Navigating Complex Family Situations in Your Will: Advice for Maple Wills Users

Nick Collins
4 min readMay 1, 2024


Writing a will can be a complex task, especially for Maple Wills users who often grapple with unique family dynamics. This mentor is specifically designed to assist you in addressing and incorporating these complexities into your will, ensuring your wishes are accurately documented and legally binding.

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Understanding the Importance of a Will

Understanding the significance of a will is crucial. It’s not just a document; it’s a clear expression of your intentions regarding the dispensation of your assets after your passing. Without a will, state laws dictate how your property is divided, often leading to outcomes that may not align with your preferences. This is particularly significant in families with complex dynamics, such as those involving stepchildren, multiple marriages, or estranged relatives.

Identifying Your Assets and Beneficiaries

When drafting your will, the first step is to take stock of your assets. These can range from your home and bank accounts to personal possessions and digital assets. Once you’ve compiled a comprehensive list, the next step is to carefully consider your beneficiaries. These are the individuals or organizations you wish to inherit your assets. This stage often presents complexities, especially in blended or non-traditional family structures.

Special Considerations for Complex Family Structures

In complex family scenarios, straightforwardly navigating your will’s provisions requires careful consideration. Here are some everyday situations and advice on how to handle them:

  • Blended Families: When stepchildren and children from different marriages are involved, it’s imperative to be specific about who receives what. This might include setting up trusts or explicitly stating your wishes regarding each beneficiary.
  • Estranged Relatives: If you have family members with whom you’ve lost contact or do not wish to include, it’s crucial to be explicit in your will. While excluding someone entirely can be challenging due to legal rights, particularly with spouses and children, clear documentation of your intentions can help prevent legal battles.
  • Guardianship for Minors: If you have children under 18, appointing a guardian in your will is crucial. Without your direction, the court will decide who takes care of them, which might not align with your preferences.
  • Pets: Often overlooked, pets are considered property by law. If you want a specific person to care for your pets, mention them by name and allocate funds if necessary.
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Legal Requirements

For a will to be valid, it must meet specific legal standards:

  • Written by someone 18 or older: In most areas, you must be of legal adult age to create a will.
  • Of sound mind: You must be mentally capable of making decisions about your estate.
  • Witnessed: Typically, two or more adult witnesses must sign your will, affirming they saw you sign it and were present simultaneously.
  • Voluntarily created: The will must be made without pressure or duress from others.

Hiring a Professional

Given the potential complexities, seeking the guidance of a legal professional specialising in wills and estates can provide a sense of relief. They can offer tailored advice for your family situation and ensure your will meets all legal requirements. This can prevent disagreement among family members and ensure your wishes are honoured.

Regular Updates

Life changes, such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces, can significantly impact your will. Regularly reviewing and streamline your will not only ensures it always replicate your current wishes and circumstances but also brings a sense of security and peace of mind. A good practice is to review your will every three to five years or after any significant life event.

Why Are Wills Crucial?
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Creating a will in the face of complex family situations might seem daunting, but it’s an essential step in ensuring your capital are distributed according to your wishes. By understanding the importance of a will, identifying your assets and beneficiaries, considering exceptional family dynamics, meeting legal requirements, seeking professional advice from Maple Wills, and regularly updating your document, you can confidently navigate these complexities. Remember, a well-crafted will is not just about assets — it’s about providing clarity and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.



Nick Collins

Artists, Textile Designer, Web Designer, SEO Expert and Web Marketing Expert. Web Design Newcastle -