Estate Planning

Estate Planning – The dangers of DIY Will Kit.

Have you considered creating a Will? Estate Law can be quite a minefield if your assets are tied up in complex structures. Estate planning with a Lawyer specializing in Estate Law, could save your loved ones from uncertainty and disputes. Consider the following quote:

“A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own” – Thomas Mann

It has become increasingly common that family members fight over how parents’ estates should be divided between siblings. Many people often think they deserve more. The Financial Review has shown that more than 50% of wills are being contested in court. This is not the only issue when someone dies.

Why DIY will kit does not promise peace of mind

DIY will kit is becoming more popular as it makes estate planning more accessible. The will makers can purchase these kits from any Australian Post Office outlets for around $29 for a single person or $35 for a couple.

Wills drafted from these kits however have caused many problems in court with major issues left unaccounted for. In addition, the will makers who use these will kits often forget to specify the intended executors and or beneficiaries. As a result, they make it impossible to determine whom should the estate shares go to. Moreover, capacity of the will makers cannot be determined when disputes arise which can give rise to fraud, elder abuse, and undue influence. These wills may not at all be executed correctly.

Solution: Engage a Lawyer/s to structure a strong foundation to secure your last wishes.

It is a real investment to engage estate planning lawyers to advise and draft effective documents for you. These include Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardian, Advance Health Directive and Will.

A Lawyer specializing in Estate Law can assist with the following:

1/ Minimize the risks of claims against an estate which could be:

  • Probate claims such as challenging the validity of the will
  • Family provision claims
  • Other claims including contract claims, negligence claims, unpaid tax claims, family court proceedings.

The potential claimants include known and unknown family members, financial dependents, ex-partners, claimants in a commercial dispute.

2/ Identify your assets

  • Your lawyers will obtain and confirm what assets you own legally and what assets you do not own legally
  • Any advances you have made
  • Your liabilities

3/ Selection of executors and division of assets to beneficiaries

4/ Advice on the probable consequences of providing financial assistance to any related person at any time

The factors above are vital to the discussions of estate planning with your lawyers. Estate planning is complex due to the intricate nature of people’s lives and is not at all a commodity.

Hopefully, you now appreciate the dangers of using a DIY will kit. The peace of mind that comes from well written estate planning documents is priceless. The worst thing that could happen was to cause your loved ones to inherit costly legal battles and relationships destroyed in the process.

Contact us now for your estate planning. We are here to help.