What to bring to your Will appointment

Making an appointment to have a Will drawn up by a lawyer is one of the first steps to getting your affairs in order for after you pass on. So what sort of preparation is needed and what should you bring to the first appointment?

You will need to bring your ID in the form of a Driver’s Licence, Proof of Age Card or Passport;

If you are updating your Will, please bring a copy of your current Will; 

Consider whom you wish to be your executors. The executors will be the people to administer your estate when you pass. It is recommended that you have more than one person appointed in this role in case your first choice is not available for whatever reason. You will need to have the following information about them ready for the appointment: 

  • Full legal name as it appears on their identification documents,
  • Their relationship to you,
  • Address,
  • Occupation,
  • Phone number. 

Prepare a list of your current assets and note the value or estimated value of each asset. Also make a note of how you hold the asset. For example in your sole name or jointly with another person, and if it is real property held with another person, whether it is as joint tenants or tenants in common. Some assets that you may hold include:

  • Real property (including investment properties)
  • Bank accounts
  • Vehicles including cars, caravans, boats and motorbikes
  • Shares or other investments
  • Superannuation Benefit if your estate has been nominated as beneficiary
  • Insurances
  • Businesses
  • Personal effects (furniture, jewellery, clothing and other personal adornments)

If you own a business or are directors of a business, please have the following information handy:

  • The registered name of your business and other identifying details of your business eg ABN/CAN
  • The address of your business
  • The nature of your business
  • The type of business structure (eg sole trader, partnership, company etc)
  • The names of other directors/owners if applicable
  • The major assets of your business and the value of them

Are you the trustee or beneficiary of any trusts? What is the trust’s name and do you know what type of trust or have a copy of the trust deed?

Prepare a list of your liabilities such as mortgages, other bank loans and personal loans. To whom are they owed and how much is still owing?

Consider who you wish to be the beneficiary(ies) of your estate. You will need to have the following information about your beneficiaries ready for the appointment:

  • Full legal name as it appears on their identification documents
  • Date of Birth
  •  Address
  •  Relationship to you
  • Phone number

If you have a large family, you may wish to bring a family tree.

Do you have minor children? If yes, whom would you like to appoint as their testamentary guardian, that is, the person who will be responsible for taking care of your minor children during their minority if their other parent cannot take care of them? You will need to have the following information about them ready for the appointment:

  • Full legal name as it appears on their identification documents
  • Their relationship to you and by extension your child/children
  •  Address
  • Occupation
  • Date of Birth
  • Phone number

Have you been in a previous marriage or de facto relationship? If yes, you should also have their full legal name ready for the appointment.

It is important that we have the personal details of people mentioned in your Will for identification and possibly location purposes. While not all of these details will appear in your Will, they can be noted on the file and be available if needed in the future. Their personal information is also important if you wish to draw up other estate planning documents such as a Power of Attorney or Advanced care Directive at your Will appointment. This is because these documents require specific personal details of the people you wish to appoint as your financial or medical decision makers.

At Hume Taylor & Co, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to estate planning and can provide you with personalised quality advice. Book an appointment to see one of our firm’s estate lawyers today on (08) 8223 3199.

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