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Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide: 10 More Reasons to Make a Will in Adelaide

10 More Reasons to Make a Will in Adelaide

If you die without a Will, you are deemed to have died “intestate” and your estate will have to be administered at Court in accordance with an inflexible statutory formula which will determine where your estate will go. This can result in unintended results for some people, perhaps contrary to what they would have wanted.

Many people believe that if they are married and they die without a Will, all their property will automatically go to their surviving spouse. That is frequently NOT the case in Australia.

If you are married, all jointly-owned property will pass by right of survivorship to your spouse.  Matrimonial property (essentially property acquired during the marriage) will also generally go to your spouse.

However, if you also have one or more children, state law will provide a formula which will direct the share of the separate property (property acquired before marriage or inherited during the marriage) which will go to each of them. This can be an unintended result if the estate is modest and your surviving spouse needs all the estate-assets to make ends meet.

The End of Life Debate in Australian Estate Planning

Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide: The End of Life Debate in Australian Estate Planning

In June 2010 the Supreme Court of South Australia Court effectively granted an elderly woman’s wish to die.

The End of Life Debate in Australian Estate Planning

The woman was in her 70s and confined to a wheelchair. She instructed her nursing home to stop giving her food and drink and the drug insulin, knowing she would die.

She clearly asserted her right to refuse to take food and medication. The Court case was instigated by the Nursing Home in which she resided, because of concerns that her carers might face prosecution for assisting in a suicide or committing other crimes if it complied with her desires.

The judgment is a first in South Australia and reflects a similar ruling in Western Australia in 2009, where the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, held that Christian Rossiter be allowed to withdraw nutrition & medication, even though the undoubted consequence of this would lead to his death.

Rossiter had become a quadriplegic after a road accident, and retained full ability to understand his condition and to make reasoned choices on his own behalf. His fully functioning mind was trapped within a body which was unable to undertake any basic human functions’. Nutrition was provided to him through a tube inserted directly into his stomach.