Review for Accountants & Financial Planners
October, 2015

Juggling responsibilities in your Will

Two minute scenarios...

Second relationships bring their own challenges when it comes to estate planning.

Scenario One... Kevin & Lynne

Scenario: Kevin and Lynne married about 5 years ago, and both have children from previous relationships. They recently bought a house together.

What's the issue? The contract did not nominate ownership as tenants in common and as such the law assumes it is owned jointly. That means that when one of them dies, the house automatically becomes the property of the survivor. That's not what they want to have happen.

Solutions: Kevin and Lynne can change the title to tenants in common and can then each bequeath their share in the house via their Will.

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Scenario Two... But what happens to Lynne?

Scenario: Kevin is worried about how to ensure Lynne has a home to live in if he dies first as she does not have enough money to buy her own home.

What's the issue? Not only does Kevin want to ensure Lynne is looked after, he may be under an obligation by law to do so. If he leaves his half share to his children Lynne may successfully challenge the Will.

Solutions: Kevin can give Lynne a Right to Occupy the property until she passes away, with his share in the property then transferring to his children.

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Scenario Three... And later on?

Scenario: The home is a substantial three bedroom house with a large garden. While Lynne is still relatively young, the time may come when she needs to move into something smaller, or into a care facility.

What's the issue? Kevin is worried about making sure she is looked after if she needs to move.

Solutions: The Will can contain clauses to allow the home to be sold, with the proceeds used to pay a bond for example, to an aged care facility, or to buy a smaller property. The Will can also allow for the estate to pay for repairs and maintenance while the partner lives in it.

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More information for clients

Please feel free to forward this insight on Wills and Testamentary Trusts to your clients. Or if they would like to discuss how we can help them please call 03 8621 9000 or email info@irongrouplawyers.com with their details and we will contact them, obligation free.

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