Making your will is usually quite simple and inexpensive. It must be in writing and signed before two people who must sign as witnesses. You can make a will yourself but it's safer to have a professional prepare your will with you. Solicitors usually prepare wills for a standard set fee.
Before you visit a professional for help writing your will, it's important to be prepared. You should list:
- Your major assets, such as your house and car;
- Your Executor - someone who will ensure the wishes in your will are carried out;
- The people and organisations to receive a benefit from your estate – for example, close family members and friends as well as organisations like Oxfam New Zealand.
We suggest you follow the steps in our Planning your will worksheet (PDF 28 KB), to prepare an outline of your ideas before you see a professional will writer. This will certainly save you time, and therefore may also save you money. Please also refer to our FAQs for suggested wording for your will, and the different types of bequests you might consider.
If you already have a will but your situation changes, for example, if you sell your house, or if there is a change in marital or relationship status, these changes should be reflected in your will.
You don't need a new Will to add a bequest to Oxfam New Zealand. You can simply add a clause known as a “codicil” to include Oxfam NZ. A codicil, once witnessed, signed, and returned to your solicitor, is a formal addition to the principal will and allows for simple adjustments to be made if required.
- Here is a codicil template you may want to use. (PDF 12KB)