How to create a Will that is as Claim-Proof as possible
Claims against Estates happen and they are becoming increasingly common. Even if there is a valid Will in place, it can be challenged in a number of ways.
In order to make sure that your wishes are protected and adhered to when you are gone, it is important to be aware of the following three main ways in which a Will can be challenged.
1. Family Protection Act 1955
As a Will-maker, you have a moral duty to provide proper maintenance and financial support to certain family members and to provide for them in your Will. Family members that fall within this Act include spouses, de facto partners, children and sometimes grandchildren. Step-children can be included if they are financially supported by you at the time of your passing.
It is recommended that you leave something in your Will to these family members (even if it is a small monetary gift). If you are wanting to leave a family member out of your Will, sometimes it is appropriate to explain your reasoning for doing so, this can be done within a clause in your Will or in a statement to accompany your Will.
2. Property (Relationships) Act 1976
Under this particular Act the law presumes that all relationship property will be shared equally between spouses, civil union relationships and de facto partners (usually couples that have been together for three years or more).
In order to best avoid a claim under this particular Act, it is advised that you leave your partner at least 50% of all relationship property within your Estate, under your Will.
3. Testamentary Promises Act 1949
This particular Act applies when someone has provided services to you, during your lifetime and in return you have promised to provide for them in your Will.
If you wish to thank someone for a particular service by leaving them a part of your Estate, be sure to include a gift for them in your Will.
If you do not wish to include them in your Will, or for them to receive a distribution after your passing then make sure to keep your Will updated and recent so that then it is clear that you did not intend to provide for them under your Will.