Creating a will when you have a complex situation can be daunting and often confusing. Whether it be a previous marriage or shared assets, it is hard to know where to start to ensure you’re doing everything by the book. Creating a will via Victoria’s State Trustee was “a straightforward and rewarding process” despite quite a few complexities with my situation.
I own a property north-west of Melbourne’s CBD and around four years ago, I sold a portion of the property’s equity to one of my two daughters. This gave myself and my new partner the opportunity to build a separate dwelling at the back of the home, where we now live.
It was during this time I really recognised and truly considered my need for a will. I knew I needed to be fair to both daughters and my partner when it came to my assets after I died, but I wasn’t sure of the best way to go about it, especially because the title for the house had not yet been clarified.
Having worked in aged care for many years, I knew of the State Trustees and had heard of their reputation — especially for being trustworthy and fair. I didn’t hesitate when it came to booking an appointment with them. I was given online and face-to-face options and all instructions for the appointment were made incredibly clear.
The professional who I saw was a patient and careful listener. He noted every small detail and word I said. He asked ‘hard’ questions, in the sense that they made me consider things that I would not have thought about without his prompts.
I had two appointments with State Trustees. The first was an initial consultation and I left it really understanding all the elements my will would need to address in order to achieve the ends I wanted. I had ‘homework’ to do regarding finalising property transfers.
By the time of my second consultation, I was ready to finalise my will. I felt by this stage that I really understood all aspects of my will and that the best solution for my situation had been achieved. During this process I also made the decision to register my will at the Victorian Will and Powers of Attorney Registry, which was also facilitated by the State Trustees.
I have of course informed my family of my decision to write a will, but I wanted to make sure that when I die my will is accessible and easily found by my loved ones.
Overall, I am truly thankful for my experience with State Trustees — it was a very positive experience. I felt respected throughout the process. At every step, the primary consideration was to be sure I understood every aspect of the document being developed and that it exactly reflected my wishes. I never once felt rushed or misunderstood in the process; the professionalism was impressive.
You can find out more about the State or Public Trustee in your state or territory at the following websites: