Leaving the family home in your will


For many Australians the family home is one of their most valuable assets. That is why it is very important to correctly account for your intentions with the family home when you write up your will. The exact format will depend on which beneficiaries you wish to benefit from the will. 

Your spouse

The simplest situation is one where your spouse will continue to live in the house after you pass. In most cases people will leave their share of the family house in this situation, but in the situation where this is a later marriage, and you also have adult children to consider, another possibility is to offer your partner a lifetime right to the home which passes to the children when they pass. It is important to remember that if your spouse doesn't have other assets they may need to have some security over the home in order to be able to lodge a bond to enter a nursing home if they are elderly, and can no longer live at home. 

Young children

If you have young children you may want to preserve the family house for them if you pass away. Consider the needs of the people that you have named as guardians for your children if you pass away, as they may need to upgrade to a much larger property if they also have children for example. Lawyers can write a will that allows the proceeds of the family home to be kept in trust for the child, and allow the guardians access in order to buy or rent a larger property with the funds. 

Adult children

In the case of adult children it's usually easiest to offer the children an equal share in the home, which they can access from a sale. One child can buy out the others if they wish to live in the family home. 

A charity

Most charities are very willing to receive funds as part of an estate. In some cases leaving a house can also be useful as this can provide office space,  or can potentially house recipients of the charity (such as housing homeless people or domestic violence survivors). In many cases it can be more practical to allow them to sell the house and utilise the funds for their mission which could include buying cheaper properties in the outer suburbs, housing with more bedrooms or homes with a bigger yard for kids.

If you are interested in leaving the family home as part of your estate it is important to think about the most important thing for your recipients. A lawyer tha specialises in wills and estates can help you construct a will that allows your family home to keep benefiting the people and causes that you valued in life.   


3 August 2016

Unknown laws you might not know

I love all of those quirky laws that are still on the law book. It's a little hobby of mine to track down some of those laws and try and work out if there was a story behind how they got on the books. I've been doing it for 14 years and have accumulated a lot of material that I have researched. I thought it would be fun to start a blog with some of these stories to share with other people who like to know a little more about law and about history. I hope you enjoy my site.