We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
You can ensure that your loved ones and family members are suitably provided for after you pass away by creating a legally valid will.
A wills lawyer can help you write your will to protect the transfer of your assets to your loved ones from legal complications, inheritance disputes and unnecessary taxation.
Where can I find a wills lawyer online?
Does your company belong in this list?
What's in this guide?
- Where can I find a wills lawyer online?
- What is a wills lawyer?
- When should I use a wills lawyer?
- Inheritance dispute lawyer vs wills lawyer
- What does a wills lawyer typically include and not include?
- How effective is a wills lawyer?
- Do I need a wills lawyer for my will in Australia?
- Where to get free lawyer quotes and legal services online
What is a wills lawyer?
A wills lawyer can help you create a legally valid document that states who will receive your assets and possessions after you die. They can advise you on how you can leave adequate financial support for your loved ones.
This type of lawyer can also assist you in minimising the chances of family disputes caused by your will. Ownership of assets in your estate after your passing can be contested by anyone who:
- Feels legally entitled to them
- Believes you didn't have the mental capacity to write your will
- Thinks you were directly influenced or coerced by people when creating your will
- Can argue that your will is incomplete or doesn't cover all your assets.
So, a wills lawyer can defend and settle dispute claims against your will after you die.
When should I use a wills lawyer?
You should consider a wills lawyer when you're preparing your will. They'll help you maximise your chances of your estate being passed to your chosen beneficiaries in the way you want.
A wills lawyer will ensure that you distribute your assets fairly, in a way that won't be successfully contested. A wills lawyer will explain your reasonings and intentions behind allocating certain assets to certain beneficiaries when defending your will.
You should also consult a wills lawyer if you are unsure of the size of your estate and the financial implications of passing it on. A wills lawyer can help you with your estate planning to ensure that the value of your assets is preserved after you pass.
Instead of a wills lawyer, you might consult a probate lawyer if you have become an executor to a will and don't know what to do.
Inheritance dispute lawyer vs wills lawyer
An inheritance dispute lawyer challenges the validity of wills. They consider your chances of a successful inheritance dispute claim and advise on whether your claim is worth pursuing. This type of lawyer will help you reach a realistic inheritance dispute settlement, either amicably or through formal mediation. An inheritance dispute lawyer will also represent you in court if the claim escalates past formal mediation, although most don't.
On the other hand, a wills lawyer helps to defend a will. A wills lawyer attempts to settle inheritance dispute claims out of court and represents the deceased and the will's named beneficiaries.
What does a wills lawyer typically include and not include?
Getting a wills lawyer will involve you having a discussion about your financial and general life circumstances with a wills lawyer.
Keep in mind that a wills lawyer can't help you pass on certain assets to your loved ones. Your will can only include assets that you own personally and exclusively.
What does a wills lawyer service include?
- Australian state-specific will and inheritance knowledge and experience
- Assessment of the scope and size of your estate
- Advice regarding how much to leave to your loved ones to provide for them adequately
- Writing of a legally valid will
- Advice regarding the financially efficient transfer of your wealth
- Reduced risk of inheritance disputes
- Defence against inheritance dispute claims.
What does a wills lawyer service not include?
A wills lawyer usually can't help you pass on:
- Assets held in a superannuation fund (work pension). Your company pension generally goes to your spouse, civil partner or dependent children. Your superannuation fund can't be covered by your will because you don't own it directly. Your pension assets are held in a trust for you, which is owned by the trust's trustee and is governed by superannuation law.
- Assets held in a discretionary trust (family trust). Assets held in a family trust which you benefit from when you're alive don't become part of your estate when you die.
- Assets held in a unit trust (fixed trust). You can't directly pass on the assets held within a fixed trust, but you can pass on your share of the trust along with the benefits that come with that.
- Assets owned by a company that you control. You can't directly pass on the assets owned by a company that you have shares in, but you can pass on your shares.
- Life insurance proceeds. Money from your life insurance policy will be paid directly to the beneficiary that you nominated. The money doesn't become part of your estate.
Read more about family trusts here.
How effective is a wills lawyer?
Wills lawyers have state-specific will and inheritance knowledge and experience. They can help you write a will that will give you the best possible chances of you passing your estate following your wishes.
In the event of a challenge to your will, a wills lawyer is typically able to settle the dispute out of court on your behalf.
Do I need a wills lawyer for my will in Australia?
A wills lawyer is not required to write a will in Australia. However, it's generally recommended that you use one. Without help from a suitable legal professional, your estate may not be passed on in accordance with your wishes specified in your will.
Your will may not be legally valid if you try to write it yourself. You may:
- Include assets that can't legally be passed on using a will
- Pass on assets in tax-inefficient ways, reducing the value of your estate
- Exclude some of your assets accidentally, leaving an incomplete will
- Distribute assets in unfair ways, exposing your assets to inheritance dispute claims.
Where to get free lawyer quotes and legal services online
- Lawpath. Lawpath has a directory of many wills lawyers who offer free quotes.
- LegalVision. LegalVision offers a wills lawyer free quote which you can get by completing the form on their website.
- Turnbull Hill Lawyers. You can contact Turnbull Hill Lawyers using the form on their website, and they will get back to you within 24 hours, during business hours. Alternatively, call them for free.
- Heckenberg Lawyers. Heckenberg Lawyers offers a free case assessment relating to will creation and estate planning, will disputes and probate.
- Maurice Blackburn. Maurice Blackburn offers a wills lawyer free quote. You can call them for free to find out where you stand.
- Slater and Gordon. Slater and Gordon offers a free 15-minute consultation related to your will situation.
Ask an Expert