Disputes over Wills – What are the main causes – Avoiding Will Disputes

A recent national survey revealed that over one third of Australians have experienced conflict over deceased estates.  Why ?  How can you minimise the risk? Read on….

The research conducted by Slater and Gordon Lawyers showed that the main causes of wills disputes are:
•  A sense that the assets were unfairly divided
•  The division of sentimental items, such as photos, letters or clothing
•  Differences of opinion around what the deceased would have wanted
•  The use of an asset such as a house
•  Unethical or unfair behaviour of the executor

The research also identified the main factors that could help minimise disputes:
•  Greater communication and clearer instructions while the person was still alive
•  A letter or video explaining their approach and reasoning
•  Those left behind adopting a less competitive approach to the distribution of assets

In my experience as an estate planning and asset protection lawyer, it is all too common for people to have Wills that do not clearly explain how and why their assets are to be divided. Uncertainly causes a great deal of added strain and stress on grieving family members …… what did s/he really mean is a question that resonates round the heads of those remaining behind, and the answers then to err on the negative.

Thank you to the copyright owner - home truths in a snapshot

Thank you to the copyright owner – home truths in a snapshot

To minimise the chances of a disharmony and dispute it is paramount that people clearly articulate in their wills how their assets are to be divided and communicate the reasons why to the family.  The earlier the better.  Sometimes a letter to the executor explaining their wishes can be very helpful.

The single most important thing is to avoid ‘surprises’ and ‘misunderstandings’ that arise when you have passed away.

Identify potential areas of dispute before you pass away, and address them yourself.   Communicate, communicate, communicate – before you pass away.  Don’t let your will be a grenade that you lob amongst your family from the other side.

Have individual meetings or even family meetings to explain yourself.  Just think – if you can’t resolve them when you are there to manage expectations, how do you think your family will resolve issues when you aren’t around? It’s not difficult to imagine what will occur.
Leave behind fond memories.   Don’t let your legacy be a family feud you created.

Have your will reviewed every three to five years to ensure it is current; and keep in mind that changed financial circumstances such as the acquisition or sale of an asset, births, deaths, marriages and divorces are just a few of the events that may require a will to be reviewed.

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.

 

I INVITE YOUR COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow” link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG WITH PEOPLE YOU BELIEVE MAY BE INTERESTED

VISIT OTHER BLOGS 

Estate Planning Tip 1

Estate Planning Tip 2

Estate Planning Tip 3

OR

MY TRAVEL TIP SERIES: Click Here

WILLS FOR PETS ?:    Wills for Pets ?

 

MY INSTAGRAM

Disclaimer: this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.


My Mate – The World’s Worst Photographer

My good friend George, a mate for over 40 years, is the world’s worst photographer. He is successful at every thing he has ever focused on – but ‘snaps’ just didn’t rank as a priority. He tried a dozen different cameras before he decided “it was him, not the tool”.

That all changed. A hiking trip in Nepal to the base camp at Mt Everest opened his eyes to the beauty around him. Capturing it on film was a piece of cake.

The turning point? What made the difference?

He took time to see what he was looking at. To observe the beauty and soak in vibe. Recording it just followed.
GM NepalGM Nepal-3GM Nepal

A bit like planning for the future.

First you need to take time to take stock. Look at what exists around you, and evaluate it. Appreciate the good bits and recognise the not so good bits – so you can manage and deal with them rather than ignore them.

They have a habit of coming back to haunt you, whether a health issue, relationship problem, business risk or other thorn in your virtual side – ignoring it won’t make it go away.

The most ignored aspects of our life are death, illness and potential lost of capacity through illness, accident or the ageing process.

Take a leaf out of George’s book, make a conscious effort to slow down, observe what is around you, record it and use your observations and captured memories to plan the rest of you journey.

Now George sees and captures beauty in almost everything he looks at. Then uses every skerrick of information to plan his next venture, his journey through life. So much so he’s taken the time to address those personal and financial issues necessary to enable him to continue to fulfill his dreams whilst he can…..and help his kids do likewise when he falls off his perch.

So…it’s easy for us all to improve our lives the way George improved his photos.

Start observing today, and plan for tomorrow.


Do your debts die with you ?

 

You sometimes find an online gem…. ‘YourLifeChoices’ is one of them.

Check out the article I wrote for this online publication recently on the life cycle of your debts – do they outlive you?

Access article here:  Your Life Choices Article

I INVITE YOUR CONTRIBUTION / COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your

Accessing life beyond the grave

Life beyond the grave

comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow” link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG WITH PEOPLE YOU BELIEVE IT MAY HELP

VISIT OTHER EP BLOG TIPS

Heading to the horizon

Heading to the horizon

EP Tip 1:   Click Link Here

EP Tip 2:   Click Link Here

EP Tip 3:  Click Link Here

OR

MY TRAVEL TIP SERIES:    Click Link Here

Disclaimer:  this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.