As the famous Benjamin Franklin quote goes, the three things certain in life are death and taxes. Sadly, bereavement is something that we all face at some point in our lifetimes, and, eventually it will be our own. Each person (with very few exceptions) has the obligation to make provision for certain people in their Will; relatives, spouses, dependents, children, grandchildren, godchildren, friends … even pet sanctuaries. If they fail to do so, a claim can be brought against them by an eligible applicant.
All too often, the person that’s recently bereaved has not planned sufficiently for their own death, which subsequently creates difficulties that they’d never have imagined might arise in this situation. Wills and estates lawyers Brisbane are contacted time and time again because a person has been left out of a will that they’d expected to be a part of and feel that it’s their right to dispute that decision. Just as common an experience is when a person has not received what they were expecting and subsequently raise concerns about whether a will that has been executed is in-fact valid. On the other side of the coin, if you are ever appointed as the executor of a will, then the chances are that you may be challenged by another beneficiary under that will who concludes that they haven’t received their entitlement.
Worse still, there was no will at all, and the estate left by the bereaved looks like it may end up in the wrong hands.
This is when it makes sense to consult an experienced Wills and Estate lawyer, someone who is long established and are truly recognised and regarded as a service provider in this specialist legal area.
Experienced Wills and Estates lawyers are able to provide a number of services related to recent disputes. These can for example help to bring or defend claims for further provision by proving that a will was not valid, because the will maker did not have testamentary capacity.
It is also possible to remove an executor who it is felt might not be acting in the best interests of the estate of which they have been appointed to distribute. Often this requires the ability to get hold of financial documents relating to the estate and then forcing the appointed executor to distribute the estate accordingly.
Other related services include the ability to request that a will is authorised by a court of law on behalf of the maker of a will whilst they are still alive, but for whatever reason are unable to make the will themselves due to incapacitation.
So, if this is something that rings true with you, and you have decided to do something about it before it’s too late, then it’s time to consider getting an estate plan written. This will provide complete certainty about what will happen to your belongings when you are gone. The real advantage of a comprehensive estate plan is that it can in-fact help your family to steer clear of financial stress during the difficult time following your death. It will also provide the reassurance that your preferred outcome will not change and therefore protects your family from legal challenges to their allocation.