Prepare a will early, or your estates will go to an ex-flame — or a disenfranchised family member.
Wills are a necessity from which anyone can benefit. It saves families from property disputes that can snowball into broken relationships. A will also safeguards your hard-earned assets, as you get to choose who gets what, instead of letting the state decide for you.
Many reputable law firms such as nystlegal.com.au simplify the process of preparing a will. A trustworthy lawyer can walk you through writing your will, as well as provide sound and unbiased advice about deciding where the assets should go and how to choose the right executor.
Despite this, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) still recorded a whopping 50% of people who die without a will.
In the Absence of a Will, Dispute Arises
A homeless man in Sydney, for instance, received $550,000 from the estate of a woman he had an affair with three decades ago.
They eventually parted ways and didn’t cross paths again until 2012, and by then, the woman had advanced breast cancer. The two rekindled their relationship and the man cared for her until her death in 2014. For looking after the woman, the NSW Supreme Court agreed to give him $550,000 from her estate.
Now, here’s where the problem begins. The woman’s brother and only surviving kin, who was due to inherit her properties, contested the decision, saying the man often neglected his sister and thus didn’t deserve the money.
An Overlooked Necessity
Disputes as such would have been mitigated if only the woman prepared a will before her death.
According to ASIC, the reason half of the population dies without a will is that young people are often apprehensive about making one. They often brush it off, thinking it’s too early, and that they’ll have more time for it later.
There is, however, no right time when it comes to preparing a will. It’s better to draft one now, consult a trusted lawyer, and then revise its contents later than leave your estate in the hands of the court, or worse, of kin you have bad blood.