Wills and Water Entitlements
Traditionally in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation area and Coleambally Irrigation area water entitlement automatically pass with the farm whether by way of sale or in a person’s estate. Therefore quite often Wills would say Farm to my Son and the balance of my Estate to my daughter or daughters.
In particular since 2000 water deregulated so that water does not automatically pass with the Farm. Firstly in the surface water irrigation area such as Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, Coleambally Irrigation Area and Murray Irrigation Area, people have shares in the Irrigation Company or Co-operative which has water allocations attached. Therefore a person in their Will must specifically refer to these Shares and Water Entitlements if they are to go to a particular person.
Likewise, with Bore Licences and River Pumping Licences, they need to be referred to specifically in a persons Will, if such entitlements are to go to a particular person.
There have been a number of cases where people have left the farm to a son (and no doubt it was intended that the Water Entitlements were also to proceed to the son) and the balance of the Estate to the daughter and the daughter has received the water entitlements.
Anyone who has made a Will in the last 11 years should have made specific provision.
If however, you have farming interests and you have not had your Will revised for the last 11 years, you should do so as soon as possible to make sure that what you want to happen with your Estate does in fact happen.
Aired March 2011 on Radio 2RG Griffith