Ok. Its that time of year where the Xmas party invites start to come in, the sun is out and we head out to enjoy all of the activities to go with it.

The fitness freaks amongst us start participating in great events, – The Auckland Marathon, K2, Lake Taupo Cycle challenge and the list goes on. So, its a huge concern when I’m talking to clients and discover that they have had their heads in the sand and still haven’t prepared a will.

Sometimes it feels as though it is just too hard, so in the interests of making it a little easier for you I asked Megan Williams of Steindle Williams Legal to provide me with a check-list of questions that I could share to ensure you put this job at the top of the list and sort it now.

Yes, there is a cost to create a will, but the cost far out way’s the hassle that you impose on family and loved ones, if you don’t have a will. Please check the cost with your own solicitor.


Below is a list of questions. All you need to do is print this form, hand write the answers and scan it to your lawyer and ask them to prepare a will for you. How easy is that!

If you dont have a lawyer you could email to either  megan.williams@swlegal.co.nz. or hilary.jenkins@swlegal.co.nz or call them  on 09 3615563, I am sure they will be happy to help.

Details Required for Preparation of Will

1.     Full names and any previous names (e.g. maiden name)?


2.     Current occupations?


3.     Where were you born?


4.     Your address and brief description of your assets.


5.     The full names of those people you want to be the executor(s) of your Will, and their relationship to you.  This is the person or people who ensure the wishes of your Will are carried out.  If you have a spouse you usually appoint each other for this role and then another person or people if you died together. A partner of a law firm can act in this role if you wish too.


6.     Do you have children, if so, their ages and full names.  Do you wish to appoint a guardian or guardians of any children below 18 years of age if they were ever without legal guardian and if so, their full name, address and relationship to you.


7.     Details of any specific gifts you wish to make to anyone. (e.g. jewellery, art, furniture, money?)


8.     Details of any burial, cremation or funeral wishes.


9.     Your estate usually passes to your partner/spouse then to any children, then to any grandchildren. Please give details if this is not what you intend or if there are any “blended” family issues.


10.   What age should your beneficiaries/children receive – (ie 25 years)


11.   Do you have a family trust? Details will be needed of the Trust Deed and any variations (including any Deed recording a change in Trustees)


You should also advise them:


1.     If you have an earlier Will, where is it held in order to be collected and/or destroyed


2.     If you/ your partner/spouse and any ex-partner have formally divorced and/or a Separation Agreement has been entered into. It is important to be aware that until you formalise your division of property, even if a former spouse or partner is not included in your Will, he or she may be able to make an estate claim upon your death under the Property (Relationships) Act.