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, which 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.
Note: Pensioners over 65 may be able to access this service for free if they meet certain eligibility criteria.
What you'll 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
- Select the 'Get started' button.
- Complete the online form.
- Select ‘Submit’.
- Within 24 hours (Monday to Friday during business hours), NSW Trustee & Guardian will contact you to organise an interview time.
If you don’t wish to start your Will online, you can:
- 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.
To be eligible for a free Will preparation service, in addition to testamentary capacity, you need to be over 65 and receiving one of the following:
- a full Centrelink Age Pension
- a social security age pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, or
- a government benefit equivalent to either of the above.
Things to keep in mind...
- 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.
- The fees and charges of NSW Trustee & Guardian are set by the NSW Government.