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Understanding the basics of wills and estates law


Understanding the basics of wills and estates law

By Chloe Trippick

MAKING a will is an important part of planning for the future.

In Queensland, the rules governing wills and estates are set out in the Succession Act 1981 (Qld). Here are the basics of what you need to know:

Why make a will?  A will is essential for anyone who wants to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes after they die. It also provides clarity and guidance for loved ones during a difficult time.

If you die without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy. This means that they may not be distributed as you would want, and it can also cause unnecessary stress and conflict for loved ones.

What is covered by a will? A will covers the distribution of assets and property, including real estate, personal property, and investments. You can also use a will to name a guardian for minor children or pets, and to make specific bequests to individuals or charities.

To be valid, a will must be in writing, signed by you, and witnessed by two adults who are not beneficiaries. It should be reviewed periodically to ensure that it reflects current wishes and circumstances.

Probate and Estate Administration. When a person dies, their estate must be administered and distributed according to their will or the rules of intestacy. This process is known as probate and estate administration.

In Queensland, the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over these matters. The court will issue a grant of probate to the executor named in the will, or to an administrator if there is no will.

The executor or administrator is responsible for collecting the assets of the estate, paying any debts or taxes owed by the deceased, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the will or according intestacy rules.

Challenges to a will.  In some cases, a will may be challenged by family members or other interested parties. This can happen if someone believes that the will is invalid, or if they feel they have not been adequately provided for in the will.

Challenges can be complex and emotional, and it’s important to seek the advice of a legal professional if you are considering a challenge or if a will is being challenged.

Preparing a will is an essential part of planning for the future, and provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones. If you’re considering making a will, or need assistance with probate or estate administration, it’s important to seek the advice of a legal professional experienced in Queensland wills and estates law.

 Cameron Rogers & Co, 4/61 Burnett Street, Buderim. Call  5445 1213 or email:

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