Making a Will is the only way you can ensure that when you die, your estate will be distributed according to your wishes.
If you die without a Will, no one knows who you wanted as your beneficiaries. Your assets will be distributed according to a formula set by legislation. This means that certain relatives will receive a defined percentage of your assets, despite what you may have wished.
Dying without a Will is called dying intestate.
NSW Trustee & Guardian is the largest Will maker in NSW. If you'd like them to prepare your Will, you can begin the process, online. After you’ve filled out and submitted the online form, they’ll contact you, and you can arrange a time to visit them and finalise the Will.
- unless married, you must be over 18 years old
- you must have ‘testamentary capacity’ which means you:
- know the legal effect of a Will
- are aware of the extent of your assets
- are aware of the people who would normally be expected to benefit from your estate
- must not be prevented by reason of mental illness or impairment from reaching rational decisions as to who is to benefit from your Will.
Note: Will preparation services are provided free for people who are eligible for a full Centrelink age pension. This includes those receiving other government benefits, such as a Department of Veterans' Affairs pension, who would otherwise be eligible for a full Centrelink age pension.
What you need
- a list of your assets such as property, bank accounts, superannuation and investments
- the names and addresses of your beneficiaries (the people who’ll receive your assets)
- if you have children under the age of 18, the name/s of whomever you'd like to appoint as their guardian(s)
- specific gifts you wish to make to particular people or organisations, such as personal items or sums of money
- the details of your funeral if you have a pre-paid arrangement
- a responsible and competent executor. The role of executor includes collecting the estate assets, paying debts, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will. You can choose a friend or relative, or appoint an independent trustee organisation like NSW Trustee & Guardian.
How to get started
- Check the eligibility requirements.
- Select the 'Get started' button.
- View your options.
- Select the relevant 'Book now' button and complete the online form.
- NSW Trustee & Guardian will contact you to organise an appointment time.
Note: Video conference options are available if you cannot make the appointment in person.
If you don’t wish to start your Will online, you can:
- The fees and charges of NSW Trustee & Guardian are set by the NSW Government.
- Life circumstances change, so it's advisable to regularly review your Will to ensure that it accurately reflects your current wishes.
- A Will must be signed by the person making the Will, and witnessed by 2 or more witnesses.
- Beneficiaries should not be witnesses as it may cancel out their entitlement.
- You can appoint NSW Trustee & Guardian as an independent and professional executor of your Will, and/or they can take over the task if requested.
- NSW Trustee & Guardian will ensure areas covered by testamentary capacity are addressed when drafting your Will, and will provide impartial witnesses.
- For end of life information and resources, visit Life events – Planning for end of life.