Writing a will may not seem the most exciting thing to do, but it’s a necessary evil. Having a well-written, clear will can be the difference between looking after your loved ones or them going through the process of contesting a will. A will that is concise makes it easy to distribute assets upon death, choose executors, make funeral arrangements and in the case of infant children, appoint a guardian for them.
Contesting a will is a complex, often drawn out process which requires the guidance of experienced lawyers. To ensure your loved ones have the processes in place to protect them, draw up a will that outlines what you want for them.
Five factors that influence the likelihood of a will being contested
- Who gets what – To legally decide who the beneficiaries of your estate will be, you must have a will.
- Care of infants – To ensure that you have say as to who the legal guardians of your young children are.
- Avoid needless contests – Your loved ones won’t have to go through the stressful process.
- Save money – Not all contesting wills lawyers work on a No Win No Fee basis, so if the wrong firm is used costs can be extortionate.
- Mind your business – If you run a family business, having a will in place ensures that the right people will inherit and look after the business.
In cases where there is no will
If a loved one dies without a will, they are said to have died intestate. There are also cases where elements of the will are unable to be carried out, these are known as a ‘partial intestacy’.
In NSW, if the deceased left a spouse and children they had together, they will receive the entire estate. In instances where the children were born in a different relationship, the spouse receives all personal effects. The unfortunate element of intestacy is that the rules do not account for any other strong relationships formed by the deceased.
More often than not, there are issues that arise with the contents of a will and family members are right to contest them.
Understanding the processes of contesting can be long and drawn out. If you have lost a loved one who didn’t have a will, contact the expert lawyers at Gerard Malouf and Partners today. We understand the rules of intestacy and how they apply to everyday life.