05 November 2023

Making a Will: 5 Important Factors to Consider

Thinking about death can be a difficult topic and can cause people to put off creating a Will. However, having a Will in place makes the administration of your estate a much easier process and is a great tool to help your family confidently fulfill your wishes.

Creating a Will does not have to be difficult or confusing process. In this article we have outlined the five most important factors to think about when creating a Will.

  1. Trustees and Executors

    The first thing to think about when making a Will should be your executors. They are the people responsible for executing your final wishes and distributing your estate. Your executor is often best to be a person(s) who knows your family well or could even be a professional person such as a lawyer or accountant.

  2. Funeral Wishes

    You may wish to set out specific wishes for your funeral arrangements. For example, you may want to specify if you would prefer to be buried or cremated, where you would like your ashes scattered, and if you would like particular songs played or flowers displayed at your funeral.

  3. Guardianship

    If you have young children, you should consider appointing a guardian within your Will. This person(s) will make key decisions about your child(ren) following your passing (such as where they are to live and go to school), so it’s important they are someone you trust and that they know your children well.

    If there are any conflicts regarding who is to take care of your children, your wishes contained within your Will will be considered in the Family Court when making any decision regarding guardianship.

  4. Specific Gifts

    You may wish to leave specific items to particular people, or even monetary gifts to charity. These gifts may be special sentimental items, family heirlooms, or even your family pet.

  5. Remainder of your Estate (Residue)

    Following payment of any debts you may have, funeral expenses and distribution of your specific gifts, the remainder of your estate is distributed as set out in your Will. It is common for spouses to leave the remainder of their estate to each other and their children. However, if you do not have children, you may wish to pass on any money to your siblings, parents, friends or even charity.  

    Who you wish to leave your estate to is your choice, however, you must consider your obligations to provide for specific family members. Because of these obligations, we recommend you discuss your wishes with a lawyer to avoid any potential claims upon your death.

Seeing a Lawyer  

There are a number of requirements under the Wills Act 2007 for what makes a valid Will. Due to the importance of your Will and the requirements involved, it is highly recommended that you see a lawyer to ensure your Will is drafted correctly and validly executed.

At Saunders Robinson Brown, we have a dedicated Trusts and Estates team who specialise in assisting clients with the creation of Wills. If you would like to talk to a lawyer about preparing a Will or have any questions about this process, please contact the SRB Trusts and Estates team. We would be happy to assist you with all of your estate planning needs.


The above information is of a general nature only. The information in this article does in no way constitute legal advice and all readers should contact a law firm for advice relating to their specific circumstances.

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