The consequences of DIY Wills
You would be surprised how many Australians die without a Will or don’t update their Will to suit a change in their circumstances.
The sudden death of Bathurst 1000 Legend Peter Brock is a sad reminder of the legal wrangles which can be left to the beneficiaries of an estate when a person dies without completing a Will which properly sets out their wishes.
Following Brock’s death, it emerged that he had signed a ‘do it yourself’ Will in early 2006 but had not completed the required details, creating a messy legal battle between his estranged spouse Beverley, and his partner Julie Bamford and children.
The Court handed down its decision that another DIY Will that Brock signed in 2003 was valid however, because that Will only appointed an executor and gave no directions about his estate, the court ruled that Brock’s estate would have to be distributed under the intestacy rules.
Had Brock taken the time to ensure his wishes were validly recorded, he would have saved his family additional pain and suffering. This case serves to highlight the dangers of DIY Will kits and the importance of ensuring your estate is in order.
Some of the following events are an important reminder it’s time to review your Will:
- Death of a beneficiary
- Birth or adoption of a child or even grandchild
- Transfer of a significant assets
- Acquisition of a new significant assets
- Change in company structures i.e. director, trustee, or shareholder
- De facto relationships with children from other relationships
- Superannuation fund changes
- Employment changes
- Moving to another state
The price difference between a DIY Will and a Lawyer Will
The cost of making a DIY Will from a kit usually ranges from about $20 to $80.
By comparison, a lawyer may charge anywhere from roughly $200 to $500 to create a will but as the old saying goes, you really do get what you pay for.
Wills are incredibly important documents. While it might be appealing to have your Will done quickly and cheaply the fact is that failure to give your Will the time it deserves could result in a family disaster after your death.
Successful Ways Solicitor Jane Park has many years of experience in the preparation of Wills and the administration of estates and would be happy to advise you on issues which might arise in your particular circumstances, and the appropriate provisions which should be considered for your Will.
Successful Ways offer this service for $250.
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