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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

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... Read more continue reading

Superannuation death benefits are a minefield and arguably in need of simplification and reform

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It’s a fair question to ask: What happens to a family if there is not an estate plan in place and change/tragedy occurs? Who has control? Quite simply, your family’s estate plan is then in the hands of the Courts as they decide which assets go to which parties. It’s an involved process, and the... Read more continue reading

Get your paperwork in order for 2019 and your family will thank you

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The annual new year clean out and declutter is well under way – and Australia’s leading specialist trustee company Equity Trustees is recommending that everyone includes a tidy-up of some key paperwork in the process. “With 130 years’ experience of managing people’s estates and estate planning, we can say for sure that getting your Will... Read more continue reading

What happens to a testator’s Will after divorce?

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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... Read more continue reading

Debt ridden estates can cause challenges for executors

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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... Read more continue reading