What can a widow expect from husband’s estate?

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What can a widow expect from her husband’s estate?  The NSW Court of Appeal recently gave us their guidelines. Several months ago we discussed the decision in Steinmetz v Shannon [2019] from the viewpoint of the disagreement among the judges relating to ‘testamentary freedom’ (the ability to draft your will as you wish) and what if any […]

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Revocation of an Enduring Power of Attorney

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Sometimes it’s necessary to change your power of attorney in which case you’re going to need to revoke the existing appointment. What would happen if you decided that the person you have appointed as your Enduring Power of Attorney is no longer suitable for the role? Perhaps your relationship with your previously appointed attorney isn’t […]

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The chance to resign – a poison chalice in dismissal claims

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An employee who is offered the chance to resign by their employer should think long and hard as it may prevent any claim against the employer thereafter no matter how well-placed that claim would otherwise have been. MARGE:     The power plant called and said if you don’t come in tomorrow, don’t bother coming in […]

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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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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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Where is your trust deed?

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Document provider, SuperCentral, gets calls from SMSF clients weekly asking where their trust deeds are stored. Peter Townsend from SuperCentral said that he sometimes feels like he is running a detective agency. “We are often asked to provide a signed copy of a fund’s deed, usually at a time when it is of utmost importance, […]

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Avoid surprises after divorce with a family provision waiver

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It might come as a surprise to learn that a former spouse, or a spouse from whom you have separated, can still make a claim on a deceased estate even though the estate has been left to children or someone else in your Will. In a NSW Supreme Court decision in 2012, the Court ordered […]

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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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When gifting your estate, why stop at grandchildren?

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Just how many generations of your descendants should you consider in your Will and is there an easy way to do it? No one has ever said that to me before. My client had just remarked: “I expect to live to be one hundred”. He was deadly serious. That may not have come as a […]

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No joy in pulling the ATO’s tail

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An SMSF trustee who objected to an ATO determination about a breach of a trustee’s covenant found himself disqualified as a trustee. George Hart was a trustee of the Hart Superannuation Fund, a self-managed fund set up in 2003. The auditor of the fund lodged a contravention report against the fund because George arranged for […]

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