Ownership Isn’t What it Used to Be…

willsBack when I was young in the late 1930s, we didn’t think much about the future. Perhaps that’s because there wasn’t much to think about, you know? You grew up, maybe did a similar job to your parents or picked from one of the four other options, got married, had children and just did more of the same until you retired. And some people didn’t even retire! It was a simpler time indeed. None of this worrying about what score you’d get in school and whether you’d get a good degree or have to move to another state to do the exact course you wanted…some of my grandchildren’s stories, dear me. Back in the day we didn’t even make a legal will, since Melbourne will professionals weren’t around and you just sort of…well, I don’t know what you did, because it was so long ago.

We didn’t need wills, because we didn’t own anything! Oh, I’m sure if you owned lots of estate, you’d get yourself an estate planning lawyer. If you were a fancy fat-cat, you’d have special people to tell you all about how power of attorney works and what to do to stop your slightly-less-rich relatives from fighting over everything once you were gone. But beyond that? Well, it was all furniture, a house…maybe some china if you really saved up. And then you’d just say to whichever relative happened to be your favourite (at a family gathering so that everyone could hear) “I’d like you to have the china, dear. I think it’d look lovely in your lounge, on that cabinet your husband knocked together from pieces of bark that peeled off the tree in the park.”

And that was that, done and dusted, don’t worry about a thing. If there were arguments…well, you’re dead. It doesn’t matter. And I’m sure Melbourne estate planning lawyers do a wonderful job nowadays, really. But it used to be ever so different.