Your Will is a document that ensures your property and assets are distributed according to your wishes when you die. Making sure you have an up to date and accurate Will in place is important. This is not only for your peace of mind, but so that anyone you are leaving property or assets to knows exactly what you meant for them to receive and so that there are no arguments over property after your death.
There are several types of Wills that you can put in place, and the types of assets and your circumstances will dictate what type of Will you require. The two most common types of Wills are Simple Wills and Complex Wills. As with most other things, something simple will usually be less expensive, and something complex will require more time, expertise and management, and so will generally cost more.
This is a short guide to explain how much it should cost to make a Will, and to explain why some Wills cost more than others. If you would like to know whether you need a Simple or Complex Will you can read more about that here, or you can call us and speak to the professionals at Rose Lawyers on 03 9878 5222.
Questions you need to ask your Will and Estate Lawyer
It is important to ask a few key questions prior to engaging a Will and Estate Lawyer to draft your Will. Legal services can be complex, and the final cost to make a Will depends on the type of Will you are getting, the services you require, and anything unexpected which may arise. That said, even the most complicated of services are straightforward in how they are priced, and your lawyer should give you a clear idea of what you will spend on a Will from the start. Remember, if you do not understand something, ask so that you are clear. Sometimes the price cannot be fixed, but a good lawyer will always give you a range.
Here are some key questions you need to ask:
- Is there a charge for a consultation? Finding the right lawyer is important. Some lawyers offer a free consultation which is a good way to get a feel for their services prior to committing or spending anything.
- How do you cost your services? Two lawyers may give you different estimates for what is essentially the same services. When you ask this question you will get an answer that may help you to decide. For example, one firm may have a lot of experience in drafting Wills, whereas another firm might have less. Experience and skill are just two reasons why prices can differ.
- Could my costs change? Will you let me know if they do? In some cases, circumstances do impact on what you need to spend on a Will. You may have a Complex Will that needs drafting which outlines a number of beneficiaries or trust matters. Cost changes do not always mean an increase.
We are straightforward with what it will cost to make a Will, and while we can’t give you an exact amount without knowing more about your matter, we will always be honest with our fees.
What information does your lawyer need to draft a Will?
When putting together your Will, a good lawyer will be able to go through what is important and will be able to ask questions about things you might not have thought about. The information your lawyer will need depends on what type of assets you have, and how you want to distribute them. When you are drafting your Will you may also want to put together your Power of Attorney and Care Directives. We can help you with this and guide you in making sure your Power of Attorney documents are binding and comprehensive. How much you spend on a Will depends on how complex your matters are, and what type of distribution you want to put in place.
Your lawyer will need to know:
- Do you have straightforward assets and distribution to immediate family?
- Who do you want to leave your assets to?
- Do you have any minor children, and who do you want to look after them if both you and your partner die?
- Do you have a pet – and do you want to make arrangements for them?
- Are there any gifts you want to leave to charities or other organisations?
- Do you have a dependant who is disabled and needs a Disability Trust in place?
- Is there a preference for a Testamentary Trust for your assets?
All of these factors will impact on the complexity and how much you will need to spend on a Will.
How we calculate the cost to make a Will
When we are putting together a Will for you, we will not only be putting in place the directions for how your assets will be distributed, but will be providing information and advice. When you get a low cost Will or a DIY Will kit, you miss out on wealth advice and information on how to distribute wealth in a sensible way. Bear in mind that a Will is just like anything else: you get what you pay for. At Rose Lawyers we provide comprehensive advice and guidance around your Will and make sure that your Will is drafted to avoid any hassles for your beneficiaries. We can advise you on long-term wealth and succession plans where necessary, and can help with advice to protect your beneficiaries in regards to tax and liabilities. You do not get this kind of care and attention with a lower cost Will provider or a DIY kit.
At Rose Lawyers we consider:
- The complexity or simplicity of your Will
- Whether you want a trust established
- If you have a business in place and want to manage this (including a succession plan)
- If you have minor dependants who require care and consideration
- Whether you have been married or partnered previously, and if you have dependants from these relationships
When establishing the cost to make a Will for you, we consider all possible factors and provide you with the most accurate quote possible. If things change in regards to the cost we advise you straight away so that you always know where you stand.
What can change the cost to make a Will?
The cost of your Will can change based on a range of factors, but will usually depend on the level of complexity. Whatever the case is for your circumstances, we can ensure that your Will is correctly written to protect your interests and beneficiaries.
A Will is the legal document you need to ensure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. You do not know what the future holds, which is why it is vital to get your Will in place today. Call us on 03 9878 5222 for a comprehensive discussion with our Will and Estate Lawyers Melbourne.
Julie is an admitted Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Victoria. She has a range of experience in Civil Litigation, Commercial Law, Family Law, Taxation...
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