Minimising assets in an estate that is subject to challenge

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Brian Hor at Townsends Law thinks there should be some thought given and preparation around seeking to minimise challenges to an estate by making pre-emptive decisions, such as: Transferring assets before death Transferring assets during the owner’s lifetime to one or more persons being the intended beneficiary/ies of the assets after the owner’s death. Depending […]

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Can grandparents protect their grandkids’ inheritance?

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If their kids don’t get on with one of the grandkids maybe the grandparents should act to protect that grandchild’s inheritance. Being an estate planning lawyer means very often having to ask the hard questions – questions about their family that can make people a little uncomfortable.  I had to ask one of those the […]

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CPD: Estate planning and insurance

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Improving the financial outlook for the family is the key driver for most Australians, yet many fail to fortify that legacy through sound estate planning and adequate insurance. In this article, Zurich examines the importance of estate planning and within that, the role played by insurance, the funding mechanism for a comprehensive estate plan. The […]

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Brace yourselves: A claim against your Will is coming

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It seems that along with dragons and Westeros, the idea that a person has substantial discretion in how to gift their estate on their death is a myth. Those left underwhelmed by the conclusion of the final season of Game of Thrones need look no further than the recent ruling on Steinmetz v Shannon [2019] to satiate […]

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Game of Thrones finale throws up estate planning challenges

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(Warning – spoilers ahead) While the decision about who will sit on the Iron Throne has been well and truly decided in the Game of Thrones (GOT) finale, the estate planning considerations for the various players in the game are not so clear cut, says Anna Hacker, accredited wills and estate specialist with Australian Unity […]

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Not sure where to start? Ask.Will™

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Although most Australians know the importance of having a valid will, the nuances of how — and what — can be challenging. Understanding and using those nuances is what turns a simplistic will into a truly valuable and effective estate plan. To help make the process simpler, Townsends Lawyers offers a suite of tools and […]

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The pitfalls of a homemade Will

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While homemade Wills and Do It Yourself Will kits may appear to be an ‘easier’, ‘timely’ and ‘cheaper’ alternative than instructing a lawyer to draft your Will the recent Victorian Supreme Court case of Re Hely; Application by Arbuthnot & Donaghue [2018] is a reminder of some of the pitfalls which may arise when a homemade Will […]

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What is collaborative intergenerational estate planning?

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Example 1: Planning while family is able to decide It’s estate planning which involves thinking outside the immediate family unit and looking at future generations. A key issue is in protecting assets for generations from creditors and unexpected financial threats. Let’s say you’re a medical doctor in sole practice, so you’ve been very careful over […]

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Funeral and property disputes impacting women

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There has been an increasing number of disputes following the death of a family member, in large part because people didn’t communicate what they planned to do with their assets as well as what they wanted to happen to their remains, says Anna Hacker, Wills & Estates Accredited Specialist at Australian Unity Trustees. “It’s a […]

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A Will should be updated or reviewed every 3 years

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Marie had two daughters. Before his death her husband gave the majority of his estate to the elder daughter on the understanding that Marie would eventually give the family home to the younger daughter. Marie saw her solicitor and arranged for her Will to be drafted that way. When she died the bad news for the […]

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