Two minute scenarios...
At what point in a new relationship will you need to think about looking after your partner in your Will?
Or perhaps their children?
Scenario One... Richard
Scenario: Richard has been going out with Amanda for 2 years now, but only stays at her place three nights a week. Richard is thinking about getting his Will done.
What's the issue? Richard wants to leave the bulk of his estate assets to his siblings.
Solution: Couples don't need to live together full time for the courts to consider them to be in a defacto relationship. Richard needs to get specialist advice in order to avoid a potential costly challenge to his estate.
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Scenario Two... Richard's (defacto) stepdaughter
Scenario: Amanda passed away a few years ago leaving behind her partner Richard and her daughter from a previous relationship. Richard re-partnered and later died leaving everything to his new wife, Louisa.
What's the issue? Amanda's daughter wants to challenge Richard's estate claiming she is entitled to a share of it as Richard's (defacto) stepdaughter.
Solution: In some states (for example, in Victoria), Amanda will have the right to challenge the Will as the death of the natural parent does not destroy the stepchild/stepparent relationship in this regard, even if it was the result of a defacto relationship.
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Scenario Three... Richard and Louisa
Scenario: Let's assume Richard only started going out with Louisa six months ago and they have just discovered she is pregnant. Richard's Will currently leaves his estate to his siblings.
What's the issue? Richard dies unexpectedly. Louisa wants to know if she can challenge the estate even though she hadn't been going out with Richard for very long.
Solution: Yes she can, as Richard is the father of her unborn child.
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Please note that legislation around estate challenges differs by state. If you have a query about a particular scenario please contact our firm to make a time for an appointment with a lawyer.
We are very pleased to advise that our lawyer, Robyn Scamangas, is now an accredited Wills & Estate specialist.
She is one of only 84 lawyers out of 22,000 in Victoria, to have earned this accreditation.
Do your clients need motivating to get their Wills done? Download these Insights and email them. It might help...
Why you need a Will
and Different Types of Wills