Making a will
Making a will is important. It makes sure your money and assets
go to the people you want when you die.
Why make a will
When you make a will you choose who will get your
assets and money when you die. You can
make sure your family (or friends) are taken care of and leave them
something that reminds them of you.
If you don't have a will, the Public Trustee in
your state or territory will decide how to give out your assets,
based on the laws in your state or territory for people who die intestate. This could be more expensive
and take a long time, and your assets might not be distributed in
the way that you want.
It can be useful to make a will so it's clear how your assets
should be distributed, especially since traditional Indigenous ties
of kinship may not be recognised under intestacy laws.
Writing your will
If you make a will using a will kit, try to get the will checked
by a lawyer to make sure it is valid. If a will is prepared
incorrectly it can delay its distribution and end up being an
expense to the estate.
Making a will can be easy and it doesn't have to be expensive.
You can pick up a Do It Yourself will kit from your local post
When you write your will, think about who you want to leave your
money or assets to. It can be one person or a number of people.
This person or people are known as your 'beneficiaries'. If there
is more than one beneficiary, think about what assets or sum of
money you want each person to receive.
Next, decide who you want as your executor. An executor is the
person who is in charge of making sure your money and assets are
given to your beneficiaries in the way you want. The executor will
have a lot of responsibility, so speak to the person before you
appoint them and make sure they understand what they will have to
When you finish writing your will you need to sign and date it
and get two people over 18 who aren't your beneficiaries to also
Keep your will somewhere safe
Keep your will in a safe place and make sure you tell your
family where it is. You should also revise your will when your life
changes; for example, if you marry, if you have children or
grandchildren, or if your partner dies. These events might change
how you want to give out your money or assets.
and your will
If you die, your super fund normally pays your superannuation death benefit to one or more of your
dependants, such as your husband or wife or partner, your children
and people who depend on you financially. For more information see
For more information about wills, download:
You can also contact your local Aboriginal or Torres Strait
Islander Legal Service:
If you're an artist, the Arts Law Centre of
Australia has sample wills specifically for Indigenous
You can also contact the Public Trustee in your state or
territory. The Public Trustee can help you make your will. The cost
of this service is paid out of your estate when you die:
Help look after your family after you die
by making a will.
Last updated: 15 Aug 2017