Tip: If your children are now adults, review your Wills. Would your children be more suitable Executors?
While on holidays, a man and woman have a car accident and both perish, leaving behind two adult children. Their son is 45 and their daughter is 40.
The deceased couple have Wills. But they signed it 30 years ago. Their Wills gave their whole estate to each other and if both passed away, their estate to be divided up between their son and daughter equally. Their named Executor is John. John was their best man and golf buddy. John moved to Sydney 10 years ago.
John having found out about his friends’ fates becomes their Executor. Because he’s a busy CEO in Sydney, he takes a very long time to wind up the estate. The children are anxious that it’s taking too long. It takes 3 years to wind up the estate.
Alternative: The man and woman get their Wills reviewed when John moves to Sydney. Their son is 35 and their daughter is 30. As their estates are given to their children, they decide to appoint their son and daughter to be joint executors. That way, their children have an interest to ensure their parents wealth is passed on efficiently.
The man and woman may also consider whether they also need to pass control of their family trust (which owns the family business) to their adult children. When they have their Wills reviewed, they may also consider whether to appoint their adult children as their attorney, to make financial and legal decisions for them if they are unable.
It’s important with any role changes to review and update your Will.