Stepdad blows children's inheritance on luxury holiday after their mum dies of cancer

This weekend, the Sunday Star Times published an article on what happens if you die without a will. In this case, the mother died without a will living her partner as the administrator of the estate. In blended families, things can easily go wrong without the appropriate estate planning.

The article in the Sunday Star Times explains: "The children of a Wellington woman who died without a will were forced to take their stepfather to court after he denied them their inheritance and blew some of the money on luxury items.

James Roberts-Gooch and his sister Alexandra Gooch were just 16 and 14 respectively when their mother, Anne Roberts - former private secretary to National MP Maurice Williamson - died of cancer in 2012.

Her de facto partner, Gary Bryson Watt, became the administrator of the estate, which included substantial life insurance and savings, but instead of divvying up the estate he splurged out, going on a cruise where he met his new girlfriend, and buying a motorbike, jetski and car.

Four years after their mum's death, the children still haven't seen a cent, despite the Family Court ordering last year that Watt pay them almost $300,000".

We have previously written about what happens if you die without a will. Passing away without a Will is known as dying intestate and your estate will then be distributed according to the Administration Act 1969, unless a spouse or defacto partner chooses to claim under the Property Act 1976.

If a person dies intestate, an administrator is appointed by the court. The administrator will get their authority to act as your personal representative by applying to the High Court for an order to administer.

Read more about What happens if you die without a Will here.

This is the kind of thing that usually gets placed in the 'when I get 'round to it' basket'. But if you have a Will and your loved ones have to live through the time when you pass away, you have the comfort of knowing they will be taken care off financially.


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