Legal Updates

Wills, Estate Planning and Administration

Appointing a guardian in your Will

If you have minor children, you can appoint someone in your will to act as their guardians in the event of you passing away. What is the role of a guardian? A guardian is someone who is responsible for the day to day and long term care, welfare and development of your children. Most commonly,…

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Inheritance claims – Who can make a claim against your estate?

In South Australia, only certain people are entitled under the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 (“the Act”) to make a claim against another person’s deceased estate. Who is entitled to make a claim? The following persons are entitled to make a claim under the Act: a spouse of the deceased person; a person who has…

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Why should I have a will?

This is a common question people ask us.  There are a number of reasons why you should make a will.  What motivates one person may not motivate another.  However, there are three essential reasons why you should make a will. A will allows you to: distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes; appoint an…

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What happens to your superannuation when you pass away?

After you die, your superannuation does not automatically form part of your estate to be distributed by your will.  This is because your superannuation is held in a trust by your superannuation fund.  So what happens to your superannuation in the event you pass away? Upon your death, your superannuation fund can pay your superannuation…

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Power of Attorney – what is it and do I need one?

There may be a time in the future when someone needs to manage your financial affairs for you in the event that you are unable to.  You may suffer a stroke and lose your mental capacity or you may be travelling overseas for a period of time. No matter what the reason, it is important…

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What happens if a will is lost?

Once a will is made it remains valid until it is intentionally revoked by the will maker. But what happens after the will maker passes away and their will cannot be found? Firstly, the fact that the will is lost does not mean that the will has been revoked. There are many reasons why a…

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When is a grant of probate required?

After a person passes away, and their estate needs to be administered, how do you know whether a grant of probate is required or not?  The answer depends on whose name the assets are held in and the requirements of the institutions which hold those assets. A grant of probate is a formal legal process…

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Testing the Family Trust – does yours do the job?

Family trusts are an important tool in Estate Planning. In the recent High Court case of Fischer v Nemeske Pty Ltd [2016] HCA 11 the Court considered whether it was a valid exercise of a trustee’s power to advance and apply shares held in Trust to beneficiaries of the Trust. The Court carefully considered whether…

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Is your existing will really up to date?

Recently, we reviewed some of our deceased estate files which involved a claim from a disgruntled beneficiary or some other kind of conflict.  The sources of the disputes in these files are outside the scope of this article; however, the majority of conflicts could have been avoided if the will maker had died with an…

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