Chris (65) is a widow with two grown-up adult children, Andrew and Michael. His wife had died 10 years before from underlying health issues. Chris’ children became estranged from him after their mother passed away. Over time, Chris’ friends introduced him to Emma.  

Emma (57) is in a relationship with Chris. They live in Chris’ house in Sydney and share a vehicle that Emma predominantly uses to get to work. They have no children together; however, they adopted a dog to keep Chris company during his early years of retirement.  

Chris and Emma were together for four years when Chris died suddenly in a car accident. This was a shock, and Emma immediately contacted his estranged adult sons, Andrew and Michael, to break the news of their father’s death.  

After Chris passed away it was revealed that he never updated his will. His most updated will dated back over 10 years ago from his previous marriage, when he had plans to leave his estate to his then-wife, and if she did not survive Chris, then to his now-estranged sons.  

Emma was not listed in Chris’ will at all, despite being his de facto partner for the last 8 years, and he left his entire estate to his two children, Andrew and Michael. This meant Emma would have to ‘contest the will’, a term she had not been familiar with until now, if she wanted to be provided for by Chris’ estate. 

With the assistance of an experienced law firm in estate litigation, Emma decided to make a Family Provision claim. Emma was successful in her claim. 

Although Emma was successful, the entire process of contesting the will was still lengthy and costly. This situation could have been avoided if Chris had updated his will.  

This experience demonstrates why updating your will and having an up-to-date estate plan is crucial.  

Please reach out to our team today to discuss the process of updating your will. 


Note: This story is not based on client experience but instead a portrayal of real-life events.