Why it is of vital importance for a lawyer who is preparing a Will for a person with a trust, partnership or company to see the last available financial accounts for each entity.

Let me tell you the story of Farmer Green.  An elderly widower, Farmer Green had three adult children.  He had two farms worth about two million dollars each and off farm real estate also worth about two million dollars.  He had two sons who were farming and a daughter who lived in Perth.  One farm was held in a family trust and the other was owned by a company.  The real estate was owned by himself.

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How can you avoid a challenge to a Will?

A person cannot avoid the operation of the Family Provisions Act by putting a clause in their Will to the effect that the Act is not to apply or by providing in the Will that a beneficiary who challenges the Will is not to receive benefit under it.  However, in WA (unlike NSW for example) property can be protected from a challenge under the Family Provisions Act by ensuring that it does not form part of the estate of the deceased at the date of death.

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Where there is a Will there is a way – To Challenge the Will?

I have one particularly gloomy client.  He reminds me of the old t-shirt caption: “They said cheer up things could be worse, so I cheered up and sure enough things got worse!” 

 He recently bemoaned: “what is the point of having a Will if it can be set aside by a court?

 It is true that an act known as the Family Provisions Act enables certain persons to challenge the Will of the deceased.  However, as I said to Old Gloomy, there are limitations...

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