Wills and Living Wills for Australians

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Online Will Services, End of Life Planning and Government Resources for Australians

Just like many of us around the world, planning for our deaths is complicated and can feel overwhelming. At GYST our mission is to help prepare and protect families by helping them find the resources to complete their wills, succession and end of life plans. What are you waiting for?

Estate Plan Overview for Australians

Laws for estate planning vary from state to state across Australia. For most individuals and families a simple will work well, and online services to get these done are listed below in the article. However, there are several factors that may complicate an estate plan, in which case you should consult with a family law solicitor or attorney.

Top 5 Reasons to Work With a Family Law or Estate Planning Solicitor

  1. Complications with previous marriages, divorce or blended families.
  2. You, your spouse, or children have international citizenship.
  3. You own or have an interest in property in another state.
  4. Your assets exceed a certain amount (a few million usually, but changes each year).
  5. You or your spouse are getting (re)married and could have complications with trusts, property ownership, or guardianship for your minor children.

How do I find a solicitor or attorney?

We recommend Doyle’s Guide as a good place to start. It is an online list of attorneys and barristers throughout Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

“The content within, (Doyle’s List) and the listing of best firms and lawyers is compiled on the back of initial online peer-based surveys as well as extensive telephone and face to face interviews with clients, peers and relevant industry bodies.”

Online Will Service

My Will Online

My Will Online is a membership based online service $89.95 AUS. Site description:

"The majority of people who need a will have simple requirements and our will kit produces a perfectly valid, unambiguous, plain English, legal will across the Australian states and territories. Using a will kit, rather than a solicitor, to prepare your will is inexpensive, fast and straightforward.”

New South Wales Estate Planning Services

New South Wales Estate Planning Services is a popular service for residents of NSW subsided by the government to help you complete your estate plans. NSW Trustee & Guardian charges $330 AUS (including GST) to prepare a will and some discounts apply. Site description:

“The fees NSW Trustee & Guardian charge for administering an estate are set by government and are structured differently to charges a private solicitor makes. This is because NSW Trustee & Guardian operates under different legislation. Overall, it is very difficult to compare NSW Trustee & Guardian's costs with those of a private solicitor. Many solicitors charge on a 'time spent' basis and the amount of time spent will depend on numerous factors, such as the complexity of the estate. Some solicitors charge higher hourly rates than others so the fees charged by one solicitor may be quite different to another.”

End of Life Planning, Living Wills, Advance Directives

Advance Care Planning Australia

Advance Care Planning Australia is a free, non profit site providing helpful information for end of life planning. Site description:

"Advance care planning involves thinking about, discussing with your family and close friends, and possibly documenting what types of health care you may or may not wish to receive - if you become seriously ill and/or unable to speak for yourself.
"We provide you with more detailed information about advance care planning as a process, and how you can complete your own Advance Care Plan. If you have any queries or need further information, refer to the Links, Documents and Resources page or your local Advance Care Planning service, or email us at: acp@austin.org.au”

Australian Living Will Registry

The Australian Living Will Registry is a fee based site, for storing your advance care directives and make them available to health care professionals. Site description:

"The Australian Living Will Registry stores your Living Will (Anticipatory Directive, Advance Health Directive, Medical Proxy etc.) electronically and makes it available to relevant Health Care professionals when you need it most.
"Once registered, you are registered for life, and no further registration process is required. Naturally, you can revoke your living will and registration at any time, as your circumstances may change. The Australian living Will Registry will NOT release your personal information to anyone other than your health care professionals with the correct ID and Password.”

Death over Dinner

Death over Dinner Australia is a inspirational site taking a novel approach to having conversations about the end of our life and providing helpful information, tools and resources. Site description:

“Death Over Dinner (DOD) Death Over Dinner was originally designed in the U.S. by Michael Hebb and Angel Grant to encourage people to have conversations about end of life and End of Life Care at the kitchen table rather than in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), when it’s too late. DOD is an interactive website that encourages conversation to start with family and friends while breaking bread, and well in advance of an accident or an emergency when people are overwhelmed or unable to communicate. DOD gives people the permission to discuss their choices and thoughts on end of life and End of Life Care. It educates people on the value of making decisions about their wishes, and expressing them to their loved ones, by inspiring a series of uplifting and interactive dinners to transform the seemingly difficult conversation about death into an intimate, shared experience. DOD provides a range of tools, reading and support materials, as well as tips to get the conversation started. Dinner party hosts choose the guests and the menu and let the wine and conversations flow.”

Government or Misc Resources

Australia Government is a free site providing helpful information about powers of attorney, wills and living wills in Australia.

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