Ownership of property in estate planning – why does it matter?

Ownership of property in estate planning – why does it matter?

When taking instructions for preparation of Wills, I often find that clients want to give their house/property as a gift to a certain beneficiary. While this can be a noble gesture, the ownership structure of the property can be crucial as to whether or not, or how, the gift will take effect. Property owned with […]

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What are the requirements for receiving a distribution from an estate?

What are the requirements for receiving a distribution from an estate?

I am often asked by clients both during the preparation of their Will, and in the administration of a deceased estate, what the requirements are for beneficiaries to receive a distribution from an estate. Succession Act 1981 (QLD) The Succession Act has several provisions surrounding beneficiaries receiving distributions from an estate. These include: Survive by […]

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Does an Executor have to conduct a “reading of the Will”?

Does an Executor have to conduct a “reading of the Will”?

I am often asked by new enquirers whether the Executor of an estate has a duty to hold a “reading of the Will” where the deceased’s family and friends are gathered together and the deceased’s Will is then read aloud. Although scenes such as these are played out in numerous American movies, there is no […]

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Will an applicant be awarded costs if their claim for further provision from an estate is unsuccessful?

Will an applicant be awarded costs if their claim for further provision from an estate is unsuccessful?

I often have clients asking me if their costs for bringing a family provision application will be paid from the estate if their claim is unsuccessful. I have previously written about legal costs when disputing a Will. I was interested to read a new decision of the Supreme Court of Western Australia which concerned an […]

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Laing v Laing [2014] QSC 194 – To bury or to cremate?

Laing v Laing [2014] QSC 194 – To bury or to cremate?

I have previously written about the tension that can occur when there are disagreements over whether, and where, a deceased person should be buried. In a new case, a dispute arose not only over whether the deceased should be buried or cremated, but also over where his remains should be kept. Background The background of […]

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Horwood v Ah Shay [2014] QDC 199 – When will provision be made for a step-child from a small estate?

Horwood v Ah Shay [2014] QDC 199 – When will provision be made for a step-child from a small estate?

I have recently written about step-children and their eligibility to apply to the Court for provision from their step-parent’s estate. I have now read with interest a recent decision in which the Court made provision from a small estate for the Willmaker’s step-son. Background The background of the case is as follows: Mr AS died […]

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When is a solicitor responsible for their client passing away without a Will?

When is a solicitor responsible for their client passing away without a Will?

I often have clients who urgently require a Will as they have received a terminal diagnosis, are about to take a trip or are elderly. The question of whether or not a solicitor has a duty to prepare a Will and arrange for it to be signed as quickly as possible when the client is […]

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Can my step-children contest my Will? When is a step-child, a child?

Can my step-children contest my Will? When is a step-child, a child?

I often receive enquiries from people who are interested in contesting their step-parent’s Will. Usually I receive these calls from people whose natural parent has passed away, leaving their estate to their step-parent. If the step-parent then passes away and does not make provision in their Will for the client, the client often feels that […]

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Can someone make a Will if they are under the age of 18?

Can someone make a Will if they are under the age of 18?

I read with interest a recent decision of the Supreme Court, in which a Will was authorised to be made for a minor. What is the test for circumstances in which a Court can authorise the making of a Will for a minor? Section 19 of the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) states that the Court […]

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What will happen if I don’t provide for my children in my Will?

What will happen if I don’t provide for my children in my Will?

I often find that when a client wishes to leave their child or children out of their Will, it is because there has been a period of estrangement between the client and their child. Although you are free to distribute your estate however you choose, a period of estrangement between a Will maker and their […]

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