Ajanta God was grieving the loss of her partner when she had to fight for his property. Here’s the message you want every Australian to read.
Ajanta Jood spent a year in a bitter legal battle with her late partner Peter’s four children over his estate when he passed away in 2017 after a brief battle with aggressive cancer.
“He was a bit of a procrastinator, he kept saying, ‘I must do my will, I must do my will,'” her late partner recalled to news.com.au.
“He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in January and passed away in March; And he kept saying it…even as he was going through the process of dying. But that didn’t happen.”
When Peter dies, Jude is left to deal with the ‘consequences’ alone, including packing up their home on Phillip Island – where the couple lived for 18 months – and figuring out how to complete the remainder of a book featuring the late anthropologist’s life work. , As I promised.
Peter had four adult children from two previous relationships, three in the US and one in Melbourne.
Although no formal will was drawn up, Mrs. Judd claims to have spoken to Peter’s adult children about his wishes for her to “have this, that and the other” of his “little” assets before he died.
She claimed that the eldest daughter had promised to “take care of her”.
After months of grieving, Mrs Judd got into an “agonizing” legal battle over Peter’s estate when his Melbourne son applied for Management letters.
Letters of administration are the consent given to the next of kin of a deceased person by the Supreme Court that allows them to determine who inherits what in the absence of a will.
“I found out I wasn’t entitled to anything, because we weren’t together long enough,” Judd said.
“When Peter died we were less than two years together; and in Victoria, if you were in a relationship for less than two years, you weren’t entitled to anything.
“Once you are two years old, you can become de facto and entitled to what you would be if you were married.”
What ensued was a year-long legal battle for Mrs. Judd, during which she had to prove that their relationship was real.
“I had to go through months and months of documents, downloading all our photos, social media, cards, legal declarations from friends…Pages and pages of evidence of how resilient our relationship was,” she said.
“I had to bare my soul. I was grieving again for someone who loved you and proved your sincerity, not being taken seriously.
In the end, Mrs. Judd gave up the fight and came away with $63,000 of Peter’s $240,000 estate – of which $25,000 went to legal fees, and $10,000 went to a lawyer.
She ended up with about 10 percent of the total estate.
Millions of Australians are at risk of the same fight
Ms Judd has since planned out of her own will to avoid a repeat of history, and wants all Australians to take action on planning for the end of life.
Its warning comes as a new study conducted by the Australian End of Life Planning Service Safe will It revealed that nearly half of Australian adults are not ready for the inevitable.
A survey of 2,000 adults found that 48 percent of respondents had no will to define their final wishes, even though many had large assets or dependents.
Data shows that one in four Australian parents do not have a will; Neither do nearly a third (31%) of adults with assets of $750,000 or more, nor do 26% of those with assets of at least $1.5 million.
Altogether, this means that nearly 10 million Australians will leave their loved ones without any money or assets – and children without legally appointed guardians – when they die.
Adam Lubowski, founder and chief executive of Safewill, said not only did the findings show that an “astounding” number of Australians could die intestate, but that we know very little about planning for the end of life.
The data showed that nearly eight in 10 (79 per cent) Australian adults do not know what will happen to their estate if they die intestate – they assume it will go directly into their estate. relativesthey partners or children, or to the government.
Meanwhile, two in five Australians have no idea where to start planning for the end of life, and around 37 per cent have never considered getting a will.
“There is definitely a misconception that estate planning is more complex and expensive than it really is,” Mr Lubowski told news.com.au.
It can be for those with complex circumstances, he said, but for most Australians: “Writing a will within 15 to 20 minutes with Safewill is completely safe and affordable.”
And for this week only Safe will Make estate planning affordable with its Free Wills Week initiative.
From Monday 4 September, Safewill is offering all Australians the chance to create a custom will for free on its platform – which would normally cost $160.
Lubowski said every will created via Safewill is reviewed by an in-house team of “estate planning experts” from across Australia “to ensure that people are using the platform correctly”.
“The best way to reduce the risk of conflict over your property is to develop a plan that clearly states your wishes,” he said.
“If you don’t, your estate will be distributed according to a government legal formula that may be very different from what you want.”
Not having a will means having a say in “really important decisions”, such as leaving funeral notes, making charitable donations or appointing guardians for children (or pets).
With an easy service like Safewill, and an opportunity like Free Wills Week, “there’s no reason there can’t be a will,” Lubowski said.
Ms. Judd echoed the call to action, saying she understood how difficult it was to think about death, but she had heard many horror stories like hers.
“If you love the people around you, you will do your best not to let them mess up,” she said.
“Not carrying out a will is irresponsible, it’s part of taking care of yourself and the people you love.”
Safewill Free Wills Week runs from September 4 through September 10. For more information visit Safewill.com.