A selection of articles published on common issues and questions about will making.
- What is a will
- Who can make a will?
- Make a will – what can a will do and why make one?
- Home made will – a good idea?
Making a valid will, signing and witnessing a will
- Making a valid will – what are the requirements?
- Witnessing a will – who can & what is required?
- Signing and execution of a will – same thing?
- Signing the wrong will by mistake
- Leaving an unsigned will – second thoughts or last words?
- Updating a will to avoid unintended outcomes
Intestacy – no will left
- Intestate – when there is no will or an invalid one
- Intestacy rules – who is entitled to inherit?
- When no will is left
Seeing a deceased person’s will
- Residue of a deceased estate – what is it?
- Can an interpreter benefit under a will?
- “Contrary intention” – in succession law and will-making
- “Gift-over” in a will to a substitute beneficiary
- A family tree can be useful, with or without a will
Amending a will – codicils
Lost or misplaced original wills
- When an original will is lost or misplaced and can’t be located.
- When the deceased’s will seems lost of missing – where to enquire?
- Missing or lost original will – can a copy be used?
- Probate – a grant of probate – what is probate?
- Renouncing probate – when an executor does not wish to act
- Who can oppose a grant of probate?
- Probate litigation costs
Articles on providing for children in a will
- Step-grandchildren described as “descendants” and “children”- can they inherit?
- Stepchild contesting a step-parent’s will – Queensland
- Illegitimate children, ex-nuptial children – can they inherit?
- Estranged child left out of a will – claiming family provision
- Issue and children in wills – say what you mean
- Issue and children – some issues with words
- “My issue” – considering the meaning of issue in wills
Fur-children – beloved pets
Contesting and challenging a will
- Family provision – who is eligible to claim from a deceased estate?
- Contesting a will – time limits on making an application
- Court costs when contesting a will for family provision – who pays?
- Early inheritance and family provision
- Testamentary freedom in Australian law and family provision claims
Property – ownership and tenancy
- Entitlements & expectations
- Ownership and will-making – what can and can’t be disposed of by will
- Co-ownership & tenancy: jointly owned or in common?
- Joint tenancy or tenancy in common – considerations for inheritance and will-making
- Severing a joint tenancy unilaterally
- When disposing property by will check the ownership – what can and can’t be disposed of by will
Articles on personal possessions and wills
- Personal possessions – interpreting their meaning and entitlements
- Personal items in a deceased estate
Distribution of a deceased estate
- Per stirpes, per capita and deceased estate distribution
- Distribution problems for executors when relatives cannot be located
Articles about mistakes and rectifying a will after death
- Rectifying a will – discovering a mistake in a will after death
- A mistake found in the will – can it be fixed or rectified?
Farm inheritance and succession
Storing testamentary documents
Power of attorney
For other sources of information on the law see the Law Handbooks published by some jurisdictions. For example see the chapter on Wills, Estates and Funerals in the South Australian Law Handbook.
B Stead, updated 28 September 2020
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Image: Former Berry Courthouse, Berry, New South Wales, B Stead.