Learn about a widow whose recently deceased husband had prepared her will for her.
The will said that she left everything to herself!
Did you know a carefully conceived will is not a simple template document, where you just insert a few names and addresses?
A widow came in recently after the sad departure of her husband. Her will was made before he passed away. She wanted to check if anything needed to be updated now her husband was gone. Let’s call her Julie to disguise her true identity.
The will had a glaring error. Julie’s deceased husband had his will prepared by a solicitor, but then in order to save money, he prepared Julie’s will himself, using his own will as a template. Julie’s will was a copy of the deceased husband’s will, except he’d changed the name at the heading of the first page to remove his name and insert Julie’s name instead.
Their wishes were essentially the same, that is, leave everything to each other and then when they were both gone, everything was to be left to the children.
But the problem lay further in. The husband had not altered various names and references that appeared throughout the document, which, for his wife Julie was a terrible error. Her will stated that she left the whole of her estate to Julie (that’s herself).
It was a mistake that luckily didn’t impact on them because he died before her and she has the good sense to have her will revised after his death.
When you choose to go with an online will or will kit, you are placing trust in your own ability to draft legal clauses. You must also be confident you know which estate planning documents are needed to accompany your will and how to prepare these documents.
It is incredible how many people have a unit of law tucked away in a degree and assume this equips them with adequate knowledge in succession law, tax law, estate litigation, superannuation law, trust law, and asset protection.
Don’t get us wrong, confidence is great a great thing, and so too being thrifty. But is it worth putting your family at risk if there’s a gap in your knowledge or you miss something important?
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