Video wills can put estates in jeopardy

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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 […]

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Can you really disentitle a person from your Will?

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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 […]

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Limited capacity clients and their estate plans

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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 […]

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Protecting your inheritance from the lender

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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 […]

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Digital graveyard complicates estate planning

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

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Which country, which will?

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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. […]

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When inheriting from friends not family

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It’s not often that a person gets the chance to inherit the estate of someone who is not a member of their family.  But it does happen and has its own particular issues. Megan is a wealthy widow whose only family is a brother (Andy) she is not particularly close to.  Her closest friend is […]

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CPD: Estate planning in 2018

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There’s nothing certain in life but death and taxes, so the adage goes…however, another certainty is change – particularly when it comes to the financial services regulatory landscape. In the past year there have been several changes that may have impacted your clients’ estate planning strategies, and more change is in the wings. In this […]

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Beware the estate planning transfer balance cap

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So what is this “estate planning transfer balance cap trap” that can arise from adopting the mirror reversionary pension strategy? More importantly, is there a way to avoid it? Well, it all stems from how the Transfer Balance Account works. Let’s begin with a bit of a refresher: As we all know, the Transfer Balance […]

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