Is it a good idea to discuss your Will with your family before you pass. If you do and they are not happy, are they able to get a lawyer to make changes to your requests?
Although you have no obligation to discuss your Will with your family before you pass it can be a good idea!
Talking to your family about your Will can help them understand your wishes after you pass including:
- Your preferred funeral arrangements such as whether you wish to be buried or cremated;
- Who you have appointed as the Executor of your Estate and the reasons you have chosen that person. The Executor (or Executors as you can appoint more than one) are the people who will administer your Estate after you pass and ensure that your assets are distributed in the way that you wanted;
- What inheritance you have left to your family and friends and the reasons why you have decided to divide your Estate in the way that you have. This can include explanations on what financial support you have provided to family during your life, as well as the future needs of your family and friends. This type of frank discussion, whilst confronting, can help to protect your Estate from challenges after you pass, by ensuring that everyone understands your reasons for dividing your Estate in the way that you have; and
- In the event that talking to your family about your Will raises any issues then, you will be in a position to address these issues before you pass, either directly with your family, or by giving in depth instructions to your Wills and Estate Lawyer, on why you have divided your Estate in the way that you have.
If you do talk to your family and they are not happy with your Will, they won’t be able to have it changed unless they apply to the Court for your Will to be altered or revoked. This is only possible if your family can prove to the Court that, you lack the testamentary capacity to make a Will. The Court will only alter or revoke a Will if they believe that the alteration or revocation is one that you have been reasonably likely to make if you had testamentary capacity.
With the increase in challenges to Wills it is a good idea to talk to your family about your Will, and how you have divided your Estate, before you pass. By taking positive action you may save your family and friends the emotional and financial pain that can be caused by a challenge to your Will after you pass.
If you need advice on drafting your Will to avoid a Challenge to your Will after you pass you need to seek legal advice from an Expert Wills & Estates Lawyer. You need to speak to the expert lawyers at Sydney Wills Lawyers on how to successfully draft a Will that minimises the potential for a Will Challenge. We specialise in Wills & Estate Law and pride ourselves on our open and honest communication with clients. Call today for an appointment to speak to expert Graeme Heckenberg on 9221 2779.