Identifying the Best Type of Will to Use for Your Estate

Having a will is an important way of ensuring that your estate is divided to beneficiaries in the exact way that you desire. There are several types of wills that can be written, each having a specific purpose.

Before you begin to write a will for your estate, it's a good idea to explore the different types of wills that are available so you can select the right template to work with. The different options available can affect how your estate will be handled after you pass on.

The statutory will

Statutory wills are perhaps the most common type of wills. They're suited for relatively small estates that are simple to handle for both the owner and the enforcer of the will. Different states in Australia will have varying requirements for statutory wills.

It's a good idea to seek the assistance of a solicitor when preparing a statutory will to ensure that you follow all required legal guidelines. These wills are typically easier to write than other types, and the process is often straightforward.

Living wills

Most wills are primarily written for the purpose of handling and distributing one's estate after they pass away. However, living wills take a different turn. Rather than dealing with one's estate, a living will is designed to prescribe certain medical treatment that you should receive should you become unable to communicate your desires as a result of an illness or impairment.

Some people may have specific preferences when they become terminally ill or permanently impaired. For example, they may not desire to be resuscitated if they experience breathing failure, or they may not want to be hooked up to life support machines. Living wills are required to have adequate clarity and detail of such medical wishes.

Joint wills

Joint wills are prepared by two parties who desire an interest to transfer their estate to each other upon passing. How it works is that two parties write the will together, and the first person to pass away leaves their estate for the other party.

Any changes to a joint will require that both parties participate in the alteration, meaning that the will is irrevocable when one party passes away.

Conditional wills

Conditional wills are written to mature only if a certain set of conditions are met. For example, a person may specify that beneficiaries will receive a portion of their property before or after they have reached a certain age. One can also specify conditions of death under which the will can mature. If the conditions are not met, the will is typically determined to be null and void.

Speak to a solicitor in your area to learn more about these types of wills.