Why sever a joint tenancy? Severing a joint tenancy is relevant to joint co-owners passing on their property interests to their chosen descendants. Owning property with others in co-ownership can be either as joint tenants or tenants in common. The consequences of who inherits a co-owner’s share on death are different. It is important to …
Estranged daughter An estranged daughter contested her mother’s will. She and her sister were the only children of the deceased.1 Contesting the will of a parent is highly emotional, stressful and damaging to family relations. As observed by the Supreme Court of New South Wales: The case provides yet another example of the high level …
The legal formalities to make a valid will require the will-maker to sign their will in the presence of at least two people, acting as formal witnesses to the event.
Signing a will in front of witnesses fulfils a protective function. Can anyone witness or attest the signing of a will? And what must they do? Read more >>
The residue of a deceased person’s estate is basically what is left over after the payment all costs in connection with the estate. That is, payment of funeral expenses, costs incurred in the administration of the estate, payment of the deceased’s debts, discharge of any liabilities and the distribution of any specific gifts made under the will.
Wills are important private and confidential documents. An original will should be stored in a safe and secure place after being signed and witnessed. Once all the formalities have been completed and it has been copied, the original will then needs to be kept in a safe and secure place.
Updating a will might seem a troublesome chore, but circumstances can change from the time it was made. The changes might produce unintended and unwanted outcomes in the event of death. Therefore reviewing a will is important to keep its contents in line with intentions. Regularly reviewing your will is important so it reflects your intentions.
Intestate means dying without a will. But sometimes even if a person has left a will there may be a partial intestacy. This is when the will does not effectively dispose of all of their property. If that happens the identified property falls into the residue of the estate and distributed according to what the person’s will states about disposal of the residue, and if silent, then according to the statutory intestacy rules. Read more on dying intestate. >>
If a deceased person has not left a will or if no document appearing to be a will can be found, they are said to have died intestate.
In general terms, all property (real and personal property) to which a person is entitled at the time they die can be disposed of or given away in a will.
To make a will a person must be an adult and have the required mental capacity.
A will made by a minor, being under 18, is generally invalid under State and Territory wills and succession legislation.
Exceptions relate to contemplation of marriage, or altering or cancelling a prior will. If the contemplated marriage does not take place, the will is invalid. The court may authorise a minor to make, alter or cancel a will.
Disposing property by will, in the will-making process requires considerations to be given to what you own in your individual name, as opposed to what you might control, see further below. As only property owned in a personal or individual name can form a deceased estate, it is only this which can be transferred by will, (or the rules of intestacy).
Among the first considerations in making a will is considering what we own. Only property owned personally can form a deceased estate and be disposed of by will, but it is easy to overlook that property thought of as ‘ours’, is legally in another name. It pays to check who owns what, that which is not in your own name, is not yours to give by will.