Australian law news

Avoid Estate Litigation: 3 Events that Necessitate an Estate Change

Failure to plan your estate correctly can cause your family members and other beneficiaries to go to court and contest your will. Of course, no one wants a court of law to overturn their wishes when they are not there to protect the interest of their loved ones. That's one you need to ensure that your will is up-to-date at all times. Doing so will not only close any loopholes for a contest, but it will also preserve the peace and cohesion in your family. In this light, this article will look into three life events that always necessitate an estate change.

Birth of children

When you have a new child in your home, it goes without saying that you will want them to be provided for after your death. However, how about other children in the extended family? Are there grandchildren that have been born to your kids and close relatives? If so, it is good to think about them and whether you'd want them to partake of your estate. If a grandchild ends up being left out of your will yet, they were close to you. This can trigger a contest which may overturn things as you had wanted them in your will. So, to avoid this, always take into account any children born in your extended family when updating your will.

Separation and divorce

After a divorce, most people divide their assets and estates based on the prenuptial agreement, mutual decision, or depending on how the court dictates. Now, it is possible that you had included your ex in your will after marriage. Unless you want them to inherit your estate beyond the portion they got in the divorce, it is crucial for you to update the will and remove them. If you don't do this, your ex-partner will get a portion of the estate after your death. This can easily trigger a contest from your family members, especially if they feel that the ex-partner does not deserve to be a beneficiary in your will.

Property sale or purchase

Have you made any recent property sales or purchases? Have you updated your will to incorporate these changes? Imagine leaving your child a house that you sold five years ago just because you forgot to change your will after the sale. Since you cannot give out what you don't own, your child will be left with nothing because of this mistake. If you buy property and don't include it in the estate, the court will determine what will happen to it. To avoid this, update your estate every time you buy or sell a property.

Contact a wills and estate lawyer so that they can help you plan your estate and update your will to avoid future litigation.