Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Losing your inheritance - the smart way

Q. A court has ruled that a will can be made on a smart phone. How do I stop my inheritance being tweeted away?

A. It used to be that thieves were branded on the cheek, murderers were hanged, and if a will was not signed at the bottom or foot thereof in the presence of two witnesses present at the same time, it was not valid. We all knew where we stood, and although it was difficult to get a will executed without someone inadvertently trying to leave the room, or wanting to sign in the wrong place, we managed. Now, if a Testator had a clear intention of creating a will, despite not observing the legal niceties, a judge may allow it over the line.

Once a Testator is deceased it is no longer his wife who decides his intentions for him, it is a judge, so it can still go either way. This means that if those in charge of your inheritance are unreliable (and let’s face it, we are dealing with your parents here) you may need to have an entire court case to beat off the other claimants, and that can be expensive.

Therefore, it is best to pay for your parents to make their wills properly and then wipe them out before they change their minds. This is not without risk and care must be taken to avoid suspicion of patricide, matricide or the ever popular, step-matricide. However, no one is surprised by what parents get up to these days. Accidents involving Bucking Broncos, parachuting and microlights seem commonplace for the over 70s. 

But, tweeting is just one of the ways to lose your inheritance, so be vigilant and proactive it may not be enough to support your parents’ extreme lifestyle choices and wait. 

Extract from - I'll have the law on you -unmitigated advice on law and lawyers by John Fytit AO, lawyer to be published later this year. 

(c) Paul Brennan 2014. All rights reserved. Author of The Legal Guide to Dying...Baby Boomer Edition 

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