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"Home made wills are a curse.  Occasionally where the assets of a testator are limited and where the beneficiaries are not in dispute no difficulties may arise in the administration of an estate.  Flaws in the will can be glossed over and the interests of all parties can be reconciled.  But where, as here, the estate of the deceased is substantial, the will is opaque and there is no agreement among the beneficiaries, the inevitable result is an expensive legal battle which is unlikely to satisfy everyone.  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."

The above quote hasn't been made up. It's the opening paragraph of a leading Supreme Court case involving a disputed estate because of a poorly drafted Will (Gray v Gray [2013] WASC 387). What it demonstrates quite clearly is the importance of good estate planning, especially with your Will. 

A good Will is the product of a carefully considered consultation process, where your lawyer works hard to identify your needs and understand your requirements. It should be designed to cover a number of possibilities and eventualities, even the most unforeseen of circumstances.

 

But, at the end of the day, the preparation of a Will goes well beyond the words on the page.

If you have a current Will, take a moment to reflect on how it was prepared, and by whom. Consider the following questions:

 

  • Is it a DIY Will?

  • If prepared by a solicitor, did they discuss tax, superannuation, Centrelink & social security, trust law, contract law, insurance, bankruptcy, and asset protection with you?

  • Did your solicitor sit down with you and get to properly know you and understand your current circumstances? Or did they simply provide you with an “instruction sheet” and prepare a document using that information?

  • Does your Will properly allow for changing personal, business and life circumstances?

  • If you have a financial planner, did your solicitor work with them to ensure the Will operates consistently with your financial plan?

 

Will drafting is an expert discipline. It takes years of knowledge and training. It takes empathy, understanding, compassion. It takes time. A Will is an investment in your family’s future.

You can read more about the importance of a good Will, by clicking here.

In our experience, there's a huge difference between being able to say you have a Will, and being able to say you have a robust Will that properly protects your family and your assets.

Contact us today and allow us to demonstrate why Hamilton Blackstone Lawyers is the answer to your estate planning needs.