Marriage equality: Remember to get expert advice on estate planning when tying the knot, says Equity Trustees

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With the survey result on marriage equality in (62% voted yes), and the prospect of wedding celebrations for same sex couples on the horizon, one of Australia’s largest independent executors and holders of more than 50,000 Wills has urged those planning to marry to remember to review their Wills. “There are some legal aspects that […]

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Digital footprints on death – why they matter

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Social media accounts live on after their creators die, and their existence can create uncertainty for estate executors as well as distress for family members, says Anna Hacker, national manager, Estate Planning at Australian Unity Trustees. “Digital footprints on death are an issue of growing importance as social media usage steadily proliferates – not just […]

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Crucial conversations: achieving an estate plan that stands the test of time

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If you are a person who has achieved a stage of financial independence, it is vital that you have an effective Estate Plan to protect you and your family. An Estate Plan is not limited to having a Will. It generally involves more complex decisions around the control of your personal, family and business affairs […]

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Can you revoke a will with a file note?

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A recent Tasmanian Supreme Court case considers this question: Wills can be revoked in a number of ways, typically by creating a later Will or executing a document to that effect in the same manner that a Will is signed. Where the proper formalities for revoking a Will are not followed, the court can consider […]

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Can a video will be admitted to probate?

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Donna is a widow and is 85 years old. Due to her deteriorating health, she is unable to attend her solicitor’s office to make a formal Will. So she decides to record a statement on DVD, stating that she wants to give a special legacy in favour of her two daughters with the help of […]

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CPD: Estate planning in the post 1 July 2017 world

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Investors spend a lifetime saving and building their wealth. Without an effective and up-to-date estate planning solution, families can face a range consequences upon the death of a parent. This article from Centuria looks at how the changes to superannuation, which come into effect 1 July 2017, will impact estate planning, and considers strategies to […]

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BDBNs and life insurance in super: beware the transfer balance cap trap

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Strategic estate planning is key to ensuring flexibility in crises. Although you may not consider yourself at risk of exceeding the transfer balance cap following 1 July 2017, you may in fact be at risk, irrespective of your own superannuation account balance. One of the most important aspects to consider in light of the introduction […]

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DIY Wills are not the same as DIY Super

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The courts are littered with examples of ‘do it yourself’ Wills that have gone wrong. It doesn’t matter how simple you think your Will is – even smart people like a retired ANU Professors can and do get them wrong. As a result of the ambiguities in the deceased’s Will, and notwithstanding that he was […]

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Court refuses will for dementia sufferer

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In the recent case of R v J [2017], the Western Australian Supreme Court rejected an application to make a will for a woman who no longer had capacity to do so. Julia is currently 91 years old. She has been married to Henry for 51 years and suffers from diminished mental function as a […]

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Estate equalisation by courts not so straightforward

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In a 2015 court case a claim by the daughters of the deceased for an equal share of his estate was dismissed. It was taken that the daughters had been fairly treated even though their brother inherited significantly more. This sounds like a legal decision from another century but it seems that fair and equal […]

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