Estate Planning

Back to basics – making sure your Will is signed correctly

Back to basics – making sure your Will is signed correctly

I prepare Wills on a weekly basis. Once a client’s Will is finalised, I will forward it to them along with signing instructions, should the client wish to sign their Will independently. If this is an option they chose, I follow up and reiterate that they must follow the signing instructions. Unfortunately, I have many […]

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Having an estate plan is more than just having a will

Having an estate plan is more than just having a will

There seems to be a common misconception that having an estate plan is for wealthy people. Wrong. Having an estate plan is for everyone. It is about being prepared, minimising risk and making sure your loved ones receive the benefit of your estate. Today, there are many factors which influence an estate plan. Simply having […]

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What is your excuse for not having a will?

What is your excuse for not having a will?

When you die, you die. Nothing can be done from the grave that you haven’t planned for already. I’ve had many clients come in during their twilight years to make their first will. As surprising as this may seem, it’s actually quite common. The following are the reasons I hear most often about clients not […]

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Have you considered your digital assets in your estate plan?

Have you considered your digital assets in your estate plan?

I recently met with some clients to consider their estate plan. Since they last reviewed their estate plan they had accumulated significant digital assets. When considering your estate plan it is important to ensure you have catered for your digital assets and their management and distribution. What are digital assets? A digital asset is anything […]

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Blyth v Wilken – Ending a De Facto Relationship May Change Your Will

Blyth v Wilken – Ending a De Facto Relationship May Change Your Will

I have previously blogged about when you should review your will and estate planning. One of the triggers to review your will and estate planning is if you have divorced. In the case of a divorce, any references to your former spouse will be omitted from your will. The position on whether the end of a […]

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When should you review your will?

When should you review your will?

When preparing a will for a client, I am often asked, “When should I review my will again?” There are certain “triggers” that you can keep in mind, to review your will. I have set these triggers out below.   Marriage Marriage revokes a will. Therefore, if you intend to marry, or have recently married, you […]

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Protective Trusts: Protecting the vulnerable from themselves

Protective Trusts: Protecting the vulnerable from themselves

What can you do when you want to leave something in your will to a loved one, but are concerned that they will not be able to manage their inheritance adequately? It may be worthwhile considering establishing a protective trust for your loved one.   What is a protective trust? Under a protective trust, the […]

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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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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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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 […]

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