Wills for minors

by Jacqui Brauman

Ben lives with his mother and step-father. He is sixteen, and is a tennis star on the amateur circuit. He has already accumulated significant wealth through his sponsorship deals and prize money, and this is only likely to continue over the next two years at least.

Tenis starGenerally, you need to be eighteen years old (no longer a minor) to make valid Will.

If Ben dies as a minor without a Will, then intestacy laws will apply to his estate and all his earnings. Under intestacy laws, as he has no children, Ben’s estate would all go to his parents equally.

Ben’s mother and father separated when Ben was too young to remember. His father has been absent for most of Ben’s life, until Ben started to become successful and his father started trying to insert himself back into Ben’s life. Ben brutally put his father back in his place, seeing his father for the money-grabber that he is, and doesn’t want anything to do with him.

Ben doesn’t want half of his estate to go to his father, if he dies. He wants to make a Will to leave most to his mother, but to also put some aside for his younger half-sister.

With his mother’s help, Ben could apply to the court for an Order enabling him to make a Will, under which he could then appoint his mother as his executor, set up a trust for his sister to leave money for her future, and leave the rest to his mother for supporting him during his lifetime.

Most States of Australia have laws to allow minors to make Wills.

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