Where there’s no will, don’t worry, there is a way

Published 26 Jul 2016

Drafting a will is something that many of us take for granted, some people pass without ever having one. Although it may seem easy and stress-free, creating a homemade Will isn’t the wisest action to take.

If a loved one passes without a Will, they are described as having died ‘intestate’. This means the person’s estate is distributed based on a standard formula that covers spouses, children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. That’s where it stops, despite however strong the case for inheritance disputes may be, other relationships are not considered under the rules of intestacy, unless someone lodges a family provision claim.

No will? It’s not always the end of the world

“All of this could have been avoided if the Testator had consulted a lawyer and signed off on a will which reflected his wishes. There is no question but that engaging the services of a properly qualified and experienced lawyer to draft a will is money well spent.”

These were the words of the Court in the case of Gray vs Gray (2013). The main focus of this case was on the contest of a will that was badly drawn. This resulted in an extensive legal battle due to disagreements between the beneficiaries of the estate.

There may be times, however, when you are faced with the prospect of dealing with a poorly drawn will or even an instance of intestacy. In these cases of inheritance disputes, it’s important to seek not just professional advice, but the right type of professional advice.

When there is no will present, in accordance to the Probate and Administration Act 1898 and the Succession Act 2006, the deceased’s property goes to the administrator, where the assets will be distributed in accordance with legislation. In essence, not having a will in place will mean you hold no sway in who inherits your assets if intestacy rules are inacted. This shouldn’t be cause for concern, however, as you can still contest this.

Should the worst happen, seek advice ASAP

From the other perspective, if a loved one were to pass without a will or you feel you have been left out of one, it’s imperative you contact a contesting wills lawyer immediately.

Intestacy often raises legal complexities that can lead to emotional and financial stress compounding your suffering. That’s why it’s important to seek the legal advice of an experienced team that can best handle your concerns.

Your first consultation is free and along with the fact we contest on a No Win No Fee basis, it pays to contact GMP Contesting Wills Lawyers today.

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