Category: Wills and Estates

As anyone can tell you, the property market is going absolutely gangbusters right now. So much so that a bidder at an auction in Sydney’s south last Saturday accidently bid against herself just as she was about to be declared the new owner of the property for sale at the hotly-contested auction. The final price was $1.62 million, with her previous bid being $1.619 million. The underbidder’s last offer was $1.618 million.
Biologist, historian and futurist H G Wells, author of the sci-fi classic The War of the Worlds - a tale of alien invasion and annihilation by pathogen - once famously wrote “Adapt or perish, is nature’s inexorable imperative.” It could be very good advice in today’s troubled times.
Unfortunately, sooner or later we all have to turn our minds to the prospect of shuffling off this mortal coil. For most of us, when we do the exercise inevitably entails a lot of care and consternation, stipulating just who should get what in the all-important terms of our final will and testament. But in the process what is often overlooked is one of the most vital questions of all – who should be appointed as executor of the estate?
By all accounts the recently deceased was a pretty cranky old dude. Even his life-long best friend, my client, the sole beneficiary and executor of the old guy’s last will and testament, had to acknowledge that fact. But then, even by his own admission, they both were. They were cut from the same cloth, no-nonsense old-school Aussie battlers, raised on Struggle Street. Hard men of a by-gone era with little time for tears or new age sensibilities, who had grown into lonely, curmudgeonly old codgers. But they were two grumpy old men who happily endured each other’s inhospitable habits. So it’s probably unsurprising that, years earlier, when the old guy’s family had finally had enough of his gruff, uncompromising ways, he was left only with his old mate from the old days for solace and support. It was a two-way street. Neither had made much time for friendships or relationships; they were too busy just getting on with life.