Wills, Estates and Powers of Attorney
The Horror of No Estate Planning

The Horror of No Estate Planning

Imagine a family in chaos, torn apart by the lack of proper estate planning. This horror story highlights the devastating consequences that can arise when you don’t plan for the inevitable.


  1. Ex-Partner Takes Control of Assets for the Kids

When John passed away unexpectedly, his ex-partner, who was still listed as the guardian of their children, took control of his assets. This led to endless legal battles and strained relationships, as his current wife was left to deal with the mess for her and John’s children. As a result, John’s new wife needed to take the matter to Court to fight for her rights. The competing interests need to be resolved through a Will.


  1. Step-Mum Takes Everything and Leaves It to Her Kids

After David’s death, his stepmother inherited all his assets, leaving nothing for his biological children. She then left everything to her children, cutting David’s kids out completely. The family was left heartbroken and bitter.


  1. Will Not Signed, Chasing Witnesses to Get Further Affidavits and Delaying Probate

When Sarah died, her will was not signed properly. Her family had to track down witnesses to provide affidavits, delaying probate for months. This caused significant stress and financial hardship during an already difficult time. A simple discussion with a lawyer could have avoided all of this if done properly in the beginning.


  1. Stepfather Organizes Mum’s Will to Leave Everything to Him, Leaving the Kids with Nothing

Mary’s stepfather managed her finances and influenced her to leave everything to him. When she passed, her children were left with nothing, feeling betrayed and abandoned. It is important to discuss these matters with your parents before it is too late and ensure that they are not being manipulated.


  1. Couldn’t Bury the Deceased Because They Hid All Their Documents and Couldn’t Find the Money to Bury Them

When Paul died, his family couldn’t find his documents or money to cover burial expenses. They struggled to give him a proper burial, adding to their grief and frustration. Leaving the right information, including all accounts and financial information, in our Digital Vault for distribution to the persons assigned by the Will maker, could have avoided all this stress, and allowed them to be laid to rest much sooner.


  1. Father Appointed Estranged Sister as Executor, Who Hid the Ashes So Client Couldn’t Mourn Father

Tom’s father appointed his estranged sister as executor. She hid his ashes, preventing Tom from mourning properly. This caused deep emotional pain and unresolved grief. This could have been avoided if Tom’s father had just talked with a lawyer and chosen the right executor.


  1. Estranged Kids Coming After Father’s Assets Even Though They Hadn’t Spoken in Decades

When Richard died, his estranged children, who hadn’t spoken to him in decades, came forward to claim his assets. This led to a bitter dispute with his current family, tearing them apart. This could have easily been avoided, and Richard really should have known that it would have happened and spared his family the grief. Now his memory is tainted by what happened.


Tips to Avoid These Horrors:


  1. Keep Your Will Updated

Ensure your will reflects your current wishes and relationships. Regularly review and update it to avoid leaving assets to unintended recipients.


  1. Clearly Define Beneficiaries

Specify who gets what in your will to prevent step-relatives from taking everything. This ensures your assets go to your intended heirs.


  1. Sign and Witness Your Will

Make sure your will is signed and properly witnessed to avoid delays and legal issues. This simple step can prevent a lot of trouble for your loved ones.


  1. Appoint a Trusted Executor

Choose someone you trust to manage your estate. Avoid estranged or unreliable family members to ensure your wishes are honoured.


  1. Organize Important Documents

Keep all important documents in a safe and accessible place. Inform a trusted person about their location to avoid difficulties during burial arrangements.


  1. Communicate Your Wishes

Discuss your estate plans with your family to avoid misunderstandings. Clear communication can prevent disputes and ensure everyone understands your wishes.


By following these tips, you can spare your family from the horror and chaos of poor estate planning. Planning ensures your loved ones are taken care of and your final wishes are respected. Remember, HazeLegal is here to help if you have any questions or need assistance. Feel free to reach out to us anytime.





This is a commentary published by HazeLegal for general information purposes only. This is not meant to be taken as particular advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or any specific situation or proposal, or get in touch with the writer at http://hazelegal.com.au before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories.

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