Will Tips – Part 3

Part 3 addresses directions about the disposal of your body and briefly addresses the option of orbiting earth or being launched into deep space. This blog is part of a series on the practical considerations and issues associated with writing a will. Part 1 addressed the heading, commencement and testimonium… >

COVID-19 Powers of Attorney

Many people are now self-isolating, in quarantine or receiving medical treatment due to COVID-19. At a practical level it is becoming more difficult to “get things done”. We are also potentially moving towards further stages of government restrictions and social-distancing. You make decisions and choices about how you spend and invest… >

COVID-19 Wills

We have experienced a surge in demand as clients try and ensure that their estate plan is updated. Social distancing and other government policies are appropriate but have made obtaining instructions and executing estate planning documents challenging. The Wall Street Journal reports that the phrase “getting a Will” on Google… >

Will Tips – Part 2

Part 2 addresses the issue of revocation and includes the tale of a will destroyed in a drunken rage. This blog is part of a series on the practical considerations and issues associated with writing a will. Part 1 addressed the heading, commencement and testimonium of the Will, Part 2… >

Will Tips – Part 1

This blog is part of a series on the practical considerations and issues associated with writing a will. Where better to begin than at the start. The first component of the will is generally referred to as the “heading, commencement and testimonium”. The purpose of this component is to state that you… >

5 Festive Tips

While it is the season to be jolly, Christmas and the New Year period is also a time of the year which carries its own unique legal issues and risks. Here are 5 quick legal tips to avoid an unwanted New Year legal surprise! 1. Work Injury The lead up to… >

Phone Wills

The Supreme Court of Queensland has decided that the recorded wishes of a dying woman filmed on a phone is valid as her final Will. Last year I posted blogs addressing text message wills and the emerging trend of video wills. The landmark decision in the matter of Marian Demowbray involved an application lodged by… >

Revocation: same-sex marriage and divorce

The historic change in the legal definition of marriage raises a number of issues in connection with estate planning including that of revocation by marriage. Revocation means that the will is no longer valid and either occurs “voluntarily” or by “operation of law”. A will may be revoked voluntarily by executing… >

DIY Will Kit Disasters #2

Earlier this year I wrote about the Supreme Court of South Australia decision in Cox (Deceased) involving a DIY Will Kit. Not surprisingly, case law continues to expand in the area of DIY Will Kits with another decision handed down in the Supreme Court of Queensland. The case of Rhodes v… >

Inheritance Update – Claims by Adult Daughters

The Supreme Court of South Australia case of Butler v Tirburzi decided a claim made by a 66 year old adult daughter who successfully argued that she had been left without adequate provision from the estate of her father. In summary, the facts of the case were as follows: The… >

Advantages of a Testamentary Trust Will

A Testamentary Trust Will offers greater control over estate planning and distribution to beneficiaries in comparison to simple (or basic) wills. The key benefits of a Testamentary Trust Will include: Flexibility; Asset protection; Tax planning. Most Testamentary Trust Wills nominate a primary beneficiary (for example an adult child) and then provide… >

DIY Will Kit Disasters

Peppered with inspirational messages, DIY Will Kits are an expensive option. This is not the first blog about DIY Will Kits and it is unlikely to be the last given that court decisions continue to be published addressing the pit-falls in using these kits. The recent Supreme Court decision in Cox (Deceased) again… >

Power Failure

A general power of attorney is used to provide authority to another person to act on your behalf with regard to land and financial transactions. When the “donor” of this authority loses capacity to make decisions, the power given to the “attorney” ceases. However, an enduring power of attorney continues… >

Should I have a Will?

Regularly when we meet with people and ask whether they have a Will, the response is “I don’t really own anything so I don’t need a Will”. This is not the case. Differences between estates with and without Wills Regardless of the size of your estate, Wills prevent a number of… >

Death Benefit Nominations for your Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF)

A common misconception held by many people is that superannuation is distributed according to the terms of their will. However, the payment of benefits from a SMSF upon the death of a member are made in accordance with the governing rules of the fund and not according to the… >

Updates on Advance Care Directives

The transition to a new Advance Care Directive form is still clouded by a lack of clarity. Last month we wrote about the changes to Advance Care Directives. These forms are still an important part of your estate plan and it is important that they are correctly completed. They are your opportunity… >

Estate Planning Alert

On 12 May 2016 the South Australian Government Gazette revealed changes to the Advance Care Directive form creating potentially another DIY nightmare for those using a DIY kit. An Advance Care Directive is a legal form that allows people over the age of 18 years to write down their wishes,… >

Do I need a will?

Many people are not aware of the complications and potential costs associated with dying intestate (without a Will) or the potential benefits of having a Will. When a person dies without a Will they are said to die ‘intestate‘. In these circumstances, the provisions of the Administration and Probate Act determine who can… >

Plan for your holiday

The recent volcano eruption in Bali highlights the need to carefully plan for your holidays including taking the time to consider estate planning documentation such as wills, powers of attorney and advance care directives. Whilst the inconvenience of being stranded on holidays for longer than you planned might be a… >

Inheritance Disputes

Tips for Avoiding Inheritance Disputes The main causes of inheritance disputes are as follows: Uncertainty or disagreement about what the deceased would have wanted. The use or maintenance of an asset such as a house. A belief that the assets were unfairly divided. The division or distribution of sentimental items… >

Who will get your super if you die?

It is likely that unless you have recently considered this you do not know. We have previously written about the importance of a will, but as highlighted in The Advertiser today (9 January 2015) it is important that you make a comprehensive estate plan. For young people especially a superannuation death benefit is… >

What is probate?

Probate is a document issued by the Supreme Court of South Australia where a Will has been proved to its satisfaction. The Supreme Court of South Australia is the only court in this state that can make orders in connection with the validity of a Will of a deceased person… >