Disputes generated by contested wills and deceased estates are becoming commonplace, making it more important than ever to ensure a will is as robust as possible to ensure future wishes are met, according to Parke Lawyers.
Wills and estates disputes can create unnecessary friction among the family, can take up a lot of time and can severely drain the financial value of the estate, Parke Lawyers Managing Director Jim Parke says. Mr Parke says adding a testamentary trust to the will can provide a greater level of control over the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
“A contested will risks ending up as a costly and time-consuming free-for-all with the end result being that the wishes recorded in the will are not met.
“Rather than the feuding parties’ lawyers earning fees from these disputes, it is much more prudent to seek professional legal advice when making your will,” Mr Parke says.
Some reports suggest that more than 50 per cent of wills contested in courts are contested by family members fighting over how their parents’ estate should be divided among siblings.
With the aging of the large baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, Mr Parke anticipates that the effects of outdated or ineffectively structured wills will become increasingly prominent in the coming years.
Ensuring safeguards are in place so that the money goes where it is intended is a big part of estate planning. This means financial structuring to protect the transfer of wealth from one generat