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Estate planning, administration and disputes Articles

Marriage, divorce and your Will

About half of all Australians don’t have a valid Will. Of those who do, many put their Will away in the bottom drawer of their filing cabinet, or leave it with a solicitor, and never think of it again. But making a Will is not a once in a l...

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Statutory Wills

Most people are not aware that it is possible to apply to the Queensland Supreme Court for the Court to make what is known as a 'statutory will' for someone who is unable themselves to make a will because of lack of capacity. As you would ...

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A spouse or partner contesting a Will

All jurisdictions in Australia provide statutory rights for eligible persons to contest a Will on the basis that they have not been left adequate provision by the testator for their proper maintenance, education and advancement in life. In Queensl...

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De facto relationships and Will contests

All jurisdictions in Australia have legislation permitting eligible persons to contest an 'unfair' Will if they can show that they have been left without adequate provision by the testator. In Queensland, an eligible person includes: a ...

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What happens to your digital assets when you die?

Who can access them? As our personal and business lives become increasingly digitalised, it becomes even more important to consider how digital assets and digital wealth are protected and dealt with on our death, or disability. What will happen t...

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Estate planning for blended families

Most of us appreciate the importance of making a Will and having an estate plan in place that sets out how we would like to provide for our loved ones when we die. If, like an increasing number of Australians, you belong to a blended family, there...

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The process of obtaining probate

The word 'probate' simply means 'proof', and the issuing of a grant of probate by a Court ‘proves’ the Will of a deceased person and vests title to estate assets in the executor/s, allowing the executor/s to deal with th...

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Why everyone needs a Power of Attorney

Most people over 18 years of age should seriously consider having a power of attorney in place. We hope you will never have the need for one, but it is a simple and inexpensive precaution, and all too often we encounter problems that could have be...

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Dealing with an 'unfair' Will

In this article we consider dealing with an unfair will where one or more parties consider the distributions made to one or more beneficiaries (or someone being left out of a will entirely) to be unreasonable in the circumstances. There are many r...

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What is an estate plan and why is it important?

An estate plan involves more than signing a Will and storing it in a ‘safe place’. Estate planning requires a holistic approach involving consideration of a person’s present circumstances and foreseeable future. A plan needs to ...

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Contesting a will

The last thing a spouse, child or dependant might consider when mourning the loss of a loved one is whether adequate provision has been made for them in their loved one’s will or in the case of no will, whether adequate provision will be made...

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Asset and wealth protection - testamentary trusts

For an increasing number of high net worth individuals with complex professional and personal affairs, the question of how best to approach long term estate planning and in particular, what is likely to be the best way to preserve wealth for the be...

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Can de facto children claim against your estate?

Like many Australian children these days, Johnny was brought up in what is commonly referred to as ‘a blended family.’ His mother Jean met his stepfather Peter after each of them had been divorced from their previous spouses. Jean and...

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Can your ex-defacto inherit under your will?

Once upon a time you were happily living together with your de facto partner.  Roses were bought, dinners were cooked, finances were shared and wills were signed leaving all your assets to your partner (in the event of what you thought of as t...

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Making a Will is important for blended families

Making a Will is important, particularly if you are part of a blended family (i.e a family in which one or both partners have a child or children from a previous relationship). Careful estate planning now should ensure that all of your intended ben...

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FAQ’s on Estate Planning

While not many people are likely to nominate estate planning [aka thinking about how my assets will be dealt with when I die, or suffer impaired capacity] as being on their most wanted things to do list, this is something that should be on all our ...

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Do you know when to update your Will?

Most people know that a valid Will determines how the assets they own personally are dealt with after they die. Wills generally provide for the appointment of a trusted executor/s and the leaving of legacies to chosen beneficiaries. They may also a...

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Why it’s a bad idea to write your own Will

It is relatively easy to find a free Will template on the internet and fairly cheap to buy a Will kit from a newsagent or online.  There are also websites that have data collectors that take your information and create a Will for you, seemingl...

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Making a Will if capacity is in question

As everyone knows a Will is a legal document which sets out how a person wants their assets to be distributed once they die. If you are over the age of 18 you can make a Will - provided you have capacity.  In general terms a person will have...

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Enduring Powers of Attorney explained

Many people have heard of Powers of Attorney however most do not fully appreciate the extent of the power they confer, the benefits they deliver or the types of powers of attorney that exist. A power of attorney is a useful and powerful legal docu...

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Have you been left out of a Will

The loss of a family member is always a difficult time, but it can become even more distressing to learn that you have not been included in the Will. Generally, a person may leave their assets to whomever they wish. However, the law recognises tha...

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