Estate Planning: Drafting Your Will Is Essential

146/117 Old Pittwater Rd, Brookvale, NSW, 2100

Smallwoods Lawyers | Brookvale | Northern Beaches

Smallwoods Lawyers, Brookvale Northern Beaches explain why careful drafting of your Will is essential and home-made Wills are fraught with danger.

Estate planning – The Perils of Not leaving a Will

Passing away without a will may mean a payout for an un-expecting beneficiary.

If someone dies and has not left a Will, they are said to have died “Intestate”. In these circumstances the estate must be distributed according to the Laws of Intestacy – which may not be what you want.

For example: Bob aged 19 years was brought up by his mother, a sole parent. His father left him and his mother before Bob was a year old.

They think his father lives in Queensland. Bob lives at home with his mother and is employed as a carpenter. Bob is working on a building site when he has an accident and dies. Bob never made a Will and has no wife or children or even a girlfriend. Under the laws of intestacy his parents receive his property in equal shares.

His Workers Compensation payout is approximately $480,000 which will be paid to his estate and his father will receive half. This is not what Bob would have wanted.

It is very important you have a valid Will in place – even when you have minimal assets.

Smallwoods Lawyers in Brookvale on the Northern Beaches has advised on Estate Planning matters for over 40 years.

Plan Your Will - Your Family Depends On It

Securing the financial future of spouse and children is everyone’s priority. The last thing you want to be doing when you, your partner or your loved ones are on deaths bed or incapable of looking after the families affairs is discussing or negotiating the family finances. Yet it is one of the most important things you can do.

Failure to plan can lead to disaster. Here’s where Smallwoods Lawyers, Brookvale Northern Beaches can help.

  • securing your spouse’s financial future
  • securing your children’s financial future
  • effect of marriage on existing Wills
  • effect of divorce on existing Wills
  • providing for children from previous relationships
  • the need to provide for adult children
  • the effect of de facto relationships on existing Wills
  • how to best provide for the elderly, unemployed, mentally ill and beneficiaries who may be financially at risk

Your families’ security is too important not to seek advice.

Smallwoods Lawyers in Brookvale on the Northern Beaches has advised on Estate Planning matters for over 40 years.

The perils of homemade wills
Homemade wills continue to provide the benefactors with heartaches, and because of their complexity, give the legal profession plenty of work.

FACTS
A home-drawn will contained a provision as follows:
“I give my house to my nephew _____________ on the condition that should he decide to sell my house I request that he give $50,000 to ____________ and ____________”

OUTCOME
The court found the clause was unenforceable as it was too uncertain, because the nephew could transfer the house other than by way of sale and also the payment of the legacy of $50,000 was linked to the decision to sell and not an actual sale. The court also found the condition was couched as a request and not a specific direction or requirement.

LESSON
Avoid the heartache - always have your will drawn up by an experienced solicitor to ensure that your intentions and wishes will be carried out and have effect.

Smallwoods Lawyers in Brookvale on the Northern Beaches has advised on Estate Planning matters for over 40 years.

ESTATE PLANNING 101

Smallwoods Lawyers, Brookvale Northern Beaches explain why careful drafting of your Will is essential

Facts
The deceased owned farmland which included two dwellings. A will was left naming children, grandchildren and daughter-in-law as beneficiaries. The will left the dwellings to the executor/beneficiary but provided that his daughter-in-law could stay in the second dwelling on the property.

Question
Was the daughter-in-law able to continue residing in the property even though the deceased left his assets to other beneficiaries?

Finding of the court
(a) The court ruled the will established a license to the daughter-in-law to permit her to reside in the second dwelling. The property would have to be sold subject to the right of the daughter-in-law to continue residing in one of the dwellings.
(b) The court ruled the gift to the executor failed - it was too vague.  The dwellings could not be severed from the land which was left to other beneficiaries.

Smallwoods Lawyers in Brookvale on the Northern Beaches has advised on Estate Planning matters for over 40 years.

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