Category: Wills & Estates

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safe harbour

Stop tax in its tracks – ATO extends CGT exemption on sale of deceased’s residence

11 October 2019

The sale of a person’s main residence (ie their home) is generally exempt from capital gains tax. This exemption is ‘carried through’ to beneficiaries or executors of deceased estates who seek to dispose of the deceased’s main residence, where certain conditions are satisfied.

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Rachael Grabovic

Rachael Grabovic’s Wills & Estates team proficiency recognised

24 September 2019

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Wills & Estates team continues to be recognised for their outstanding work in the Wills & Estates space in Victoria.

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Promises made during your lifetime may bind your estate long after you die

29 August 2019

Victoria’s family provision legislation was substantially amended by the introduction of the Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Act 2014. This Act had the effect of reducing the classes of claimants that may make a claim for provision from a deceased estate, and also the number of claims being filed in Victorian courts against estates.

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Remaining married can leave your Will open to challenge

No Divorce, No worries? No Way!

29 August 2019

Remaining married can leave your Will open to challenges

We have seen a number of recent deceased estates where a deceased person remained married at the time of their death, despite having separated from their spouse for a significant period of time prior to their death.

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Video didn’t kill the Will

29 April 2019

What is a Will? Almost all of us would answer that question by mentioning that it’s a written document setting out who receives our assets when we die.

However, recent court cases have taken a more expansive view as to what they are prepared to accept is a valid Will. The 2017 decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland (QSC) in Re Nichol; Nichol v Nichol & Anor [2017] QSC 220 held that an unsent SMS message was sufficient to constitute a Will.

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Court made Wills

28 March 2019

The freedom to make a Will and to leave your estate to whomever you choose (called testamentary freedom) is one of the most fundamental principles of succession law in Australia.

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Don’t get caught out – Changes to how documents are to be certified commences 1 March 2019

29 January 2019

The new Oaths and Affirmations Act 2018 (Vic) (the Act) is set to come into operation on 1 March 2019. The Act updates the processes and requirements regarding oaths, affirmations, affidavits, statutory declarations and certification of documents.

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Could your Facebook account put the executor of your Will at risk?

19 December 2018

So much of what we do in our lives is now carried out online, so it’s not very surprising that we’re now including access to our digital assets if not in our Wills, in letters of instruction to our executors. However, you may find that by including such instructions, you could actually be putting your executor at risk.

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Asset protection considerations for foreign purchasers

11 December 2018

If you have recently purchased property in Australia, it is important that you protect your new asset. Most people immediately take out insurance to protect their new property from the consequences of flood, fire, damage and theft. Many people fail to protect their new asset from the consequences of incapacity or death.

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The costly consequences of failing to execute a Will

25 October 2018

The recent decision of the Supreme Court in Estate of Elzow [2018] VSC 498 highlights the importance of validly executing a Will.

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Attorneys and Binding Death Benefit Nominations

20 September 2018

A recent Supreme Court decision has highlighted the importance of accurately implementing estate planning for individuals with Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs), together with preparing tailored Powers of Attorney.

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Don’t fall victim to the unscrupulous management of some aged care providers

22 August 2018

Fleur came into see one of our lawyers on behalf of her friend, Norma, who was distressed and unhappy with her accommodation arrangements at an Aged Care Facility and wanted out. This was not a situation where the resident had lost the ability to make decisions for herself, but rather it was a situation where an elderly woman with no family was being taken advantage of.

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Step children and family provision claims

21 August 2018

In an increasingly diversified world, traditional notions of the definition of a “step-child” are being modified.

In earlier times, a step-child was understood to mean the child of a spouse by a previous marriage.

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Does your Will deal with digital assets?

21 June 2018

The first question many clients ask when we raise the issue of digital assets is…‘What are they?’

Digital assets can be as basic as your Facebook page and as complicated as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. In the middle, we have many different types of assets such as an online share portfolio, subscription to online newspapers, iTunes accounts or Kindle books.

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Medical Wills and Estates

Greater legal autonomy for medical treatment decisions now in effect

13 March 2018

On 12 March 2018, the existing legal framework for medical treatment decision-making, the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016, changed in an attempt to provide greater autonomy to potential patients by enabling them to give advance care directives that are legally enforceable.

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Accredited Wills & Estates specialist promoted to Rigby Cooke Lawyers partnership

30 January 2018

Rigby Cooke Lawyers is proud to welcome its Wills & Estates practice lead and accredited specialist Rachael Grabovic to the firm’s partnership

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New laws clarify executor commissions during estate administration

New laws clarify executor commissions during estate administration

21 December 2017

Solicitors and other professionals who act as executors of deceased estates need to be aware of recent law changes which clarify when commissions can be charged for administering an estate.

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New benchmark set for all estates to be treated equally

New benchmark set for all estates to be treated equally

21 December 2017

An appeal to a claim involving a love child, a substantial estate and a diamond encrusted guitar, has reached its conclusion in a decision which sets a precedent for all estates to be treated the same regardless of their size.

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same-sex estate planning

Estate planning advice for same-sex couples getting hitched

21 December 2017

Following a nation-wide postal survey and many months of debate, the passage of the same-sex marriage legislation came into effect on 9 December 2017. With many same-sex couples organising their weddings, it is essential to understand how marriage can affect your estate planning.

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financial attorney’s and administrators

Your responsibilities as a financial attorney or administrator – a snapshot of do’s and don’ts

21 December 2017

If you have been appointed as a financial attorney or administrator, whether by the individual or by VCAT, it is essential to understand what is involved in this role. A breach of your legal duties can result in suspension of the role or an order of compensation if brought forth by an interested party.

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congratulations

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Tax & Wealth and Wills & Estates expertise recognised

06 December 2017

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Tax & Wealth and Wills & Estates teams have been recognised by independent survey and review source Doyle’s Guide for their expertise in their respective practice areas.

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Should funeral and burial wishes be binding?

19 January 2017

Should funeral and burial wishes be binding? This is the question the Law Reform Commission considered when they sought submissions from the public and professionals who work in this area.

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stamp duty

Additional stamp duty implication for discretionary trusts

10 November 2016

Foreign purchaser additional duty and absentee owner surcharge land tax may apply to Australian discretionary trusts transacting in Victorian residential land where the discretionary trust has potential foreign beneficiaries.

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deceased estate

Everything old is new again – protecting your Will or Estate rights

10 November 2016

From 1 January 2015, Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 was amended to change the class of individuals who could make a claim for further provision against a deceased estate.

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Charitable giving

Charitable giving – are you getting the most from your donation?

10 November 2016

If you had said the word ’philanthropy‘ 20 years ago, most people would have looked at you with a quizzical look. Today this word has become as common as the word ’footy’.

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Foreigners with assets

Foreigners with assets in Victoria – what happens when they pass away?

10 November 2016

An area that is typically challenging in the Wills & Estates space is where a person residing overseas or interstate dies leaving assets in Victoria.

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10 Tips

New Financial Year, New Will: 10 Tips to Make Sure it’s Valid

12 July 2016

As a new financial year ticks over, financial and strategic planning is common practice for businesses, but one overlooked and yet highly important action to take is the review of your personal Will and estate planning.

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Succession Planning

Kids behaving Badly – Business Succession Planning

15 June 2016

The value of formalising business owners’ arrangements
Shareholders’ and unitholders’ agreements are increasingly being implemented for companies or trusts that involve two or more arms’ length parties. There are very good reasons for this trend: such agreements help to guide decision making, establish governance procedures and stipulate mechanisms to resolve deadlocks.

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homemade Wills

Hazards of Homemade Wills

15 June 2016

In some cases, homemade Wills can cost the deceased’s estate considerable expense. We share with you just how defective a homemade Will can be and how risky it is for appointed executors to try to obtain probate of a homemade Will without legal assistance.

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Superannuation

2016-17 Federal Budget: Focus on Superannuation

15 June 2016

For super fund members there were a plethora of changes in May’s Budget announcement. Most changes apply from 1 July 2017 apart from the lifetime cap on non-concessional contributions of $500,000, which applies from Budget night (3 May 2016) and counts non-concessional contributions from 1 July 2007.

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Will in Australia

Do I need a Will in Australia?

11 April 2016

I own property in Australia, what do I need to do to protect my interests?

If you have recently purchased property in Australia, then it is imperative that you protect your new asset. The first thing most people do is take out insurance to protect against fire, theft and damage but what most people forget to do is protect their assets against government intervention during times of incapacity or on death.

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