Estate planning

Not in the will… does it count?

A recent decision in the Supreme Court of Western Australia shows that pre-testamentary wishes are difficult to prove unless they are expressly provided for under a valid Will. In Caratti, the deceased mother made a decision during her lifetime that her son, and future beneficiary of her estate, could reside at her house for as long as he wished. However, there was no provision of this right in her Will. The consequence was that the deceased’s son was not eligible for an exemption to land tax despite using the property as his place of residence.