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Should a lawyer prepare the will?

There is no legal requirement that a lawyer must prepare a will. However, it is best to have someone with legal knowledge, such as a lawyer, the Public Trustee or a private trustee company, to make a will. Some trustee companies make wills free of charge while others charge a fee. All trustees may, if they wish, charge a commission to administer the estate if appointed executor. A lawyer's charges will depend on how long it takes to prepare the will. The more complex a will is, the more expensive it will be.

When choosing whether to use a lawyer, who charges at the time of making the will, or a trustee company which may have no charge for making the will, but charge a commission for the administration of the estate, it is worth being aware of the real cost of the commission method. For information on commissions, see Costs - Public Trustee.

If you want to draw up your own will, take great care to fulfil all the formal requirements for making a will. If you do not, your will may not be valid and you may die intestate or considerably greater expense may be involved in having a court decide what you meant when you wrote your will.

Should a lawyer prepare the will?  :  Last Revised: Fri May 30th 2014
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.