Australian Supreme Court says DIY Wills are a curse

Australian Supreme Court says DIY Wills are a curse

Western Australian Supreme Court Master Craig Sanderson has publically stated in a 2014 judgment that “Homemade Wills are a curse,” and inevitably lead to protracted and expensive legal battles in family disputes involving substantial estates.

Master Sanderson said the legal issue around the proper determination of the deceased’s Will could have been avoided if he had “consulted a lawyer and signed off on a Will that reflected his wishes”.

Master Sanderson warned of the dangers of homemade Wills, saying there was no question that engaging a properly qualified and experienced lawyer to draft a Will was “money well spent”.

“But where, as here, the estate of the deceased is substantial, the Will is opaque and there is no agreement among the beneficiaries, the inevitable result is an expensive legal battle which is unlikely to satisfy everyone.”

This view is supported by Rod Genders, who is a senior Australian lawyer specialising in trusts, Wills and estate planning, accident compensation, probate and deceased estate administration in Adelaide and throughout South Australia. His boutique specialist law firm, which was founded on 1848, is one of the oldest and most respected in Australia.


Advance Care Directives in South Australia

Advance Care Directives in South Australia

Since 1st July 2014 this new style of document in South Australia has replaced the older documents known as Medical Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Natural Death Anticipatory Directive.

This Advance Care Directive document allows you to appoint one or more persons to act as your Substitute Decision Maker, to make decisions for you about your medical & health care treatment and accommodation issues if you’re unable to do so for yourself. This can make all the difference between ensuring your wishes are met in very stressful times, and having treatment and care almost forced upon you against your wishes.

An Advance Care Directive is a legal form that allows people over the age of 18 years to state their wishes, preferences and instructions for future health care, end of life, living arrangements and personal matters and/or

An Advance Care Directive cannot be used to make financial decisions.  This requires a different document known as a Power of Attorney.


Who gets the jewellery?


When administering a deceased estate, love and law can intersect in the context of grief, causing problems for those left behind. Small things can set-off major family feuds.

For most families, a desire for personal effects is less about what they are worth and more about their sentimental value. Medals, jewellery and personal items are often the subject of strong feelings.

People in grief can behave irrationally, and their high emotions can create powerful symbols out of ordinary objects – a grandfather’s watch, a necklace, the rings mother wore – and in their minds the items become confused with how much the deceased loved them, rather than the market value of the items in question.

Mediating Settlement of Estate Disputes

Mediating Settlement of Estate Disputes

Mediating Settlement of Estate Disputes sa

Like most developed countries, Australia’s population is ageing as a result of sustained low fertility and increasing life expectancy. This has resulted in proportionally fewer children in the population and a proportionally larger increase in those aged 65 and over.

Over the 20 years between 1994 and 2014, the proportion of the population aged 65 years and over increased from 11.8% to 14.7%. This group is projected to increase more rapidly over the next decade, as further cohorts of baby boomers turn 65.

In the 12 months to 30 June 2014, the number of people aged 65 years and over increased by 118,700 people, representing a 3.6% increase.

We are living longer and accumulating greater wealth.  This gives rise to the potential for more disputes arising on either incapacity or death.

Top 5 Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Will Kits

Top 5 Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Will Kits in SA

Top 5 Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Will Kits in SA

Creating a Will gives us the peace of mind that comes from knowing that our estate will be distributed according to our wishes. But the desire to avoid the expenses normally associated with Will preparation is tempting some people these days to consider using Do-It-Yourself Will Kits.

At first look, DIY Will kits might seem to be cheaper and save some time and travel involved in having a legal professional prepare a Will, BUT the savings in time and money could be illusory if there are even minor mistakes or unforeseen events that cause the Will to be invalid.

Remember: any mistakes you make will only become apparent after you’re dead, and it’s too late to fix them.

Determining the wishes of the deceased is a legal issue by its very nature, and consequently, if the Will is not properly prepared and executed, it could be invalidated or challenged, sometimes complicating things even worse than if there had been no Will at all.