(03) 9720 2922

Jansen Walsh and Grace

What happens if I do not make a will?
If you die without a will, complex rules will govern how your estate will be distributed on your death.   If you do not make a will, there may be three consequences.

First, this could mean the people you want to inherit do not benefit from your estate.  For example, your spouse or partner may not inherit the whole of your estate and may have to share your property and assets with others.

Secondly, if your spouse or partner wants to continue to reside in the home, they will usually have to pay land transfer duty to the State Revenue Office (formerly called stamp duty) to stay in the home.  This is not an uncommon occurrence where you have a child or children (whether adults or minors) and your spouse or partner is reluctant to make an application to the Supreme Court or the County Court under section 90A of the Administration and Probate Act.  This assumes your children will disclaim their entitlements to the house, ie, that they will gift their shares to your spouse or partner.

Finally, unless you have relatives who are first cousins or closer, all the assets of your estate — your hard-earned money — will go to the Crown in right of the State of Victoria: see sections 70ZK and 70ZL of the Administration and Probate Act.

Our advice on 'Where there's a will: What happens to your horse' is featured in the April/May 2019 issue of Hoofbeats magazine.  For more information, go to our equine law webpage.

"You care deeply for your horse and ensure their every need is provided for, but what would happen in the event of your death?  It’s a good idea to consider what could happen and if plans should be put in place for their on-going care and your wishes."

Do you have a Will?  Is it still in accordance with your current wishes?
Your will is one of the most important documents you will ever make.  If you do not have a Will or your Will no longer reflects your wishes because of changed circumstances or for any other reason, then the assets of your estate will not be distributed as you would want.

In preparing your Will, we will tailor it to meet your individual requirements.  No two Wills are the same, just as no two people are the same. We will take your instructions, draft your Will and help you execute it correctly.  There are no hidden costs and we will be able to confirm what our fixed fee will be at the initial meeting.  If you are in a hospital, or incapacitated, or living in a retirement village, we can visit you.  If you find it difficult to climb the stairs to our office, we can come downstairs and take instructions from you.

The federal government is currently considering a bequest tax or a wealth transfer taxed along the lines recommended by Dr Ken Henry in his review into the Australian taxation system.  Our wills are currently being re-drafted with any future potential bequest tax or any other form of death tax, such as estate duty or probate duty, in mind.

Keeping your Will up to date
You should review your Will every five years and after any major life change such as getting separated, married or divorced, having children or moving house. It is possible to make minor changes to your existing Will.

Free safe keeping of Will
It is important that somebody knows where you will is stored so that your wishes are not ignored.  We provide a free custodial service. You can store your will in our fire-proof facility, where it will be available when you need it — for free.

Challenging your will: bulletproofing your wishes
If you are concerned about someone challenging your will after your death, there are five ways to ensure that your wishes prevail.

Islamic family trusts
We can provide you with an Islamic family trust.

Islamic wills
We can provide you with a Sunni or Shiite will.