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How good planning can minimise Will disputes

Author: Robert Lamb
2 min read
05 November 2019

Key Takeaways

  • There is a rise in the number of challenges of Wills
  • Each person’s situation is unique and an experienced lawyer is required to best protect your interests
  • Good planning and good advice will minimise and even negate a Will dispute

A recent survey in February 2019 in the United Kingdom uncovered some reasons why there appears to have been a generational change to children considering disputing their entitlements under their parent’s Will, with up to 1 in 4 people saying they would challenge their parent’s Will if they were left out or not properly provided for in the Will.

Our research and experience indicates that some of the reasons this change may have occurred and in such a high number, particularly in relation to Family Provision Claims are:

  1. Greater awareness and advertisement of people’s legal rights for these type of claims;
  2. Rising property prices coupled with superannuation have meant there is often a large estate worth disputing that can sustain legal fees being paid from the Estate;
  3. Possibly a greater sense of entitlement by the millennium generation who feel that their parents are obliged to look after them;
  4. The growth of blended families. Often a dispute will arise between the children of a first marriage with a second or third spouse who may through accident, design or operation of law be left all of the majority of the deceased’s estate; and
  5. Growth of homemade or Do it Yourself (DIY) Wills.

A DIY Will is often not worth the paper it is written on.  To properly draft your Will requires a lawyer with the appropriate experience to take into account all of your personal circumstances, your wishes, your family situation, your possible estate, your superannuation and the law so you can be properly advised on your unique succession plan.

As Michael Morris says in his article “Succession Planning For Family Owned Agribusiness”, every succession plan is different because every family and business is different.

Open and honest discussions within the family, coupled with tailored advice from your professional advisors working together, is essential.  The same advice applies to all succession planning and we at Hillhouse have the knowledge and experience to ensure your wishes are carried out as best the law.  

More often than not good planning and good advice will minimise and even negate a child or children disputing your Will.

The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.

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