Facts About Wills

Some Interesting Facts About Wills

  • Each State or Territory has different rules in regard to making Wills.

  • All Wills must be witnessed by at least 2 adult witnesses.

  • In some States it no longer matters if a beneficiary under a Will is also a witness to the Will, but in others this could result in the beneficiary losing his or her Will entitlement.

  • In some States the witnesses do not have to sign the Will in each other’s presence, but in others they do.

  • Marriage (and, in some cases now, entering into a registered relationship) generally revokes a Will, unless the Will is made in contemplation of marriage.

  • Divorce (or, in some cases now, ending a registered relationship) does not (except in WA) revoke a Will, however the Will is read as if the divorced spouse had died before the Will maker.

  • Separation has no effect on a Will, even if the Will continues to benefit a separated spouse.

  • Having the Will maker and witnesses use different pens will not actually invalidate the Will, however it will make it more difficult and more costly when it comes to proving the Will.

  • All States and Territories have specific legislative provisions covering:

    • Rectification of a Will (where there is some obvious error),

    • Informal Wills (documents that do not comply with the relevant Will making rules),

    • Statutory Wills (Wills made by the Court for persons who do not have legal capacity - e.g. the disabled).

  • In some places you can make an oral (unwritten) Will if you are a member of the Australian Defence Force on active duty.