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Daughters left 90p each, from Estate worth over £2m

I read an interesting news article last week about an 81 year old Australian millionaire who left her husband and daughters around 90p each in her Will, believing that they had “conspired” in her own mother’s death.

After learning that the rest of the money was to be donated to the Catholic men’s charity, Southern Cross, the daughters, led by one sister in particular, are now claiming that their mother was not in a reasonable state of mind in order to make a Will sensibly.  In return, the sisters must now correctly answer questions about their mother’s personal diaries, from January 1974 until October 1981, when her Will was written.

Apparently, court documents revealed that the millionaire enquired about changing her Will in 2007, but no such Will has yet been found.

This chaos is a classic example of someone who perhaps didn’t take her time in selecting a proven probate professional.  Often, people simply research and choose the professional who is offering the lowest quote – not the greatest criteria when dealing with something so important.  Other non-professional Executors may also try and do the work themselves, in an attempt to save beneficiaries money but again, this is not advised.

Trying to execute probate in a non-professional manner, or even DIY style may indeed result in probate being granted, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the job was done correctly or most effectively, and may in the long run, cost the Estate more.

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