Getting a Will makes good sense, but what doesn’t is using a Will Kit in those cases where your circumstances, both financial and personal require much more attention.
The recent case of the estate of Peter Brock reinforces the reasons why people should see a lawyer to draft their will.
Brock made three wills. The first Will was dated 1984 and was made with his solicitor. The second and third Wills were done using a Will Kit, the last of which was done 6 weeks before his death.
Brock’s family at the time was a little complex. It consisted of Julie Bamford (de facto wife of about 15 months), Bev Brock (de facto wife of about 18 years),
son Robert Brock, daughter Alexandra Brock and Bev’s son James Brock (who Peter treated as his own child).
The court found that the wills by both Will Kits were both deficient as to the formal requirements of a will. The court was asked to rectify those deficiencies and to determine which was Brock’s last will.
The latter will made provision for the 3 Brock children and Julie, but the court ultimately found that it was not a valid will. Although, it probably expressed at least some of Brock’s wishes as to his estate at the time of his death.
The 2003 was held to be his last will and consequently, because of Brock’s lack of legal knowledge, the will failed to make any provision for the distribution of his estate and created an intestacy.
The legal effect of the intestacy created by the 2003 will was that his estate was to be divided equally between his 2 biological children. Thus, James
Brock and Julie Bamford missed out on a share in his estate.
Had Brock invested in the vicinity of $300 and sought legal advice and drafting of his last Will, it may well have saved this whole ordeal, not to mention the anguish, pain and financial burden of pursuing the matter in the court.
Listen to our interview with Melissa Tucker