Where there's a will, there's a way
With a busy couple of days at Field Days out of the way, Freddy had time to sit down with Pebbles for a cup of tea to talk about a legal problem Wayne, the neighbour, was having.
“What’s this I hear about Wayne having trouble with his will Dad?” asked Pebbles.
“Well, he called me yesterday ranting and raving about his will,” said Freddy, “he wants to change his existing will to leave some of his property to a few grandchildren that have been born, but he can’t remember if he has a will or not.”
“Well his lawyer should have a copy of his will if he does have one,” said Pebbles, “but if they don’t or if he doesn’t have a lawyer and he still can’t find his will, I don’t mind taking instructions to draft a new one.”
“Oh I thought you would never offer!” exclaimed Freddy with a twinkle in his eye, “what happens if he was to die without a will?”
“If someone dies and they don’t have a will it is called dying intestate. In this case the court will appoint an administrator to administer the estate, the same as an executor in a will.”
“Yes, but what would happen to all of his property?” asked Freddy
“Well, the law sets out an order of priority where specific people, all family members, receive the deceased’s property in different proportions. Who gets what depends on what Family members are alive when you die,” said Pebbles.
“What is the order?” asked Freddy.
“The basic order of priority is firstly spouse, civil union partner or de facto partner, then children, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts.”
“That is good piece of mind!” said Freddy looking relieved, “I thought all property goes to the government if you die without a will.”
“A person’s, who dies intestate, might pass their property to the Crown if the person dies without any of the specified family members surviving,” said Pebbles, “it is a good idea for Wayne to have a will as it is the way he can direct what he wants to happen to his property and how he wants any of dependants cared for when they die. A will is especially important for Wayne as he has a farm to think about.”
“Thanks for that information Pebbles, I will call Wayne first thing in the morning and let him know,” said Freddy “Should I be changing my will for grandchildren any time soon Pebbles?”
“No Dad!” said Pebbles
“Just checking” replied Freddy with a smile.
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.