Suspicious circumstances surrounding a will – what are the odds?

Suspicious circumstances surrounding a will – what are the odds?

I am often approached with matters which involve a deceased person having changed their will suddenly before their passing. A claim of suspicious circumstances surrounding the execution of a will can sometimes be made in such a situation. Careful consideration is needed and there must be a legitimate concern relating to the purported will. What […]

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SMSF Succession Planning

SMSF Succession Planning

I recently read the case Ioppolo v Conti [2015] WASCA 45 with interest. This case addresses a number of issues which need to be taken into consideration when devising a succession plan for your SMSF. Facts of Ioppolo v Conti In summary the facts of Ioppolo v Conti are: Mr and Mrs Conti were the […]

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Family Provision Claims – How much is enough in the context of a large estate?

Family Provision Claims – How much is enough in the context of a large estate?

On 26 February 2015, the Western Australia Supreme Court handed down a significant and reinforcing judgement in the context of family provision claims in large estates. What were the facts? The facts of the case are as follows: the plaintiff was the 19 year old daughter of iron ore magnate, the late Michael Wright (the […]

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RKC v JNS [2014] QSC 313 – Statutory Will

RKC v JNS [2014] QSC 313 – Statutory Will

On 17 December 2014, Justice Philippides of the Supreme Court of Queensland, in RKC v JNS [2014] QSC 313, authorised a statutory will on behalf of a minor pursuant to the court’s powers under the Succession Act 1981 (Qld) (Act). What is a statutory will? A statutory will is a will made or authorised by […]

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Can my attorney access my Will?

Can my attorney access my Will?

Recently, an enquirer contacted me to ask if they could access their mother’s Will, as they were acting as her attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney. An Enduring Power of Attorney is a very important and complex document, and acting as an attorney should not be entered into lightly. When making an Enduring Power […]

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Rea Costello (deceased) [2014] SASC 134 – Avoiding uncertainty when preparing a Will

Rea Costello (deceased) [2014] SASC 134 – Avoiding uncertainty when preparing a Will

I often find that clients have trouble choosing whom to appoint as their Executor in their Will. There seems to be a perception that when appointing an Executor, the Willmaker is bestowing a great honour on the person they choose. Some clients believe they will be offending their loved ones if they appoint one person […]

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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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