You probably hate the thought of your loved ones fighting over money when you call time on life here on earth.

But it happens.

Think of these situations:

 

Joe dies and in his Will he leaves everything to his second wife Mary.

This is a problem for Joe’s children from his first marriage. Joe might have assumed that Mary would look after his children once he departed. But Mary might not leave them anything in her Will because she is not obliged to. Besides, she has children of her own from her first marriage.

What do Joe’s children do?

Do they claim against their own father’s estate now, or do they kind of hope that Mary does the right thing by them?

This is a very real case in this day and age.

 

How about this one:

 

Joe dies and in his Will he leaves a life interest in his estate to his second wife Mary.

His estate will then pass to Joe’s children from his first marriage once Mary dies. The problem is, Mary is twenty five years younger than Joe so it could be a while.

What do Joe’s children do this time?

 

Here is another one for you:

 

Joe’s best friend is Frank. Frank’s wife died years ago but their two children are still here. They don’t have anything much to do with Frank these days though, in fact he hasn’t seen them for about twenty years. They are both rich. When they were little, Frank’s niece, who was much older than his children, moved in and basically brought them up.

Suddenly Frank dies and in his Will he leaves everything to his loyal niece.

For the first time in twenty plus years Frank’s children pop up and contest the Will.

Who should get what?

 

Issues like this pop up all the time these days. They are complicated. They require empathy, negotiation skills, experience and a good knowledge of some key laws including the Property (Relationships) Act, the Family Protection Act, Testamentary Promises Act as well as how the courts have dealt with similar issues.

Emotions typically run high.

This in no place for the good old Kiwi DIY.

There are ways and means of dealing with these problems, as complex as they are.

Contact scott@queenstownlaw.co.nz or russell@queenstownlaw.co.nz