9 Reasons to Get a Will (From a Lawyer)!

In life, “nothing is as certain as death and taxes”. Getting a Will tailor-fit for your needs allows you to face the inevitable head on. Read to find out the reasons why you need a Will now (and why you need a lawyer to draft it).

* 8 min read *

Have you been thinking a lot lately about writing a Will but do not know where to start?

Congratulations, you have taken the first step just by allowing it to cross your mind! Some people avoid discussing what happens if they die. But you are taking a courageous move by deciding you need to have this vital legal document.

Maybe the demands of your daily life prevent you from prioritizing this legal process. The available information online on how to draft a Will can be quite overwhelming. Getting advice from an estate lawyer is an excellent next step. It is best to leave matters of life and death to the guidance of experts.

If you have assets (no matter how small you think they are), family or friends you care about, or a legacy you want to preserve, you need to get a Will as soon as possible. No one knows what tomorrow brings. Having a Will in place gives you peace of mind that stems from knowing everything will be okay even after you have passed on.

Read on to understand the reasons why getting a Will should be on top of your to-do list.

1. To Leave Your Hard-Earned Assets to People Who Matter to You

If you do not have a Will, you have no say on who gets your assets when you die.  Dying without a Will is called intestacy. It means that there is no formal arrangement on how your properties and assets- your estate, will be distributed. 

Intestacy rules vary by state. Using NSW as an example, under their Succession Act 2006 (NSW), your estate will be divided among your relatives using this legal guideline. 

Intestacy Rules in New South Wales 

DECEASED SURVIVED BY PARTNER: Has Children from Previous Relationships

First $ 350,000 plus personal effects to the partner

Balance is distributed as follows:

  • 50 % to the partner
  • 50% divided equally between the children of previous relationship/s and children of deceased children.

DECEASED SURVIVED BY PARTNER: Has No Children from Previous Relationships

All assets are distributed to the partner

DECEASED HAD NO PARTNER: Survived by Children

Distributed in equal shares to the children and to the children of deceased children.


Assets are inherited in order by:

  • Parents
  • Brothers and Sisters (and children of deceased brothers and sisters)
  • Half Brothers and Sisters
  • Grandparents
  • Aunts and Uncles
  • Cousins
  • Half Aunts and Uncles
  • Government

Your spouse is the first in line to receive your assets. If you have no spouse, the following order of relatives are eligible to inherit:





 *Uncles and Aunts


While it seems to be a fair succession of relatives, it is vital to note that not everyone has an ideal family set-up. If you have a complex family situation or unresolved deep-seated issues, not having a Will results in more complications.

It would be best to consult an estate lawyer for your peace of mind. Knowing that the Will allows you to leave your estate to the right people is a priceless gift that you can give to yourself and your loved ones.

2. To Prevent Your Properties from Ending up with the Government

If you die intestate and do not have the relatives mentioned above, your assets will go to the State (Crown).

It is important to note that the State cannot provide for any dependent of the deceased that would have been included if you made a Will. Anyone who wants to make a claim must apply to the Crown Solicitor.

Not making a Will means you have missed the chance of leaving your hard-earned estate to people or organizations who truly mattered to you.

3. To Stop Your Life Savings from Going Down the Drain.

Research shows that a whopping 52 % or 9.9 million Australians do not have a Will.  One of the reasons people put off preparing a valid Will is their perception that it is costly.

On the contrary, if you fail to get a Will, there are costs such as administrator fees, that can significantly reduce the size of your estate. 

When you die intestate, your family also needs to pay court fees, capital gains tax, and income tax. This will take a huge chunk from your life savings- an amount that could have been enjoyed by your family instead. 

Hiring a lawyer with a fixed fee to prepare a valid will proves to be more economical than paying all the government fees and taxes.

4. To Avoid Added Stress and Drama for Those You Leave Behind

The last thing you want to happen would be for your family members fighting over your estate while mourning for their loss.  Disputes over assets, no matter the size, are common among families.

Not having a Will to assign where assets go leads to disagreements, even among closely-knit families. This dilemma compounds if the deceased has split families or has had different partners throughout his lifetime. 

In New South Wales, for example, if a deceased person without a Will had a de facto spouse and no children, the de facto spouse gets the whole estate. 

The other “eligible” relatives of the deceased, such as the parents, can make a family provision claim if this happens. It is an application to the Supreme Court for a share of the deceased person’s estate.

Disputes such as this may drag on for many months. It can also be very costly and emotionally draining for the family.

You can prevent this real-life drama from happening by hiring a lawyer to prepare a Will for you. Your lawyer will help you express your intentions clearly so you can distribute your assets based on your plan.  A legitimate will significantly reduces the chances of feuds and provision claims.

5. To Leave Your Prized Possessions to their New Rightful Owners

Maybe you have been keeping a diamond ring for your son to give to his future bride. Or, you want your daughter to get all your paintings to hang in her house someday. Perhaps you want friends to receive something special as well.

It is comforting to know that your most valuable treasures, big or small, will go to the person you chose through a valid Will.

You may start the process of creating your Will by listing down your beneficiaries. Having a list ready will make your consultations with your estate lawyer as organised as possible. It ensures that you won’t miss out on anybody or anything.

6. To Know Your Children are in Good Hands

If you are a parent, for sure one of your greatest fears is dying and leaving your children behind. It is a painful reality that all parents need to face.

If you pass on without a Will, the surviving parent usually becomes your child’s legal guardian. However, some circumstances such as incidences of domestic violence or substance abuse by the surviving parent prevent this from happening.

Other close relatives may apply for guardianship. The Family Court will appoint a guardian based on the best interests of your child. But only you know what’s best for your children. The family court's decision may not be an ideal option for your family.

While death is a difficult topic to talk about, it would be best to take the necessary steps in securing a Will for your children's sake. Seek the expert advice of a lawyer to help you put into a legal document who will care for your children when you are gone.

7. To Leave a Legacy to Your Favourite Charity.

You can still support a cause that is close to your heart even after you die. A Will allows you to leave a specific amount of money, or a gift of property, also known as a  bequest, to your chosen charity. 

Getting legal advice is imperative if you want your bequest to be processed appropriately. There are several legal ways to leave money to the charity of your choice. Your lawyer will make sure that the beneficiary is correctly identified and described.

8. To Get the Send-Off that You Want

Do you want to be buried or cremated? Do you want a solemn funeral or a party to celebrate your life?

Remember that a Will isn’t just about assets and properties. It is also about fulfilling your wishes even after you’re gone. You can include in your will detailed instructions on funeral arrangements. Your loved ones will appreciate not having to decide on these details during an emotionally charged moment.

9. To Keep your Business Afloat

Whatever the structure of your business is (company, sole trader, joint venture, or partnership), you need to consider what will happen in case you pass on.

Things might go out of hand if you do not have clear directives on who will take over or what will happen to company shares, among many other considerations.

Getting legal advice suited for this situation will allow your venture to continue. Thus, protecting not only the stakeholders but the employees who rely on the business for survival.


There is no perfect time like now to prioritize making a Will with the help of an estate lawyer.  While it is tempting to use online Will kits, they cannot ensure that all legal issues will be covered. Some vital considerations may include taxation, proper wording, or potential challenges that may crop up in the future.

Only an expert knows the right path to take based on your needs.  If not expertly addressed, these issues may affect the interpretation and execution of your wishes. So, find a lawyer today to get you started with the best legacy you can leave behind, your Will.

Disclaimer: Any advice contained in our articles is general in nature based on information as at the date of publication and should not be acted upon without first obtaining professional advice on your particular circumstances.

Essia Law: Who We Are 

We are an innovative Australian law firm that provides exceptional legal services to businesses and individuals. Our head office is in Sydney yet we operate online, serving clients Australia wide to ensure all Australians can access expert legal advice at fair prices.

Contact us today to speak to one of our experienced lawyers. 

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