra cost. This makes Codicils a thing of the past.
Yes. Unlike other products, neither your iWill/oziWill nor your unique iWill/oziWill password have an expiry date; thus, you can save your personal data in your iWill indefinitely. If your circumstances change, you simply make the necessary changes to the relevant fields, save them, print out the latest version and then execute the signatory and witnessing process to create a new valid iWill or oziWill.
Our Site uses state-of-the-art digital encryption and security technologies to protect the privacy and security of your information and has specific security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control.
We use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for authentication and private communications in an effort to build ‘users’ trust and confidence in the internet and website use by providing simple and secure access and communication of personal information. Your online information sent to us is 100% protected via our 256-bit SSL certificate with RSA encryption.
Your credit card details are ONLY handled by our third party payment gateway provider and this is 2Checkout.com. Their website is SSL secure and your personal details are safe. They self-certify their compliance with SAFEHARBOUR from the U.S. Department of Commerce. They are also compliant with the MastercardSecure and Verified-by-Visa programs. See their website at www.2checkout.com for more information.
Once you have made a validated payment, you will be able to instantly download your package. You will be emailed a unique temporary link to download your ZIP file and this ZIP contains everything you need. Simply unzip the file and you are ready to go. The link will last for 60 days.
Yes, they will be for your protection. You will receive a 12 character password for your iWill/oziWill and associated files. The password can be found on the file named Password.pdf that comes as part of your ZIP file download from us. This way your personal information is protected both now and in the future. The password for your files will never expire, so if your personal circumstances change, you can easily rewrite your iWill/oziWill and you don't have to purchase it again like you do with some other products. You will need to use this password every time you open one of our encrypted files.
This iBook is the starting point in your journey to create your own legal Will. It contains step by step instructions and all you’ll ever need to know….. and more, on how to create your own Will in the comfort of your own home. The chapters were written around our proprietary six-point process to make it easy for you to follow and get started.
It doesn't end with the creation of your first Will. We also cover how to safely store it, how to revoke it, when to change your Will and more......
We have 14 iGuides that support your Establishment iBook. They are a mixture of specialised information, comprehensive data collection tools and of course, the invaluable sample iWill and oziWills. You don’t need to read them all, just what’s relevant to you.
The number of these iGuides has grown over recent times due to your feedback and we anticipate further growth. If there is a specialised topic you would like us to prepare, simply reach out to us at Contact and we'll see what we can do.