Will Lawyers Melbourne – Wills, Codicils & Estate Planning

At CKL Lawyers our experienced Will Lawyers take a caring approach because every person has different wishes. Planning for your Estate can be one of the most important things you do to protect your family. We give personalised advice and take the time to listen to you and discuss your wishes. 

Wills – Making Your Will – Protecting Your Family

Have our experienced Wills & Estate Planning Lawyers write up your Will.

Why make a Will?
The law is very clear. If you don’t have a Will, when you die, your assets will be divided by a formula in the Administration and Probate Act, and not as you want.

At CKL Lawyers, we spend the time to discuss your Will with you and draw up your Will according to your wishes.

What should I consider when making a Will?

  1. Who do I appoint as my Executor? 
  2. Who do I want to leave my assets to, so that I provide for my children and give specific items to other relatives or friends?
  3. Should I appoint a Guardian if my children are under a specific aged threshold?
  4. Should I appoint a Trustee to administer my estate until all my dependents become of age? 
  5. How can I give to Charity in my Will? 
  6. How the funeral & burial is to be conducted.
  7. Should I have a Testamentary Trust?
  8. Can I provide Life interests in property for certain members of the family, whilst still being able to eventually bequeath the asset to whoever I want? See also our section on Family Law and Marriage Breakup. or information on the consequences of your assets in a new relationship or the breakup of any existing relationship.
  9. You can make unusual bequests such as leaving funds to look after a beloved pet in a particular way, or distributing assets only after certain restrictive actions have been met by the beneficiary. These clauses require careful drafting to ensure that they are not challenged.

As experienced Estate Planning Lawyers in Melbourne, we can draw up a Will to reflect your wishes. It is extremely important to ensure the Will is drawn up in such a way that it can’t be challenged. (link to challenging a Will).

WIll lawyers Melbourne

Codicils – Ask Our Expert Will Lawyers

When can I change my Will using a Codicil instead of making a whole new Will?
There are times when you can make minor changes to your Will by adding a Codicil. As experienced Will Lawyers, we can advise when it is appropriate to make a Codicil.

What is a Codicil?
Making a Codicil is easy and quick. It is an additional legal document that forms part of your current Will and will be used by your Executor.

What minor changes can be done using a Codicil?

  1.  A change of Executor
  2.  A change of Guardian
  3. A wording change in a Testamentary clause
  4. A change of bequest. This is where you can change your mind who you want to give or deny, anyone in your current Will a share of your estate.

If there are many changes that need to be made, our Will Lawyers right here in Melbourne will advise you if it is more appropriate to make a whole new Will.

Afterthought typed on piece of paper

Estate Planning – Ask Our Experienced Wills & Estate Lawyers

Testamentary Trusts


Q. What are Testamentary Trusts and why should I use one in my Will?
  • Testamentary trusts are included in a Will to give a greater level of control over the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
  • Testamentary Trusts can give greater protection to the assets of the estate
  • They can give a tax advantage by reducing the tax paid by the beneficiaries from any income earned by the estate
    They allow the Trustee more flexibility to hold, invest and distribute the assets of the estate.

Therefore using a Testamentary Trust is a very effective tool in estate planning.

For more information see our blog post on Testamentary trust here

Q. What is the difference between a Trust and a Testamentary Trust?

A Trust (Family, Discretionery or Unit Trust) is created while an individual is still alive in order to name the beneficiaries of property and assets they own without needing to apply for probate when they die.

A Testamentary Trust is established when a person has a Will with a Testamentary Trust clause. After the person dies the Trust gives the trustee powers to hold, invest and distribute the assets of the estate.

Q. What are the two types of testamentary trusts?

Discretionary Testamentary Trusts.

In a Discretionary Testamentary Trust the Executor can give a beneficiary the option to take part or all of their inheritance via the testamentary trust. 

A primary beneficiary will have the power to remove and appoint a new trustee, and they can also appoint themselves to manage their inheritance within the trust. 


Protective Testamentary Trusts.

A Beneficiary has no flexibility and must take their inheritance via the trust. 

A Beneficiary does not have the option to appoint or remove trustees. 

A Protective Trust is used when the beneficiary is not responsible to manage their inheritance because of their age, disability, competence or because in the eyes of the Will maker the beneficiary would use their inheritance unwisely, for example, for drug use, gambling or be commandeered by an abusive partner.

Our experienced Estate Planning Lawyers can assist you in setting up a Testamentary Trust.


You may receive a tax relief if the nominated beneficiary under a superannuation fund is interdependent with the deceased.
Whatever your need, we can advise you of the best set of legal documents (Will, Powers of Attorney, Trusts/Company structures) to protect you and your family in the future.

Will Lawyers Melbourne FAQs


Q. Who can I get to be the Executor in my Will?

You can appoint whoever you wish. Typically it is your spouse or life partner, but may be your adult children. A brother or sister may be appointed if you are single. You can appoint your friend to be your Executor , but it is less usual and could be challenged if there are capable adult family members available. If you do not have any trusted family members or friends, an Accountant or Solicitor can set in to be the Executor of your Will.

Q. What does an Executor have to do?

The role of an Executor is to apply for Probate, collect the assets of the estate, pay the liabilities of the estate, and distribute the net balance of the estate as directed in the Will to the beneficiaries. Usually an Executor will engage a Lawyer to undertake the paperwork and make the application to the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Q. What assets should I include in my Will?
  • Property
  • Bank Accounts
  • Superannuation Policies
  • Shares, Debentures, Stock, Units in Trusts
  • Cash
  • Other Valuables such as motor vehicles, caravans, boats, coin collections, art works & jewelry.
Q. What are the Common Challenges to Wills?
  1. Poor drafting of the terms of the Will leaving the meaning unclear
  2. Physical assembly of the Will document not being in accordance with the strict formalities of the Registrar of Probates (the administrative arm of the Supreme Court of Victoria)
  3. Incorrect witnessing of the Will document
  4. Incorrect dating of the Will document
Q. Should I use A Will Kit or go to an Experienced Will Lawyer (Such as CKL Lawyers)?

The use of a “Will Kit” often leads to any or all of the above issues invalidating the Will or creating the environment for a future challenge to the Will. We do highly recommend you go through an experienced and professional Will Lawyer. 

Q. When Should I Review My Will?

If you last reviewed your Will more than five years ago, you may find that your circumstances have changed. Speak to one of our experienced Will Lawyers Melbourne today to ensure that nothing needs to be updated. 

Q. What Changes In My Circumstances Might Make Me Need a New Will?
  1. Birth of Children
  2. Death of a Spouse/Executor/Guardian/ Beneficiary/Business Partner
  3. Serious Illness
  4. Divorce/Separation
  5. Remarriage/De facto Living arrangement
  6. Family Dispute
Q. What is a life interest in a Will?

A Life interest in a Will often sets up the ability for a spouse, especially if it is a second marriage, to live in the property until their death. The Beneficiaries cannot force the person with the life interest to leave or sell the property. After their death, the Trustee will then be able to sell and/or distribute the asset to the Beneficiaries according to the Will.

Q. What does a Trustee do in a Will?

A Trustee has the discretion to hold and  invest the assets of the estate, and to distribute the assets.

Q. Do I Need A Guardian Or Trustee In My Will?

You may want to include in your Will clauses to provide Guardianship of your children, and Trusteeship of assets for the children, life interests for certain members of the family, and the provision for other members of your family.

Ask Our Estate Planning & Will Lawyers today for more information. 

Q. How Can I Help My Executor Administer My Estate?

To help your Executor administer your estate, we suggest you prepare a list of all your assets and their location and advise your Executor where the list can be found.

If you’re not sure how to draft this up or want to ensure it is done correctly, get in touch with our Will Lawyers Melbourne.

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