Frequently Asked Questions
1. What happens if I die without a Will? Does it go to the Government?
2. What happens if a person dies suddenly and it is unknown if they have a valid Will?
3. Can I make changes to my Will at any time?
4. What role can Public Trustee play in managing someone’s financial and legal affairs?
5. What does a Financial Administrator do?
6. What does a Manager do?
7. What does an Attorney do?
8. What are the differences and the roles performed by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT), Public Advocate and Public Trustee in protecting vulnerable clients?
9. How can I protect myself from financial abuse?
10. What does Public Trustee charge to manage a customer’s financial
Changes can be made to your Will at any time as long as you still have legal and mental capacity. For example, your spouse or children may predecease you but on a happier note children and grandchildren may be born therefore you can change your beneficiaries whenever you like to reflect the changes in your circumstances.
Alternatively if all known relatives are predeceased you may then wish to leave your estate to a good friend or to charitable organisations.
As time goes by, things will change, so Public Trustee encourages you to keep your Will updated. As your circumstances change, you should consider making a new Will.
As a general rule you should review the contents of your Will every five (5) years, however your Will may be invalid or less reflective of your wishes when the following occurs:
♦ Birth of children or grandchildren;
♦ New assets or money;
♦ Disposal of assets or money; and/or
♦ Joint assets become solely yours or vice versa.
It should be noted that marriage will revoke any Will made prior to that marriage even if the beneficiaries are the same. However you can make a Will ‘in contemplation’ of marriage which remains as a valid Will after the marriage.
A divorced spouse cannot act as your Executor nor can they take a benefit under a Will you have made before your divorce.
It is important that you do not write on your Will or mark, pin or staple the Will and any existing marks, pins or staples should remain undisturbed. If you wish to change your Will, it is important to get professional assistance which can be provided by Public Trustee at no cost if Public Trustee is appointed Executor of the Will.
Note: You can make changes to your Will at any time as long as you have the required Testamentary Capacity to make a Will and it is completed and witnessed in the correct format. Once you have made a new valid Will this revokes or cancels any previous Wills.