This blog is part of a series on the practical considerations and issues associated with writing a will. Where better to begin than at the start.
The first component of the will is generally referred to as the “heading, commencement and testimonium”.
The purpose of this component is to state that you as the person making the will are authenticating that the document is in fact your will.
It is obviously important to ensure that the document makes clear that you are expressing your “testamentary” wishes meaning relating to or bequeathed or appointed through a will. The inclusion of the word “Will” in this context is obviously helpful and most will drafters commence with the words “THIS WILL is made by me..” followed by your personal particulars.
In some wills the date is placed at the beginning however there is a danger with this approach. As the signatures occur at the end of the will, if the date is written at the start it can be overlooked. It is therefore more common for the date of execution to be inserted at the end of the will just above the section where the testator and the witnesses sign.
The commencement may need to be altered in circumstances where the testator has property in Australia and also in another country. One option is for the inclusion of specific provisions to establish an “Australian Will” and an “Overseas Will“. There are a range of potential advantages with this approach including avoiding the costs of transferring assets between jurisdictions, taxation considerations, and issues concerning obtaining probate of the original will in one country and then in the other because both countries would like to retain the original – there is of course only one original will.
As you will see through this series there are a range of tricks and traps which are important to ensure are addressed – they can be as simple as those in the heading section to the will. It is essential that you obtain advice which is tailored to your circumstances.
If you require assistance or further information in relation to wills please contact us on 8523 8400 (Gawler), 8523 8444 (Tanunda) or 8211 6500 (Adelaide) to arrange an appointment for an initial no obligation consultation. Alternatively, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.rudalls.com.au.