How much will it cost to update your will?

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Marcia wants to update her will and has asked estate planning expert Rod Cunich how much it will cost to make a few minor amendments.

Q. Marcia
I want to know if updating my will from over 25 years ago is a costly exercise. I just want to make a few amendments.

A. The cost of making a will varies greatly, as can the cost of updating a will. Generally, the cost increases with the complexity of your financial and family affairs. Some Public Trustees will not charge to prepare or update your will, but only if they act as the executor of your will. Other Public Trustees may only exempt you from charges if you are a pensioner or aged over 60. Check with the Public Trustee in your state or territory. 

As a general rule, if your affairs are simple, an inexpensive will (under $200) can often be sufficient. If you have a mix of companies, trusts, self-managed superannuation fund and/or a business structure and/or you have a blended family, disabled child or other family complications, your needs are likely to require a much more expensive solution, not just a simple will.

The costs can run into thousands of dollars. The only way to be certain about what it is likely to cost you, is to take advantage of offers by lawyers who invite people to a free no-obligation first consultation. By the end of that consultation, you should know the cost you are facing without having incurred any fees.

Disclaimer: This information has been provided by Rod Cunich and should be considered general in nature. Seek legal advice before acting on this information.

Rod Cunich is a lawyer with over 30 years of experience who specialises in estate planning. If you have a question for Rod, simply email it to [email protected]

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3 Comments

Total Comments: 3
  1. 0
    0

    I’d suggest you stay well away from the Public trustee.

  2. 0
    0

    The Public Trustee is a state government organisation. Each state is different in its fees and charges. They will draw up a will and often deal with matters where there is no will or no living relatives. However, there are other private (commercial) trustee companies which you can use. You should check out the fees and charges of all these organisations before you use their services or nominate them as executors (or joint executors). The main advantage I see in using one of these companies is when you have no person who would be willing or able to be your executor – or where your will is too complicated for the average person. You could also use a private solicitor (preferably one who specialises in wills and estates) to draw up your will. The costs vary considerably between all of these. Keep in mind that they will all charge for phone calls, letters, emails, investigations etc etc. – unless they have a set fee for a particular service.


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