Leaving a “note” for mum successfully appealed; “Note” = Will

Not all that long ago, I wrote an article on a case involving a gentleman who had passed away in China.  He was Australian Citizen who was resident in China for many years and he had left a note for his mum regarding his wishes to distribute some of his property which gave rise to…

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Important Amendments to Qld Succession Laws: a sign of the times

We live in a different age.  We live in a world where blended families are a common fixture within our communities.  I, personally, know many beautiful blended families and I’m sure many of my readers do also.  In fact, I’m sure there are some of my readers that may know blended families that are closer…

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Not all about the money: Why executor appointments are just as important

When people make a Will, they’re usually predominately concerned with who they will distribute their assets to after they’ve passed.  An exceptionally important part of making a Will is appointing a person as an Executor who will then administer your estate in accordance with the directions you’ve left in your Will. Unsurprisingly, the Courts end up attempting to resolve disputes as to who was ‘rightfully’ appointed as…

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“There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Imposter Testator and the Supreme Court

“There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr Seuss In an odd case, Chief Justice Catherine Holmes was called upon to determine an application of probate in solemn form with a side order of an imposter claim. In the case Martin Terrence Farrell v Warren Elbridge Boston [2016] QSC 278, the Applicant, Martin…

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Contracting in Cali: Breach of contract to make Will

“Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination to spread“: Jimmy Carter Gregory Coote was an Australian born entertainment mogul who sadly died earlier this year. Whilst he was born in Oz, he spent most of his later years living in California. In 2011, Mr Coote had been party to divorce proceedings from his second wife and subsequently entered into…

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Computer Will upheld

In the Estate of Robin Michael (Deceased) [2016] SASC 164, the Supreme Court of South Australia held that a computer document was to be admitted to probate as the last will and testatment of the deceased. The Court itemised the following main issues to be determined were: Was the will on the deceased’s hard drive of…

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Executor’s duty and what to do with that additional informal document

In their last days, people can often have cause to consider additional wishes they want to record somewhere as they consider what means most to them.  Unfortunately, sometimes recording these wishes can become problematic for the executors and family left behind.  Here’s a good example: I recently read the case of Re Mangan [2016] VSC 480…

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Child of defacto spouse = step-child in family provision claim

In today’s society, it’s not uncommon for someone to refer to their defacto partner’s child as their own.  They are often just as close to them, if not even closer, than their own, biological children. The Supreme Court of Victoria today handed down a decision finding that a child of a defacto spouse was a step-child of the deceased…

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A Research Study – “Having the last word: Will making and Contestation in Australia”

I had the great pleasure of reading a very interesting report entitled “Having the last word: Will Making and Contestation in Australia”.

For those that want to skip to the good bits, you can access the report here.

In summary, the study was conducted over 4 years and is the bouncing baby booklet of the Public Trustees and the University of Queensland under an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant.

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Aged Care reforms, SMSF and Centrelink Schedules

With aged care reforms on their way, practitioners should be aware of the changes that result in considerations around affordability particularly for self-funded retirees or part-pensioners. As an SMSF trustee, there are some additional considerations that a trustee will need to consider. Check out a useful article by Anna Lawton, Senior Manager of Aged Care Services at Equity Trustees Limited via…

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Order for disclosure sought against executors of estate

Not your average case, but I nonetheless found the case of Helg v Sergiacomi & Another [2014] QSC 50 an interesting read. Both parties were self-represented and the claim and assertions somewhat unclear.  Ultimately, the applicant sought disclosure of documents relating the deceased’s estate of transactions during the deceased’s lifetime including a Trust Deed and mortgage documentation.  …

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