DOCUMENTS & GUIDES...
THE FARM AND YOUR WILL
Murray and Mavis had farmed a large rural property for 42 years. The farm was registered in Murray's name only. He inherited the farm at the age of 22 from his father. He married Mavis at the age of 24. He was now 66 years of age.
Murray and Mavis had 3 children, Michael, William and Charles. Michael had worked with Murray on the farm since leaving school at a young age. Murray, Mavis and Michael traded as a partnership.
Murray and Mavis had been thinking about transferring the farm to Michael as he had been the mainstay of the farm for a number of years. Murray's health was deteriorating. However, Murray was frightened that a transfer of the farm would expose him to unnecessary risk and disinherit his other two children. It was all too hard. So, nothing was done.
Murray and Mavis were killed in a motor vehicle accident. Neither Murray nor Mavis had ever made a Will as the whole question of estate planning was too difficult.
Under the rules of intestacy, the farm was divided equally between the 3 children. There was no special provision made for Michael who is now 40 years of age.
The consequences of failing to plan meant that Michael was unable to purchase his brothers' interest in the farm. He did not have the financial capacity to do so. The farm was sold.
The consequence was that Michael who had toiled alongside of his father and mother on the farm lost his home; the farm, and his livelihood.
This is an unsatisfactory and sad conclusion. Thoughtful planning and professional advice would have resulted in Michael retaining the farm and provision made for William and Charles. It is complex; but it is not too hard. A Lawyer who is interested and experienced in Wills and Estate is able to help.