​Older people

How can my client make a will?

A will is an important legal document that says who you want to get your assets (all the things you own) after you die. Your assets become known as your estate after you die.

To make a valid will you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • understand what you are doing and how you want your estate distributed after you die
  • have the will signed and witnessed correctly.
There are 3 usual ways people make a will:

  • Do it yourself. You can use a will kit that you can buy at a newsagent. However, it is best to talk to a professional to make sure your will is legally valid and reflects your wishes.
  • NSW Trustee & Guardian can do a will for you. They charge a fee. If you are eligible for a full Centrelink Age Pension the fee for making a will is waived. NSW Trustee & Guardian also charge a fee for administering your estate after you die. Ask them about how much this costs.
  • Get a lawyer to do will. A lawyer can help you choose an executor, understand your tax liability, give advice about giving assets to family and friends and make sure the will is written clearly, signed and witnessed correctly and stored in a safe place.

My client is a victim of elder abuse. What can they do?

The term ’elder abuse’ is used to describe a situation where someone in a relationship of trust with an older person — like a partner, adult child, close relative, neighbour or carer — hurts, neglects, abuses or takes advantage of the older person.

Elder abuse can be physical, psychological, sexual or financial. It can be intentional, or it can be unintentional neglect.

In some situations the law can protect a person from elder abuse and help them after it has happened:

  • Some types of behaviours are crimes — for example, assault, theft or fraud. This can reported to police and the abuser can be charged and prosecuted by the police.

  • An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) can protect the older person from the person who is abusing them. It can include an order that they leave the home. A person who doesn’t follow an AVO can be charged by police.

Site content is current as at November 2018

​For more information

NSW Trustee and Guardian

Find a private lawyer —Law Society NSW

Legal Aid NSW brochure —Why make a will?

NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit

Guide for community workers

Download the PDF version of the Community Workers Guide [PDF 871kb]

Thumbnail image of Community Workers Guide cover page - PDF version