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 […]

Read More →

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Read More →

In the Matter of David Wayne Swan [2014] SASC 65 – A cautionary tale of a charitable trust

In the Matter of David Wayne Swan [2014] SASC 65 – A cautionary tale of a charitable trust

I am often approached by clients who would like to leave gifts to charities in their Will. I was interested to read a recent decision of the Supreme Court of South Australia concerning the validity of a gift made to a hospital. The decision confirms the necessity of ensuring the Willmaker’s wishes are clear, and […]

Read More →

Read More →

Can a beneficiary be forced to forfeit their rights under a Will?

Can a beneficiary be forced to forfeit their rights under a Will?

I was interested to read a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland concerning a man, Mr N, who was found guilty of assisting his friend, Mr W, to commit suicide via drug overdose. Mr N was appointed Executor and sole beneficiary in Mr W’s last Will. The Public Trustee contended that Mr N […]

Read More →

Read More →

Lemon v Lemon & Anor [2014] QSC 123: A new precedent for admitting a copy of a Will to Probate

Lemon v Lemon & Anor [2014] QSC 123: A new precedent for admitting a copy of a Will to Probate

I have previously written about what can be done if only a copy of a Will can be located. A new decision has been handed down recently which provides further guidance as to the circumstances in which a copy of a Will may be used to obtain a Grant of Probate. Background The background to […]

Read More →

Read More →

In what circumstances will a Court refuse to re-seal a grant of Letters of Administration from another state?

In what circumstances will a Court refuse to re-seal a grant of Letters of Administration from another state?

I was interested to read a recent decision of the Supreme Court of South Australia in which the Court refused to re-seal a grant of Letters of Administration from Victoria (“the Grant”). The Supreme Court upheld the registrar’s discretion to refuse to re-seal the Grant on the basis of a need for uniformity. Background The […]

Read More →

Read More →

What happens when an Administrator of an Estate is also a superannuation fund beneficiary? Is there a conflict of interest?

What happens when an Administrator of an Estate is also a superannuation fund beneficiary? Is there a conflict of interest?

I was interested to read a decision handed down on 16 May 2014 by the Supreme Court which has provided guidance on situations where the Administrator of a deceased Estate applies for the deceased’s superannuation death benefits to be paid to them personally. Background of McIntosh v McIntosh The background of the case is as […]

Read More →

Read More →

Distributing a Deceased Estate

Distributing a Deceased Estate

I am regularly contacted by clients facing pressure from relatives and beneficiaries of a deceased Estate to distribute the assets of the Estate as soon as possible. Should I distribute the benefit of an Estate immediately? Due to this pressure, some clients believe that as soon as they obtain a Grant of Probate or Letters […]

Read More →

Read More →

Living forever through your Estate plan – an interesting new development in virtual existence after death

Living forever through your Estate plan – an interesting new development in virtual existence after death

I have written before about who receives your password if you pass away, but I have recently read about new services that are available which take the concept of a virtual legacy to a whole other level. What options are there for my virtual legacy? There are companies which offer clients the opportunity to name […]

Read More →

Read More →

Top