Category: Wills & Estates

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A collection of case studies and articles highlighting the latest in legal news.




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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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