R*E*S*P*E*C*T: find out what it means for your Will

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The recent case involving the estate of American soul music legend Aretha Franklin highlights the importance of ensuring all family members–especially the sick and elderly–are aware of the details of their Will, says Australian Unity Trustees’ National Manager of Estate Planning, Anna Hacker. Ms Hacker says too many Australians apply a “set and forget” approach […]

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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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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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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 […]

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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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Managing family expectations can help avoid challenges to Wills

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The growing trend for people to challenge Wills is set to continue as baby-boomers leave significant wealth behind – but perhaps not in the way that family members expect, says Anna Hacker, Wills & Estates Accredited Specialist at Australian Unity Trustees. “It’s a sad fact that we are seeing more and more challenges to Wills, […]

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Rising dementia rates to impact estate planning

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As Australia’s population ages, the number of people who will be affected by dementia is a growing issue, and as well as the personal and emotional impact of dementia on both the individual and their family, there is also a practical consideration. “We are increasingly talking to people who have a parent suffering from dementia, […]

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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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Five tips on reviewing an estate plan

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People who have already written a Will shouldn’t view it as a “set and forget” document but should be reminded by their advisers to review and update it regularly, said Anna Hacker, national manager estate planning at Equity Trustees. “It can be tempting to cross “write a Will” off your To-Do list once it’s completed […]

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