Home kits inspire big battle of Wills! By Jeff Garrett – Legal Practice Director
An ageing population and “do-it-yourself wills” will ensure plenty of work for lawyers who specialise in estate litigation in the future.
With the ageing population in the Gold Coast and Tweed area, a large increase in estate litigation among families can be expected, especially if free will kits are commonly used.
Don’t forget “where there is a Will, there is a relative”.
Even though property prices have fallen in most parts of this area in recent times, older couples own their homes at the very least which are often well positioned and quite valuable.
This issue would not raise too many eyebrows but there is a second dynamic which will probably ensure that lawyers are very busy over the next 15-20 years.
It is the growth of do-it-yourself-will-kit use, which will ensure that many families are locked into expensive litigation for many years to come.
Most people insist that they want everything to be kept simple when creating a Will. Unfortunately, family dynamics are far from simple. Suffice to say that if you are a member of a family of someone who has passed away or you were financially dependent upon the deceased, you may well have standing to contest the estate.
There is also the strong possibility that if someone used a do-it-yourself Will kit, it could well be rendered invalid due to any number of non-compliance issues with the relevant legislation.
The only way to properly ensure that your estate passes in accordance with your wishes is to have a properly drafted and executed Will which has been prepared by lawyers experienced in this area of law.
Part of this process is also obtaining specialist advice in relation to possible claims that could be made by various members of your family and making sure that your Will is drafted to take these issues into account.
Obviously, this cannot be done with simple Wills or Wills which are purchased from the newsagent or given away by insurance companies.
As published in the Gold Coast Sun (24/11/11)