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Codicil to a will – making minor changes to a will

Sydney Harbour SunsetA codicil is a short additional document, typically one or two pages, used to make a minor alteration to an existing will. Both the will and the codicil documents together form the “will” of the person.  To be legally valid the codicil document must be signed and executed in front of witnesses in the same way as for a will. 

A codicil is a convenient way to change an executor or trustee named in a will.  For example in a situation where someone appointed as an executor has died a codicil can be used to replace them with someone else who is willing to act when the time comes. Read more.

Storing a will – ensure it is safe and secure

storing a will, will storage, safe custody for a will, willmaking, deceased estate, Wills are important private and confidential documents. An original will should be stored in a safe and secure place after being signed and witnessed. Once all the formalities have been completed and it has been copied, the original will then needs to be kept in a safe and secure place.

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Who can see the will of a deceased person & can you obtain a copy?

 

wills, probate, deceased estate, copy of someone's will, To see the contents of a deceased person’s will can be difficult. But in some states if you know who has the will, a copy, or other testamentary document, the law requires them to allow certain categories of people who are entitled under the law, to have access. If you are within one of these categories you are entitled to inspect or see the will; and obtain a copy of it. Copying is at your expense, but the costs must be reasonable.

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Why make a will and what can a will do?

 

why make a will, make a will, making a will, dying without a will, intestate Why make a will and what can it do? Dying without leaving a will, or leaving an invalid one, is to die intestate. Dying intestate means property left by the deceased, their estate, is distributed according to the intestacy law. The intestacy law has been prescribed by legislation as the ‘default’ rules to apply in these circumstances. The problem is that the intestacy formula for distribution may not produce the desired outcome.

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What is a will?

what is a will, succession law, Australian succession law, A will is a testamentary document, often referred to by lawyers as an ‘instrument’, setting out what a person intends to have happen to their property, (real and personal), and other matters, when they die.

It is the legal way to record a person’s instructions and wishes on how they want their property distributed on the event of their death, and who is to responsible for carrying out those wishes.

Because it is to take effect only on death, a will is referred to as being ‘testamentary’.

A testamentary document or instrument is one which its writer intends, at the time of writing it, to come into effect when they die, and not before. It is where a person sets out their intentions for the distribution of their property when they die.

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Entitlements & expectations

Farmland

In general terms, all property (real and personal property) to which a person is entitled at the time they die can be disposed of or given away in a will.

When disposing property by will check the ownership – what can and can’t be disposed of by will

Property ownership, will making, company shares, units, trust,Disposing property by will, in the will-making process requires considerations to be given to what you own in your individual name, as opposed to what you might control, see further below. As only property owned in a personal or individual name can form a deceased estate, it is only this which can be transferred by will, (or the rules of intestacy).

Among the first considerations in making a will is considering what we own. Only property owned personally can form a deceased estate and be disposed of by will, but it is easy to overlook that property thought of as ‘ours’, is legally in another name. It pays to check who owns what, that which is not in your own name, is not yours to give by will.

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Frequent flyer points – do they pass away with us?

IMG_4056-plane-resizedWith cheap air fares and so much air travel these days, what happens to our frequent flyer points when we die? Can they be transferred? Generally no, but there are some variations, check your program’s terms and conditions to be sure.