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Different Types of Wills in Australia

Learn about the different types of Wills in Australia, and which one might be best suited for you.

Different Wills

The different types of Will in Australia

Whilst estate planning might be crucial for everyone, it can look drastically different from person to person. And whilst most people have heard of a Will, many are unaware that there's actually multiple types in Australia.

The suitability of each type of Will varies depending on your estate, specific assets and goals. Yes, a simple Will is suitable for most. But if your estate is more complex and your goals more further reaching, then there's other options to explore.

Read on to discover the different types of Will in Australia, and which one might suit you.

Simple Wills: Simplicity and Convenience for Modern Australians

Suitable for: Individuals with straightforward estates and uncomplicated distribution preferences.

In today's digital age, online Wills are widening access to simple Wills and the benefits they provide. They’re reducing costs, reducing time burdens and making it easier than ever to write an estate plan from the comfort of your home.

For the majority of Australians, this option can cover the extent of their estate needs and goals, without the hefty legal fees. Yes, there's still the option of going to a traditional lawyer- but with the same piece of paper now available at a fraction of the cost, more and more are opting for digital.

On the other hand, for those with complex family structures or significant assets, a simple Will isn’t always the most effective option- whether its’ online or not.

In these more complex cases, it’s advised to seek more comprehensive legal advice where a specialist estate lawyer can help identify other options to make your Will work best for you.

Joint Wills: Uniting Legacies for Couples with Mutual Estate Planning Goals

Suitable for: Couples who have shared estate planning goals and wish to create a unified Will

A joint Will allows a couple to unify their asset wishes and appoint an executor. Often used by couples with the same beneficiaries, this option is similar to a simple Will, but for two people.

As much as it might seem like a convenient idea at the time, the inflexibility of joint Wills can create issues further down the line. Specifically, if one partner dies before the other there is limited ability to amend or revoke the asset instructions- making it difficult to reflect new partners or changing circumstances into the surviving partners Will.

Trust Wills: Ensuring Ongoing Management and Protection

Suitable for: Individuals with substantial assets and a desire for ongoing management and protection.

One of these options could be a trust Will. These provide an excellent way to protect and manage not only your assets, but also your family and those you care about, even after you die.

By creating a trust, you maintain influence over your assets via an appointed trustee, who will distribute your estate according to your specific instructions.

Suitable for those with significant assets, minor beneficiaries, or complex family dynamics, a trust Will create greater support mechanisms to safeguard your family’s financial future.

Testamentary Trusts: Maximising Control and Flexibility

Suitable for: Individuals with specific wishes regarding the distribution and control of their assets.

In terms of control, a Testamentary trust goes one step further in helping you create a Will which kickstarts a legacy. This more advanced estate planning strategy allows you to leave specific instructions on how your assets should be managed and distributed- including different trustees, different beneficiaries, and specific instructions on transfer purposes and timing.

Rather than a one time transfer of assets, a testamentary trust represents a long term estate plan which can help safeguard your family for years to come. Whether that's to support a vulnerable beneficiary, or help out with schooling or University fees- this type of Will offers the chance to support those that matter to you, just when it's needed the most.

It’s also a great way to protect your assets, and your wishes, from potential creditors and change in circumstances.

Statutory Wills: Protecting the Interests of Incapacitated Individuals

Suitable for: Individuals who are unable to create or update their Wills due to incapacity.

In certain situations, an individual may become incapacitated and unable to create or update their Will. In such cases, a statutory Will can be made on their behalf by an authorised representative, such as a family member or an appointed guardian.

Statutory Wills ensure that the interests, wishes and assets of incapacitated individuals are protected. And whilst we all hope that we won’t get to that stage, it’s an important provision in place to ensure we’re protected if we do.

How Safewill can help

Safewill offers the most affordable, easy and flexible platform to write your Will online. For those looking to get it done without the hassle or the cost, it’s the perfect way to support your family and protect your assets.

For those looking for more complex advice or services, our specialist law firm Safewill Legal is also on hand to support. Whether it’s probate, trusts or quick fire questions, we offer the best, specialist insight in the industry without the unnecessary cost.

Get started today with the help of one of our legal specialists on 1800 10 33 10, or via live chat now.

Last updated 05th June 2023
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Hannah Comiskey
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