Despite the increasing awareness of the importance of estate planning, a surprising number of people continue to pass away without a written testament or will. Unfortunately, anyone and everyone can forget to write or update their will. Young people believe they are invincible, and so writing a will seems like a task that can be put off. Young families tend to hate planning for their death because such a topic brings emotional pain or because they’re too busy to consider it. Older people sometimes simply forget or trust their families to work it out, Unfortunately, if you were to pass away without a will, the laws of intestacy apply, and this means that your estate may be divided in a way you wouldn’t want.
In 2017, country music star Glen Campbell died, leaving behind a sizable fortune and an estate dispute between his eight children and his current wife.
He found success as a session musician before embarking on a solo career that included smashes “Gentle On My Mind,” “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman” and “Rhinestone Cowboy”, which landed him in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Campbell died shortly after his wife disclosed he was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Campbell, who was 81 at the time of his death, was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in August 2011.
Salvadore Dali died in 1989, yet an estate battle has suddenly erupted involving a potential child from an extra-marital relationship.
Recently, a judge has decided that Salvador Dali’s body will be exhumed in order to assist in settling a paternity suit that involves the estate, despite Dali having passed away in 1989. A woman named Pilar Abel, who was born in 1956, claims that she is the child of Dali after he had an affair with her mother.
Do you know which estate planning questions to ask?
Imagine you are sitting down and are having a conversation with your lawyer about your estate plan. You’re going through the usual estate planning questions, like ‘what do you want to do with your house?’ Everything is going well and you are enjoying planning for your future. But some estate planning questions are harder to answer, like ‘what will happen to your children if you die?’
Making a will is assumed by many to be a simple process, however, it is very important that you ensure your will is valid. The law surrounding wills is complex, and unless you know exactly what’s required, you may be making a will that is invalid.
To be valid, it has to fulfil legal requirements and effectively address all aspects of your property and assets. A will contains information regarding how your estate will be distributed once you pass away, who will look after any minor children, your wishes for your funeral and other final wishes you may have. If your will is deemed invalid, your wishes may not be followed.
The Queensland Supreme Court has recently made a decision on what constitutes a valid will, deeming an unsent text message evidence of a valid will.
The court has accepted a dead man’s unsent, draft text message leaving his possessions to his brother and nephew instead of his wife and son, as an official will.