When acting in estate matters, lawyers occasionally encounter situations where wills have been inadvertently tampered with by will-makers during the period of storage since the will was signed.
Amendments were made to the form of the Enduring Power of Attorney in November 2020 in an effort to address some of the community concerns regarding financial elder abuse. These changes have introduced additional transparency measures designed to minimise the risk of an Attorney abusing the trust which has been placed in them.
“I have not seen my child in 20 years, why should I give him anything in my will?” Most people would think that they should be entitled to leave their estate to whomever they wish when they die, or indeed make whatever charitable requests they choose. Whilst as a general principle that proposition is true, there are some significant exceptions that need to be acknowledged in making a will.
A recent story aired by A Current Affair has highlighted the unexpected consequences which can arise in relation to the superannuation benefits of a loved one after they pass away. Three myths often abound when it comes to superannuation and deceased estates.
The Queensland Government recently passed the Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response – Document and Oaths) Regulation 2020. The purpose of the legislation is to address the issue of physically witnessing and signing documents amidst the social distancing restrictions that are currently in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Estate and succession law is built on one central pillar: preparedness. We draft wills to ensure our loved ones receive our assets when we cannot distribute them ourselves, and we sign Enduring Powers of Attorney so that in the event we cannot make decisions, someone we trust can. The lesser-discussed Advance Health Directive (AHD) is yet another example of preparing for the unknown. What is an AHD? AHDs provide principals with an opportunity to provide or withhold consent with respect to certain medical treatments and health care practices. The documents sit dormant, with no effect, until such time that the… Continue Reading
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, nearly half of all Australians die without a valid will, or ‘intestate’. The legal and procedural complications that can arise in the event of intestacy can be both costly and time-consuming. What is a will? A will is a legal document that provides directions with respect to how you would like your estate to be managed and distributed after your death. It allows you to choose someone to administer your estate (i.e. your executor), enables you to provide specific directions or instructions regarding a particular issue (such as funeral arrangements or nominating… Continue Reading
Within the legal profession, a question has often been asked that has had no clear answer – can an Enduring Power of Attorney extend a binding death benefit nomination for an incapacitated principal? In a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland in Re Narumon Pty Ltd  QSC 185, this question was recently considered and a clear decision handed down. Background The applicant, Narumon Pty Ltd, is the trustee of a self-managed superannuation fund established in 1992. The sole member of the fund was Mr John Giles who passed away in 2017, aged 80. Mr Giles was survived… Continue Reading
What happens to your financial and health if you become incapacitated for any reason (such as a car crash or other accident)? What if you are overseas, or away from home, and cannot sign a document which needs urgent attention? What happens when you become elderly and just can’t keep up with the demands of your finances, and everything is just too complicated? Who is able to help you when you can’t help yourself? Who is able to assist you and make decisions on your behalf? May we take this opportunity to draw your attention to the existence of a… Continue Reading
Have you lost track of old bank accounts, shares, superannuation or life insurance policies? Have you moved address and cannot recall whether you notified a company or firm who may be holding money on your behalf such as your lawyer, real estate agent or accountant? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may have unclaimed money. There are two websites where you can search for unclaimed money free of charge. These websites are: Australian Securities & Investments Commission – This website will search for general unclaimed money (such as lost shares, bank accounts and life insurance policies… Continue Reading