Affordable Wills Brisbane and Queensland
A Will drafted by an experienced lawyer, not a Paralegal or Legal Secretary
Complimentary Risk Assessment (by a will dispute lawyer)
No expensive surprises. $299 Standard Will for 1 person ($399 for couples)
Our Simple Will Making Process
1. (Free) Initial Consultation
Conference in person or by telephone to understand your circumstances, needs and risks. We'll confirm our $299 simple will service is suitable or explain your risks which may require a more complex will. Fixed fee quote.
2. Solicitor Drafts the Will
You pay the fixed fees and we'll prepare your will. Your will is drafted by a lawyer, not a paralegal or legal secretary.
3. Review & Witness
Together we review and explain the will to you. We'll ensure everything is signed and witnessed correctly (a common mistake which can result in an invalid will). We execute wills in our Milton office or can visit you on Brisbane northside or southside.
Frequently Asked Wills Questions
Making a Will in Queensland involves a declaration in writing recording how your property will be distributed after your death. A Will allows you to leave your assets and possessions to who you wish (these will be your "beneficiaries"). You may also decide who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes by collecting assets, paying debts and distributing property (your "Executor").
If a person dies without a Will in Queensland, their property is distributed according to Queensland law referred to as the Intestacy Provisions. If you have no surviving family, your estate passes to the State (i.e. government). Surely you can think of a worthy charity you would rather benefit?
When you pass away, the person or trustee company you have chosen to be your Executor applies to the Supreme Court of Queensland for a Grant of Probate. The purpose of probate is to prove the Will filed in Court is real and valid so your Executor may legally distribute your property.
For parents of children younger than 18, a Will is essential you may appoint a guardian of your children. If something happens to you and you don't have a Will, a guardian will be appointed by order of the the Family Court. This creates additional uncertainty and stress for the child and family during an already difficult time.
Most of our clients in Brisbane only require a simple will which costs $299. Some factors which mean you may require estate planning advice include:-
- if you have been divorced (whether or not binding financial agreements or a maintenance order is in effect);
- if you have estranged children or children with another partner;
- if you wish to allow someone to reside in your property for life; or
- if you wish to leave a spouse out of your will.
If any of these factors apply, you may need special clauses, testamentary trusts or other estate planning strategies to ensure your wishes are carried into effect and to avoid a will dispute.
Before we commence work, we’ll give you a quote to investigate and implement these recommendations. You can decide to proceed with a simple will (accepting the risk of a contested will) or to implement strategies to reduce the risk of dispute. Either way, you’ll get the legal opinion about how to plan right from a solicitor who helps families pick up the pieces when things go wrong.
Yes, unless you feel comfortable with the idea of your money being wasted on administration fees. It’s a common misconception that if you don’t own a house, you don’t need one. In reality, people who have between $10,000 - $250,000 of assets get more value from having one than anyone else because a valid will can unlock access to assets - often without probate. Most financial institutions distribute assets below a threshold to an executor without a grant of probate. If no will exists, the complicated intestacy rules in Qld govern who gets your estate and who can apply. Usually a lawyer is required to obtain letters of administration on intestacy, an expense that can often be spared with simple planning.
Case Study: John doesn’t think he needs a will because his only asset is $20,000 AfterPay (ASX:APT) shares he purchased after recently gaining early access to his superannuation. John passes away unexpectedly without a will. John’s family must pay the $5k funeral from their own funds. John’s shares could have been released upon providing a certified copy of the will. As none exists, his family must pay to apply for letters of administration. To make matters worse there’s disagreement about who should apply - John’s girlfriend of two (2) years or his parents - and who will receive the AfterPay shares.
For complete peace of mind we offer full service packages which give you control over matters when you don't have capacity to give instructions. These include these classes of essential legal documents:-
- (Enduring) Power of Attorney;
- Advance Health Directive; and
- a Binding Death Nomination.
Used in conjunction with your will, these documents can be used to let someone you trust make certain decisions if you are overseas or incapacitated, record your health care preferences and help ensure your superannuation actually goes to the people you care about. For more information about your options read our guide to estate planning in Brisbane and Queensland.
If you're going through a separation, you should update your will immediately. While Qld law does revoke provisions from a will in favour of a former spouse, this only comes into effect once your divorce is finalised. If something happens to you before then, your loved ones may litigation and delay, or miss out entirely.
Do you own property with a spouse as joint tenants? If you die, your interest passes to the surviving joint tenant (i.e. the partner you are separating from). You should consider severing the tenancy as soon as possible.
Case Study: Craig and Annie married in 2012 and in 2014 have triplets, Sean, Tim and Roisin. In 2018, Annie discovers Craig, a pilot, has a secret family in NSW. Upset, she kicks Craig out and calls her solicitor to divorce Craig. A year of separation rolls by and the family law litigation rumbles on from negotiating interim child orders to attending mediation without resolution or binding financial agreement. Craig doesn't want child custody as he is too busy with his job and new family. Annie passes away suddenly from an diagnosed condition before the divorce is finalised. Annie didn't have a chance to make a new will, so the one she made in 2012 is her last will. It names Craig as sole executor, beneficiary and guardian. If Craig retains a solicitor to help him through the estate administration process, one of the first orders of business is to reconcile his conflict of interest as sole beneficiary, executor (bound to uphold the will) and his children's guardian. If Annie had made a will after the separation leaving her estate to her children and appointing another guardian and executor, a significant deal of angst and litigation could have been avoided.
Why a Will Kit Won't Cut It
Don’t get us wrong, Wills and Estate Lawyers love will kits. Like dentists love sugar. They really keep us in business with all the will disputes they’re at the heart of. It’s just we help clients contest wills every day. All too often it’s a will kit because there’s a lot of things which can go wrong.
1. Not Personalised
Mass-produced generic products are a great way to save money. Why buy fancy milk when you can buy it for $1/L? However, the usefulness of a generic product deteriorates as matters become more complex. A template document won't cover businesses, investments, blended families or estranged children.
2. Too Much Work
Remember those instruction manuals which come with your TVs? You know, the ones you toss away immediately. Well a will kit comes with one of those which you really need to read thoroughly to ensure you make a valid will. A Will kit may be legal in Australia, provided you complete it correctly, they often go very wrong.
The unfortunate reality is families only discover their well-intended document doesn't hold up in Court when they visit a solicitor to prepare for probate, or when their application is requisitioned by the Court. Bank accounts can be tied up for months and family lawyers need to be retained to arrange guardianship of children.
4. Not Future-Proof
A carefully drafted will can last for years any need to change it. With considered planning for your future needs, you can avoid common pitfalls which necessitate drafting a new document or worse, result in an invalid document.