What happens to a testator’s Will after divorce?

From

Going through a divorce may upset the best laid out estate plans by partially or completely revoking a couple’s Wills. Jennifer and Thomas were married for 5 years before Jennifer filed for divorce earlier this year. They have 2 children under the age of 10 and previously executed a Will appointing each other as the […]

continue reading

Debt ridden estates can cause challenges for executors

From

Managing the debts in deceased estates is an increasingly complicated area for executors and family members to deal with, and it is important they are aware of their responsibilities and rights, says Anna Hacker, Wills & Estates Accredited Specialist at Australian Unity Trustees. “In the past, it was fairly common for people, particularly elderly people, to […]

continue reading

When gifting your estate, why stop at grandchildren?

From

Just how many generations of your descendants should you consider in your Will and is there an easy way to do it? No one has ever said that to me before. My client had just remarked: “I expect to live to be one hundred”. He was deadly serious. That may not have come as a […]

continue reading

Video wills can put estates in jeopardy

From

A recent Court case in Western Australia has demonstrated the problems and risks of recording yourself on video outlining your instructions and wishes in the hope that it might be interpreted as your last intended Will. In a recent Western Australian case*, the Supreme Court was asked to accept 4 videos made by Peter Pitman […]

continue reading

Can you really disentitle a person from your Will?

From

Does violence towards the deceased end the relative’s chances of a successful claim against the Will? It doesn’t matter what sort of ‘family’ unit you have – nuclear, blended or a step-family – family relationships can be challenging and complicated. It’s usually not until a testator has passed away that their estate becomes disputed and […]

continue reading

Limited capacity clients and their estate plans

From

Advisers can face many challenges when working with clients who they believe may have limited capacity. What does it mean to be mentally/legally incapable? What is the test that is applicable? “Advisers can feel like they are walking a tightrope between the law and the expectations of their client and their families when they start […]

continue reading

Protecting your inheritance from the lender

From

The growth in use of reverse mortgages by asset rich, cash poor seniors is increasing rapidly. As is the awareness by their children that this new debt facility will decrease their inheritance. Seniors receiving their lump sum will mean that the house that now has a reverse mortgage against it is having a capitalised charge […]

continue reading

Digital graveyard complicates estate planning

From

With a myriad of statisticians now trying their hand at calculating when Facebook will have more dead “memorialised” members, than living ones, planning for the ownership of digital assets in your Will has never been more relevant, says Anna Hacker, national manager estate planning with Australian Unity Trustees. “Possible years that have been mooted for […]

continue reading

Don’t overlook the value of Powers of Attorney in estate planning

From

Say “estate planning” and most people think of a Will.  But while a Will is an extremely important document, the value and importance of having an Enduring Power of Attorney as part of an estate plan should not be overlooked, says Anna Hacker, Wills & Estates Accredited Specialist at Australian Unity Trustees. “An Enduring Power of […]

continue reading

Which country, which will?

From

The Victorian case of Re Tang [2017] looked at a raft of issues that arose when the deceased had assets in both Australia and China. The deceased was an Australian citizen who resided in China. Although, the majority of his personal estate was held in China the deceased did hold some personal assets in Australia. […]

continue reading