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Advice about wills

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This is a tricky one and I am just wanting to know if anyone has any ideas...

My Dad is pretty wealthy and although he left my mum when I was 4, I live a few minutes down the road from him and we finally have a good relationship. He pays for the odd brunch etc, and buys small birthday gifts for me and my children, but he has never been a generous person in the slightest.

He is on his third marriage and although his wife is lovely and the godmother of my eldest child, she is still not family and she is the most stingy person I have met.

She is English and quite a bit younger and healthier than him and she has said that when my Dad dies (which I am presuming will likely be in the next 15 years) she will return to live in England. She has a 30 year old son in London who she has probably seen 4 times in 20 years. My Dad doesn't have a will, and when he dies I presume everything he owns will be left for his wife. She will return to England and I don't think for a second she will keep in contact with us. She has 7 siblings, her son, and a million nieces and nephews.

When she dies it will all go to her son.

I can't talk to my Dad about a will or about any of this as he is really weird about death. I don't want to have gone so many years growing up with my Mum - we had NO money at all - having this wealthy but tight father and be completely left in the cold financially.

If there is no will, can I apply for some of my father's estate when he dies? Do I have a leg to stand on? Does anyone have any advice or have been in a similar situation?

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I am going through something quite similar at the moment. Though my dad did leave a will his partner is contesting it as she isn't happy with how it was split up even though it's completely fair and equal.

Basically if someone doesn't leave a will it will go into the hands of a public trust which can be quite messy and takes time. They also have a habit of being extremely costly. The law will be on his wifes side and as she is lawfully his partner chances are she will end up with what is left after the lawyers etc have taken their share.

Your best choice is seeking legal advice from a lawyer who is good at dealing with estates and see what they say.

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It is messy and expensive if someone dies without having a will. The lawyers get the bulk of it.

Try talking about it to your dad, even if you broach it in a roundabout way first.

My parents are the opposite. Not only do they both have wills but they have planned their funerals and mum and I are going to design their service sheets too. She is currently picking the pictures she wants shown on a slide show during the service, plus working out which ones she would like on the service sheet. They have also asked who wants what and all 4 of us know what mementos in particular are wanted by which sibling.

Of course, I do not see why any child expects to get anything from their parents' when they die. It is not a right.

My kids have been warned we are spending all our cash and they can fight each other over the assets (if we haven't sold them all off as well) :thup:

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I am the Auckland Government Superannuitants Association Secretary and at our meeting yesterday we had speakers from the Public Trust speaking on Wills and also Power of Attorney.

From my understanding, if your father dies without a Will no one will have right to the money/estate and it will end up with the Lawyers taking a heap of it through fees and going through the courts. Those who think they should be entitled to the proceeds or estate will be required to put in a claim.

It would be a good idea to broach the subject with your father as he may not realise this. He also may not realise that if he does not make a Will then its up to the courts to decide who will benefit which may well be the opposite of what he wants. His wife may be wrong, or he may not want to discuss this with you but the second sentence of this paragraph may change his mind.

He will also need to name an Executor of his Estate. We were advised yesterday to tier this i.e. have two separate Executors - No. 1 and No. 2 then if Executor 1 pre deceases or dies at the same time, Executor 2 is there to take it over.

Public Trust do not charge for the first appointment for advice. Then there is a set fee for the writing of the Will. From what some of our members said yesterday they are considerably cheaper than a lot of law firms (but that just may be up here in Auckland).

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I've found the brochure -

If you pass away without a Will your loved ones may face difficulty sorting out your wishes. And, what happens may not be what you would want or expect. The law determines what happens to the people who depend on you, and how your estate is divided. The people you care about most could miss out. And, it could take a long time and cost a lot of money to resolve which may cause extra distress for those you love.

I don't know the age of your father or if he belongs to any Senior Groups i.e. Age Concern, Grey Power, GSA - but if he does belong to one of those he may well have a Will. Whether it is up to date or not.

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  • 4 weeks later...

He needs to get that will sorted. We are going through hell due to a wicked stepmother who wants all the money and believe me a wife comes first and she can give heaps away to her own children and get away with it. Make sure he also gets an enduring power of attorney and has two people responsible for the financial side. You can only have one person for care but he could stipulate his wishes there too. I can't stress enough how important it is to get all this stuff sorted just incase he were to become incapacitated.

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  • 1 month later...

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