Why is a Will important?

We all know we’re not going to be around forever. Yet many Australians die without leaving a valid will.
Having a valid will in place can help ensure that your assets go to the right people and may avoid unnecessary complications for your love ones after you die.
Let’s consider the following scenario.

David

David was a diligent student and graduated dux of his year 12 class. He studied anthropology at a top university and was then invited to complete a doctorate.
David’s dad, Steve, was proud of his son’s achievement and gave David a gift of $250,000 to help supplement David’s academic stipend. Steve was by no means “well off”, and took out a home-equity loan to fund the gift.
David deposited the sum into an interest bearing account (in his own name) and being a frugal student, was able to live mostly off the interest.

Jane

David met Jane in the first year of his doctorate. They soon moved in together. Steve did not think that Jane and David were the “best fit” and doubted whether they would last.
What happened to David?
In the final year of his doctorate, David was tragically killed in a light plane crash while conducting field work in South America. Steve was understandably beside himself with grief. To make matters worse, David died without leaving a will.

What happens if I die without leaving a will?

When a person dies without leaving a will, the person is said to die “intestate”. That means that the deceased’s assets are distributed according to a statutory formula. In other words, the government, not you, decides who inherits your assets.

What happened to David’s estate?

David’s only substantial asset was the balance remaining in his bank account, being approximately $200,000 (i.e Steve’s gift).
Unfortunately for Steve, the intestacy rules required that Jane (as David’s de facto) inherit most of the funds, leaving Steve with only a fraction of the estate and a debt of $250,000 still owing to the bank.
Don’t be a statistic!
At Forty Seven Legal, we adopt a personal approach to estate planning and can tailor an estate plan to suit your needs and accommodate your budget. We understand that everyone’s needs are different, be it, estate planning for young families that need to consider guardians for their children, blended families or for those with adult children.
Wherever possible, we avoid hourly charging by offering services on a fixed fee basis so that you understand upfront what the cost will be.

Disclaimer: The article above is general in nature and does not constitute the giving of legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should seek advice specific your own circumstances.
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