5 common mistakes to avoid when creating a will

Creating a will is the best way to ensure your affairs are in order when the time comes. 

Here are a few common mistakes to be aware of if you are in the process of creating or updating your will.

Procrastinating until it is too late

The biggest mistake you can make is not creating a will. Thinking about your end of life affairs may be something that you are procrastinating about, but without a will in place, you will be leaving your loved ones with additional stress. No matter how old you are, having a plan in place is the best way to make life easier for your nearest and dearest.

Forgetting to update your will after marriage, divorce or separation

Getting married or divorced will revoke or change the effect of your will so if you are recently married or divorced, or you are about to be, you need to make sure you review your will. You may also wish to consider updating your super beneficiaries, any powers of attorney you have appointed and any other legal documents. Also be aware that if you separate from your spouse but have not yet divorced, then your current will remains valid, so you need to review your will as it may no longer reflect your wishes.  


Not properly dealing with superannuation

Many people believe that their superannuation can be given away in their will, however, if you wish to make sure that your superannuation ends up with your spouse or children or other beneficiaries, then you need to have a valid binding beneficiary nomination in place. Specific superannuation rules and taxation consequences come into play here, so the advice is recommended. Given that superannuation is often one of your largest assets (and often comes with a big chunk of life insurance) it is vital to get this right.


Choosing the wrong executor

Choosing the right executor is important for ensuring that your assets are collected and distributed in accordance with your will in a timely and efficient manner. Your executor is the person nominated in a will to administer an estate when you pass away. They will be responsible for locating the will, notifying beneficiaries and acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries involved. When appointing your executor, choose someone trustworthy who has the ability to manage your affairs carefully, without causing additional stress on anyone else involved in the process.


Forgetting to inform your family of your will

Your will may be useless if your loved ones aren’t able to find it. It may seem simple but it is an important final step to ensure that everything is taken care of. Keep your will in a secure place and inform your family as to where they can locate it when the time comes.


Need to update or create your will?

If you need to create or update a will, the team at APS Wills & Estates can support you every step of the way. 

Learn more about APS Wills & Estates

*written by APS Wills & Estates Principal Lawyer Phillip Lambourne

Phil is a lawyer with over 35 years of experience in private practice and over 25 years of experience in the trusts and estate planning area. As Principal Lawyer with APS Wills & Estates, Phil provides advice and prepares documentation in the areas of Wills, Powers of Attorney, Probate and Estate Administration for clients across Australia. He also provides clients with conveyancing and property law, commercial law and state tax advice services. 

When Phil isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with family, reading new books, and watching new shows with some good scotch whisky, red wine and cheese. Phil also enjoys playing trombone in the Melbourne Lawyers Big Band!

Get in touch with Phil to discuss your will