Do you need a will to buy a property?

By   |   Verified by Yvonne Taylor   |   Updated 19 Dec 2022

Do I need a will to buy a house?
  • Find out if you need to make a will when you buy a house.
  • Understand why you should consider having a will, regardless of your circumstances.
  • Learn how to get a will drawn up.

Death can be an uncomfortable topic to address. In addition, discussions around assets can be heated, awkward, or both. However, it is essential to stipulate who your estate will go to in specific terms.

If you are already in the process of going for a home loan to purchase a house, you may already feel overwhelmed by paperwork, and the thought of compiling a legally binding will fills you with dread.

Luckily this doesn't have to be the case. For one thing, estate planning has recently moved online, making it more convenient and cost-effective.

Read on to learn everything about drawing up a will and why you should consider having one.

Why create a will when buying a property?

When you purchase a property, there is so much paperwork involved. You need so many different forms of identification and a way to stipulate who the house legally belongs to – in essence, whose name is on the property title.

In the case of the property owner dying, it may be unclear who will then inherit the house. There is a common misconception that the property automatically goes to the next of kin. But in some cases, it isn't clear who the beneficiaries are. In these situations, there is a legal formula to determine the outcome.

The estate could even go — partially or fully — to the government if you don’t have any surviving close relatives. Creating a will ensures that your estate will be distributed exactly how you planned, as long as it abides by the law.

Is a legally binding will required to get a mortgage?

You do not need a will to qualify for a mortgage. Banks don't require it. The government doesn't require it either.

However, your mortgage provider may advise you to consider creating a will and suggest taking out a life insurance plan. Again, this is not usually compulsory, but it can ensure your spouse and children's financial security in the event of your death.

Where can I get a will drawn up?

You can use an online service to write and manage your will, write one yourself, or use a solicitor or Public Trustee.

Use an online service

An online will writing service will produce a legally binding will from the comfort of your home. They may also offer several estate management services, such as Enduring Power of Attorney, Medical Decision Maker documents, and Probate and Letters of Administration services.

You are guided through the whole process of appointing your executors, dividing up your assets, and listing your final wishes. The document is then checked by a Wills and Estate expert before you sign it. You will need to sign it, have it witnessed and hold on to this original, physical document.

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Unloan Variable Home Loan (Owner)

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Write it yourself

If you are capable of compiling your own will, then you can do so. Keep in mind that the more assets you own or complicated your family situation, then the harder it'll be and the more risk you run of disputes in the future.

Your document will need to identify who you are and be signed and dated. It will require you to list the names of your executors and their relationship to you. Include the list of all of your beneficiaries and what they will receive.

Appoint a guardian for your children/dependants if you have any. Lastly, you will need witnesses to sign your will and initial each page. There are many free online templates you can use to help you compile a will yourself.

Use a solicitor

If you want more guidance, and especially if your affairs are not perfectly straightforward, you can employ a solicitor to help you draft a will. A legal firm will also offer estate management services such as Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship. It can be expensive and require in-person meetings.

Get help from a Public Trustee

The Public Trustee’s Wills Officers can help you draft a will at a much cheaper rate than a privately chosen solicitor. It is a convenient option for those who don’t have someone to appoint as an estate executor. The Public Trustee will be assigned as your primary executor or substitute executor.

As crucial as estate planning is, a surprising number of people in Australia just don’t write up their wills. This inaction tends to cause unnecessary strife or hardship for loved ones in mourning, including the most vulnerable.

While you do not need to have a will to buy a property, it is an opportune time to write your will.