David is the owner of extensive real estate exceeding $5 million
in value. With the intention of saving money, David elected to
purchase a will kit and drafted his own will. His will reads that
essentially 80% of his estate would pass to his wife, to whom he
was married for the last 6 years of his life, so that she could set
up a charity in his name. The will had very little regard for his
two children from a previous marriage, one of which suffered a
Furthermore, due to the lack of clarity in the wording used in
drafting his homemade will, there are also significant questions
over what the will actually means which is now the subject of
dispute and family provision claims under the Succession Act 2006
The current proceedings are now in a state of flux where the
intention to create a testamentary trust and charitable trust are
in serious issue.
It is now likely that the provision of 80% of the estate to
David's wife for the purposes of establishing a charity have
now given rise to the potential involvement of the
Attorney-General, who has an interest in charitable donations.
As a result of the wording in the will being significantly
unclear as to the will maker's intentions, it is likely that
the majority of the estate will now form the basis of family
provision claims of interested parties at a significant cost to the
estate and the testamentary intention of David which is now very
unlikely to be carried out in light of those claims.
Had David received proper legal advice and if his will was
written in clearer terms, the current litigation would most likely
not have occurred.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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If you are doing a Will, or you are the executor of a deceased estate, consider what taxes and duties could be payable.
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