Imprecise wills can create further problems

In order to reduce the likelihood of complex estate disputes and to avoid ambiguity, it is often prudent to consult an experienced wills and estates lawyer to assist you in the preparation and execution of a will.

A will which contains poor drafting or creates ambiguity may make complicate or prolong the administration or distribution of the estate.

In the recent Queensland Supreme Court case of In Re the Will of Fernando Masci [2014] QSC 281, the Court considered whether a will drafted jointly by the deceased and his wife, based on a template, could be admitted to probate.

The will left a number of inconsistencies, including the legal status of the shared property and assets. 

Although the judge did consider dismissing the will based on these concerns and declaring a case of intestacy, in the end they decided to instead admit the will for probate, despite these uncertainties.

The Judge was also required to pass judgment on who was the correct executor of an estate, with both of the two executors disagreeing over which of them was best suited to fill this role. In the end, the Court ruled in favour of the plaintiff, declaring him the sole executor of the will.

This case clearly demonstrates the dangers that can come with wills drafted off a template, especially in a case like this where English was not the first language of the deceased. These cases can potentially lead to substantial disagreements over the administration of an estate.

If you require assistance in preparing a will which clearly evidences and gives effect to your wishes, it is important to consult an experienced wills and estates lawyer.