A R Walmsley Solicitors Sydney



John and Jenny have just been married. Both had been married before. John has three children who live with his former wife. He has regular contact with them. Jenny has two children who live with them. Jenny is pregnant with John's child. Jenny works in a well paid position. John is self employed and runs a successful business.

John and Jenny called in to see me on their way to the beach. "How's it going?  We've got the kids in the car; we just called in to make a quick Will. " I shudder. "I just want to leave everything to Jenny. Jenny wants to leave everything to me. Can you knock the Will up and then we're off to the beach." How do I tell these happy people that they have put their foot right into a huge bear trap?  "Well John, it's not as simple as that. "

Blended families bring with them particularly difficult problems relating to the drafting of Wills. If a Lawyer just accepts John's instructions and drafts a Will in accordance with those instructions, there is a potential disaster. The role of the Lawyer in drafting a Will is to ask the right questions and help the client see the real issues.

If John's Will is drafted exactly how he wants it to be, then he will disinherit the three children he has by his previous marriage. In addition to disinheriting his children, he will expose Jenny to this Will being contested and challenged by his disinherited children. This challenge may be launched right at the time when Jenny is grief stricken. It is also likely that if John's instructions are blandly accepted, then Jenny's children will be hugely advantaged by John's Will while John's children will be hugely disadvantaged.

John's business is a valuable asset. However, without John it may be worthless. "Struth, is nothing easy?  I'm on my way to the beach." It is lucky that John is on his way to the beach and not on his way out of this world, for his good intentions will create nothing but a huge mess; a mess not for him, but for Jenny and his children, all of his children.

There is a solution to this really complex situation. The solution is found by asking the right questions; putting in place the right plan, and seeking the right legal advice from a Lawyer experienced and interested in Wills and Estates.

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