Guide to Making a Will

Clear advice & Simple Efficient Preparation

When you make a Will, you create a legal document that becomes binding after your death.  It obliges specified people to perform certain tasks in collecting in and distributing your estate and ensures that your wishes are carried out.

There is no legal obligation to make a Will; it is purely a matter of choice. The important thing is that a Will gives you a voice in the distribution of your estate as it allows you to choose who receives your assets. It also allows you to name your executor and/or a guardian for any infant children.

It is possible to do your own Will, however having Mornington Legal and Conveyancing Pty Ltd prepare your Will gives peace of mind that the Will is valid and is not going to cause your family unnecessary concern or trouble after your death.

At some point, everybody considers making a Will to protect their families, and to ensure a fair distribution of their assets.  Without the professional hand of a solicitor preparing the Will, something may be done or forgotten which can affect the Will’s validity.

You can have “peace of mind” and confidence that your wishes will be carried out in accordance with your Will.

A matter of choice

Most people choose to leave their assets to their spouse and children or in a similar manner. Consequently, Mornington Legal and Conveyancing Pty Ltd have developed a number of standard wills which our staff can modify once the exact requirements of our clients are known.  Mornington Legal and Conveyancing Pty Ltd have produced this brochure to enable our clients to have time to think about a number of matters which ought to be considered before giving instructions for the preparation of a Will.

Fixed Price

For the preparation of Wills in this standard manner, Mornington Legal and Conveyancing Pty Ltd are able to offer a low fixed price, however for more complex Wills prices may of course vary.  We will always be able to quote you a price once we know the extent of the work involved having seen you and having taken your instructions if your circumstances warrant more than a standard will.

Appointment of Executors & Trustees

The duties of executors and trustees are different but usually the same person or

persons are appointed to each position.

Any adult person, including a beneficiary, can act as an executor and trustee, even your spouse, a friend or a solicitor. It is possible and to appoint two or more people to act jointly as executors, however, before appointing someone, it should be established that they are competent, trustworthy and prepared to accept the task.

Appointment of Guardian

Where the Will-maker has infant children it is a good idea to appoint a person to be the Guardian of those children. The Guardian may also be the Executor and Trustee either alone or jointly.

What Assets do I have?

“Assets” can mean many things. There are, as far as wills are concerned really two types of assets – those which are capable of being dealt with in a will known as “Estate Assets”, and those that are not,  being “Non Estate Assets”.

An example of a non-estate asset is any property jointly owned. For example, a jointly owned home, on the death of one of the joint proprietors passes to the surviving owner outside of any will. Thus you cannot deal with jointly owned property in your will, but this does not mean you needn’t have a will as you may wish to determine what is to happen after the death of the surviving joint owner, and this is where a will is necessary.

It is not necessary, indeed it is unwise, to list all your assets in your Will except for specific “bequests” which are actual items or sums of money left to named people.

This is because over time people tend to acquire and dispose of assets, and if all the assets were named, a new Will would need to be made every time an item of property was bought or sold.

The bulk of your estate should be allocated to the beneficiaries by way of shares or percentage of the estate.

Marriage & Divorce

Marriage makes a Will invalid unless it is expressed to be in contemplation of marriage. However, divorce or separation does not alter a Will’s validity. Thus if you have separated or are divorced from your spouse it is vital that a new will be made.

Special funeral or other arrangements

If you wish to be buried or cremated or have your remains dealt with in a particular way, these arrangements may be specified in the Will.

You may desire to have a wake or set aside some money for a particular purpose.  If so, this can also be written into the Will.


Where the Will-maker is under any disability such as an inability to read or write English or an inability to sign his or her name due to sickness or injury, a valid Will can still be prepared and executed but it is vital that this be done by a qualified person. Once again Mornington Legal and Conveyancing Pty Ltd can help.


Often people put off making a will and think that there will be plenty of time to make a will later on. Too often we see tragic situations where a would be will maker has failed to get around to making a will, only to be left in the situation that by the time it is needed, the would be will maker no longer has the legal capacity to execute a will through illness or injury.

We advise everyone over the age of 18 years, married, single or whatever to have a validly executed will.


Once made, the Will should be kept in a safe, secure place such as the Solicitor’s strongroom or your bank. It should be accessible only to yourself but your Executor should be told where the Will is kept.

Help at hand:

Remember, if you are in any doubt at all please speak with one of our qualified staff who will be pleased to assist you.

Our commitment to you:

We will provide a fixed cost complete service, which is cost effective and efficient.

We will ensure that your will is completed with the minimum of fuss.

Where appropriate, other related matters are also completed efficiently.

This article was written by , and published within the category: Articles.

You can also find further information in our: Children and Family Law - Frequently Asked Questions, Children and Family Law, Family Law Property - Frequently Asked Questions, Family Law Property, Child Support, Divorce, Purchasing Property, Selling Property, Subdivisions, Business Sales and Acquisition, Building And Planning, Small Business, Debt Recovery, Leases and Agreements, Power of Attorney, Wills and Estates Planning, Probate and Guardianship sections.

If you require advice, assistance or guidance, in any legal matter, please call today on (03) 59757611 or Enquire Online.