Will Disputes: There Are Only Two Outcomes

Do yourself a favour and take five minutes to Google “Will Disputes”. Read some case studies and enter a whole new fascinating and ugly world. Once a challenge is lodged and the game commences, there are only two outcomes – your family loses two things we like to have, control and money.

Unlike a tough game of rugby, the bruises and pain do heal once the player takes rest or receives treatment. Long term from playing the game there could be some ongoing side effects that will remind you of your battles on the field.

However, will dispute battles have different endings, pain that never goes away, a deep scar where the assets of the family used to be and some happy stranger that you’ll never see again, laughing while enhancing their lifestyle because of someone else’s’ misfortune or stupidity.

You see the rules of this game are quite simple, with a few variations depending on the size of the opposition. For instance:-

Inviting lines like “Call us if you feel left out of a will- we will help you”

Or, “Feel like you should have received more from your family’s estate?”

“Please call us, its free to chat – but only if it involves $100,000 or more”

These teams that invite people to play are “emotion terrorists” and it’s so easy to entice people, in fact easier than stealing a blind mans cane.

So what does one do to steer your family away from the post death temptation to compete in a game, that the only real winner at fulltime is the dealer?

For one thing, make sure you don’t make promises when you are vulnerable. Vulnerable when you might be unwell. You may have had a carer looking after you for quite a while, could be years. The personal relationship is strong as they have cared for you and you have been well looked after. You feel as though they deserve something out of your estate because of their dedication to you. You mention it but you forget to document it. This can cause problems when you pass on. (Find the case study Manly v Manly and see what happened to this lady, and she was the wife and carer)

Or vulnerable if you have placed yourself in a situation (that seemed like fun and a distraction from life at the time) with someone who might expect more if you are not around. A very recent court case that has been well voiced in the media, reminds us that if we do engage in events outside our relationship or marriage, the end result can have a severe impact on the family wealth, not to mention the stress that comes completely free of charge.

Don’t bet on your will like the person who placed $90,000 on St George recently when they led 20 nil at half time against the Rabbits at $1.01 to win $900 forty minutes later. Rabbits when on to win 34-20 and the $90,000 is in the hands of someone else.