A recent decision by the District Court at Maroochydore has highlighted the importance of keeping up to date wills, particularly when buying and selling property.
The decision in Kalandyk v The Personal Representative of the Estate of Jill Margaret Petersen  QDC 72 saw District Court Judge Cash QC consider a Family Provision Application (which we have reviewed previously here by Ms. Kalandyk for a greater share in the estate of her mother).
The original will, made in 2002, allowed for Ms. Kalandyk to receive a property at Sandgate owned by her mother, with the remainder of her estate to be shared equally between Ms. Kalandyk and her older brother. However, the Sandgate property was sold in 2003 and Ms. Kalandyk and her mother moved to a new property in Flaxton, which was verbally promised to Ms. Kalandyk by her mother.
Because the will was not updated after the Sandgate property was sold, the terms of the will meant that the Flaxton property went to Ms. Kalandyk and her brother equally, instead of solely to Ms. Kalandyk. As her brother owned two other properties, one of which that was financed with help from her mother, she felt that the will did not adequately provide for her and filed the application with the court.
Fortunately for Ms. Kalandyk, when the application was considered by His Honour he determined that she had not been adequately provided for in the will, and agreed that she should receive the Flaxton property, with her brother receiving $100,000 from the estate. This was partially due to the fact that Ms Kalandyk and her older brother had agreed to this distribution prior to the hearing – admittedly after a mediation conference between the parties.
While Ms Kalandyk ultimately received what her mother had initially intended, the court application, mediation, and other fees are largely taken from the estate, which could have significantly reduced what was already a modest estate. Had the will been updated when the Sandgate property was sold, the legal costs and headaches from the above hearing could have been completely avoided.
Any time a property is bought or sold should always be a good reminder to double check your will and make sure that your loved ones aren’t left out, or left with a legal headache and substantial costs after you are gone.
For a confidential and obligation free discussion with our experienced estate planning lawyers, contact SPM Law on 5540 4800 today.
Read the decision of DCJ Cash QC here
Estate Planning Estate Administration Family Provision Application