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Matthew Lang

Matthew Lang

Updated 09/04/2024

How Much Does it Cost to Write a Will?

Nobody likes to think about death, but having a legal will in place can provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved ones will be looked after when you pass away. So, how much does it cost to write a will, and should you go down the do-it-yourself path or pay a professional?

Key Points

  • A will is a legal document that stipulates how your possessions will be distributed after your death.

  • It might also include directions for the care of your children (if relevant), funeral arrangements, and charity donations. 

  •  If you own a business, your will is likely to be an important aspect of your business succession plan. 

  •  Will costs vary widely depending on whether you pay a solicitor, go to the Public Trustee, or use a DIY will kit.

  • Writing your own will comes with some risks, including legal validity and ambiguity.

Why should I write a will?

There are many reasons to write a will. Also known as a last will and testament, it is a legal document that outlines how and to whom your assets and belongings should be distributed after your death. This provides peace of mind for a number of reasons: Distribution of assets: One of the most important reasons to write a will is to ensure your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes. This also helps to prevent disputes among your family members. Protecting unmarried partners: If you're not legally married or in a de facto relationship, your partner may not automatically inherit your assets. Including your partner in your will solves this problem. Guardianship for children: If you have children under the age of 18, a will enables you to appoint a legal guardian who will take care of them after your death. This can motivate you to choose an appropriate guardian, get their agreement, and give you significant peace of mind. Business succession planning: If you’re a business owner, a will can be a critical aspect of your succession plan. You can outline your wishes for the future of your business, and specify who should inherit or manage the business. Executor appointment: As part of the process of writing a will, you’ll need to name an executor. This is the person responsible for ensuring that your wishes are carried out. Going through the will writing process gives you the opportunity to choose someone you trust. Avoiding intestacy: If you pass away without a will (intestate), the distribution of your assets will be determined by state laws. This may be contrary to your wishes, and could result in a distribution you would not have chosen. Charitable giving: If you have specific charities or causes you wish to support, a will allows you to include provisions for charitable donations. This ensures you can leave a lasting impact beyond your lifetime. Funeral arrangements: You can include your preferred funeral arrangements, burial, or other end-of-life decisions in your will. This can take the decision-making burden from your loved ones during their time of grief.

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How much does it cost to write a will?

There are generally three ways to a write will:

  • Pay a private solicitor to write your will.

  • Go to the Public Trustee in your state or territory.

  • Use a DIY will kit.

If you choose to use a private solicitor to write your will, will costs can vary widely depending on its complexity and the fees your solicitor chooses to charge. As a general guide, getting a solicitor to write your will can cost anywhere between a couple of hundred to a few thousand dollars. In Australia, the Public Trustee in each state and territory offer will-writing services. Public Trustees are government entities that provide a range of services related to wills, estates, and financial matters. They can assist individuals in drafting and updating their wills, often for a fee. Here’s how much Public Trustees charge to write your will by state or territory:

Cost of a will in NSW

$462 for a basic will

Cost of a will in Vic

$59 for an online will, from $264 for a will appointment

Cost of a will in Qld


Cost of a will in ACT

Usually a minimal fee payable

Cost of a will in SA

Free for eligible customers

Cost of a will in WA

$381 ($51 concession)

Cost of a will in Tas 


Cost of a will in NT – $138.60 

$138.60 (simple will, naming Public Trustee as executor)

Alternatively, you can take a do-it-yourself approach to writing your will. Australian Seniors offers a free, legal will kit you can use as a guide to prepare your own will. You can download the Australian Seniors free will kit here. You can also buy DIY will kits from many participating newsagents and Australia Post outlets.

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What are the risks of writing your own will?

As long as a will is signed by the will-maker and two witnesses, it is legally binding. However, writing your own will with no legal experience can come with some risks, including: Legal validity: Wills are legal documents, and if a self-drafted will does not meet the necessary legal requirements in your state or territory, it may be deemed invalid. This can lead to your estate being distributed according to intestacy laws. Ambiguity: DIY wills may be more prone to ambiguity or unclear language. This can create confusion and potential disputes among beneficiaries. This could lead to legal challenges that could delay the distribution of your assets, and create family feuds. Forgotten assets: You might unintentionally overlook certain assets, or forget to update your will to include newly acquired assets. Complex estates: If you have a complex financial situation, multiple marriages, or a blended family, you may face additional challenges when writing your own will. Professionals can provide valuable guidance on these issues. Tax implications: Your will could have tax implications for your beneficiaries. Without professional advice, you may not fully understand the potential consequences of your decisions. No plan-b: An expert may include provisions for the death of a beneficiary or the incapacity of the executor in your will. A DIY will may not adequately address these scenarios. What will happen to your family after you pass away? Life insurance can help them be more financially secure.


Public Trustees: 1 NSW 2 Vic 3 Qld 4 ACT 5 SA 6 WA 7 Tas 8 NT

Disclaimer This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice. It’s a good idea to consult a legal practitioner or the public trustee in your State or Territoryin relation to your estate planning.

Matthew Lang is the general manager of life insurance at Compare Club. Matthew leads a team of dedicated professionals who are passionate about helping individuals and families make informed decisions about their life insurance needs. Whether it's finding the right coverage for your specific circumstances, comparing policies, or optimizing your existing policy, Matthew and his team are here to provide expert guidance and support.

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