Wills & Shares
Where there's a Will there's a way
Farmer Freddy is sitting in his armchair watching the cows in their break in the paddock from his lounge window. “Looks like there are a few more calving today,” he thinks. “The sharemilker is doing a good job regularly checking on them and they have plenty to eat. I might go down and hose out for them this afternoon so they can get in a little earlier, they are looking quite tired now. It has been a busy few weeks with calving.”
He sits back in his chair and starts writing out the directions for his funeral. His mate Len passed away the other day and his poor wife Alma didn’t have any idea what Len wanted for his own funeral. He remembers thinking if only Len had written down a few wishes, it would have been so much easier for Alma.
“Will I be buried or cremated? What music should they play at my funeral? Do I want my organs to be donated? Where should I have the funeral service?” These are all useful things poor old Alma would have had answers to had Len spent a few moments writing them down.
Once his list is complete he files it away in the filing cabinet and pulls out his Will to have a look at it.
Everything seems to be ok, it is still current. However he locates an old share certificate for shares he owns in Australia tucked in behind his Will. “I wonder what will happen to these shares once I pass away. Best to check with Pebbles,” he thinks.
He gives her a quick call.
“Hi Pebbles” he says. “I have found an old share certificate for some shares I own in Australia”. I have looked up the share price and it seems they are currently worth a few dollars. I thought I would just tell you about them Pebbles incase they get forgotten when I am gone.”
“Thanks Dad, that is useful to know. You are not intending going anywhere soon I hope!”
“No Pebbles, Len died the other day and I thought it would be good to get some of my affairs in order.”
“I found that share certificate with my Will and wondered what I should do about it”.
“Well dad, to be honest, it would be far easier for those left behind if you sold those shares and put the money in your bank account or bought some shares in New Zealand. It can become rather costly and time consuming to realise assets which are held in another country after you have passed away. Probate of your Will would have to be resealed in that country and someone (usually a trustee company or law firm) would need to be engaged to deal with realising the shares or transferring them to the executors of the estate. It can be a stressful time for everyone and having to deal with this would make it all the more difficult.”
“Ok Pebbles, there is a phone number on this form, I will give them a call and see what I can do to sort this out. I really don’t want to make things hard for you kids once I am gone. Thanks for letting me know. We will see you at the bach on the weekend. Bye for now.”
Freddy sits back down in his chair and makes a mental note to ring the share company in Australia tomorrow morning.
The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document.
If you would like more information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser.