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Thinking about making a Will?

Your family is important to you and without a legal Will to execute your wishes, anything could happen.
Our team of family lawyers can make sure your Will is legally binding and up to date. 

  • Experienced lawyers that have helped thousands of Australians
  • Protect your estate and family
  • Easy online application with help as you need it

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We've helped thousands of Australians to prepare their Will

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Things to consider when making a Will:

Put simply, a Will is a particularly important legal document that will protect your assets and family after you pass.

In a Will, you can name an executor, or executors, to administer your estate; a beneficiary, or beneficiaries, to distribute your estate to; and a guardian, or guardians, to look after your children in the event of your passing.

An executor is a person named in your Will to administer your estate upon your death. After your passing, an executor effectively “stands in your shoes” as your legal personal representative. As such, when it comes to dealing with your estate they perform a very important role.

Perhaps the most important role played by your Will is to specify how and to whom your property is distributed upon your death. For most people, the primary focus of their gift giving is to ensure that their loved ones are adequately provided for in the event of your passing. Bestowed gifts generally fall into two categories:

  • Specific Gifts – particular item/s to be given to specific person/s or group; and
  • Residuary Gifts – the residue of your estate, being what is left after all liabilities have been paid and all specific gifts have been distributed.

There is a wide range of other matters that can be covered by a valid Will aside from dealing with how particular assets are distributed. For example, a Will can specify your wishes concerning who you wish to act as a guardian of your children in the event you pass away.

This can be a very powerful expression of your intentions regarding the way your children are cared for, and by whom, in the event of your death. Your Will can also state how your funeral arrangements are made and carried out and whether you wish for your organs to be utilized or donated in a particular way on your passing, noting it is best practice to also formally register for organ donation separately.

What happens if I die without a Will?

If you die without a Will, you will have been deemed to have died ‘intestate’. This particular situation means that there is a risk that your estate may be distributed to the wrong people and in the wrong way.

Dying intestate may result in a range of adverse outcomes such as having an executor by the Court, noting that Courts generally have a broad discretion as to whom to grant administration.

It may also lead to increased time and financial costs to finalise your deceased estate and create additional burdens for loved ones at the time of your passing given lack of certainty associated with your final wishes.

11 Things That Are Wrong with Your Will

There are unfortunately many things that can render a Will invalid. There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself to identify if your Will can protect you after your death:

  1. Does my Will contain page markings, removed staples or binding?
  2. Is my Will witnessed by a beneficiary or executor? 
  3. Did I use a DIY Will Kit
  4. Have I forgotten to get a letter of testamentary capacity? 
  5. Was the last time I updated my Will longer than 3 years ago?
  6. Have I or my loved ones since been through a marriage, separation, death or childbirth? 
  7. Is my Will improperly signed and dated? 
  8. Have I since acquired or disposed of any assets including property and inheritance? 
  9. Do I have the wrong executors in place?
  10. Have I forgotten to put in a clause protecting the guardianship of my kids? 
  11. Have I forgotten to use the full and accurate names of executors and beneficiaries?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, your Will needs to be updated.

Contact us today or fill in the form below and one of our consultants will get back to you.
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What is Mediation?

Mediation is a structured process whereby an independent person, known as a mediator, assists parties to identify issues in dispute, assess available options and seek to negotiate the resolution of relevant matters.

Mediation is commonly utilised in a range of different dispute contexts across a range of professional areas and industry types. It can be an effective tool to resolve matters as an alternative to a judge imposing a decision on the parties.

What is the Mediation process?

The mediation process can vary somewhat from case to case but will generally involve a process whereby two parties agree to meet privately with one another and a mediator at neutral venue at a prescribed time/s and date/s to discuss their matter. The Mediator will generally be briefed with relevant material in advance of the mediation to assist the parties to focus on the matter at hand, the issues in dispute, and each parties position.

Often parties to a mediation will be accompanied by their legal advisors during the course of the mediation, to provide advice and advocacy. This can be particularly important, especially when participants come to an agreement and are giving consideration to terms of settlement. Although the process of mediation can vary from matter to matter, most mediations follow the structured process as follows:

  1. The mediator commences the mediation process by gathering the parties into a single room, introducing themselves to the parties, explaining their role and making any preliminary comments or statements to the parties as they wish;
  2. he parties then are given the opportunity to each provide a brief opening statement to mediator, explaining who they are, the main issues in dispute, and their respective positions concerning those issues. The mediator may seek to clarify relevant matters as necessary with each party;
  3. Once this process has been completed, it is common for the parties to “break” from one another, that is for each of them to move to separate rooms, to allow the mediator an opportunity/s to speak with each party individually. Generally, the nature of these discussions will include relevant issues, strengths or weaknesses of cases, and be informed by a motive of seeking to encourage the parties toward resolution of relevant issues or to identify potential concessions available. Mediators will often seek to move back and forward between the parties when engaging in this process, to communicate offers or concessions, with a view to seeking to achieve acceptable terms of settlement/ agreement; and
  4. If possible, for the mediator to document the terms of settlement/ agreement agreed by the parties, along with any further steps required to be taken by the parties. 

How best to prepare for a Mediation?

It is advisable that you consult with a suitable legal advisor prior to participating in mediation. Your legal advisor will help you prepare for the mediation process. Part of this preparation is to ensure that relevant information and documentation has been collated, and to prepare written submissions to assist the mediator. This is of fundamental importance as the mediator must be properly appraised of relevant issues and ensure that your position and interests are adequately canvassed in relevant material and submissions that are put forward.

Your lawyer may also be able to assist you to consider a range of possible outcomes at mediation with a view to preparing you, and so that you are in a better position to respond to or make settlement offers during the mediation. You should also be advised as to what types of issues may be raised or discussed and can assist you to have peace of mind when approaching a mediation process.

It is important to prepare yourself mentally for the mediation. It is usually best practice to be commercially minded in relation to the process, rather than making decisions based upon emotion. Forge Legal has extensive experience in preparing for, attending, and advocating for clients in mediation processes. If you need assistance with an upcoming mediation, or need to arrange a mediation, or believe it may be a useful solution to an ongoing dispute, contact our friendly team, we can cater for your mediation needs.

Ready to get started on making your Will?

 

Online Will Form   Call: (07) 3172 3777

ONLINE WILL FORM:

Step 1

Complete the questions in the online form.

Make sure names and addresses are correct.

Provide enough detail on any special requests.

Step 2

Our Wills and Estate lawyers will contact you to ensure you have no further questions.

We will organise an easy once-off payment and tend to drafting the Will in the terms you’ve outlined.

Step 3

Visit our office to sign your Will. You may choose to retain the original document for your own records, or you may wish to leave it with us in our safe custody facility. It is important that your Will is kept in a safe place and that your executors know where to look for it in the event of your passing.

If you wish for the document to be sent to you for signing, please advise our office and we will arrange for delivery and instructions to be sent to you.

SAVE $100’s on our PACKAGE DEAL

You may wish to consider obtaining an Enduring Power of Attorney at the same time as preparing the Will. You may simply choose a package deal option after completing the Online Will form or alternatively, you may go to our Enduring Power of Attorney information page or further details.

You may also wish to consider having an Advanced Health Directive (AHD) drafted for you at the same time as your Will. An AHD specifically sets out what medical treatments you like to receive ahead of time rather than leaving decisions to your attorney when the time comes. You may simply choose a package deal option after completing the Online EPOA form or alternatively, you may go to our Advanced Health Directive information page for further details.