Leave ’em a loan: Liability to pay mortgage left with joint tenant

The liability of a mortgage is probably one of the most significant liabilities a couple will share. Whilst many times it’s a fairly equal distribution of that liability when everything is held jointly, it’s not always the case in circumstances of second/later relationships or a singular income earner and home maker. The recent decision of…

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New Power of Attorney & Advance Health Directive forms released (QLD)

The wait is now officially over with the new Queensland Powers of Attorney and Advamce Health Directive documents now being released. E documents are approved for use from 30 November 2020. These documents coincide with the legislative changes I wrote about regarding attorneys and guardians last year. This is the first update to these well…

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Duty Bound: solicitor’s duty to beneficiary of incapable testator after inter vivos transfer

It was in the context of preparing for the delivery of my recent presentation for The Tax Institute’s Death…and Taxes Symposium on the Gold Coast recently that I come to read a recent case of solicitor negligence in the context of estate planning. In the appeal decision of McFee v Reilly [2018] NSWCA 322, a…

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Renewable Power: Court permits Attorney to renew superannuation nomination (QLD)

For a while now, it’s been a hazy question asked by succession lawyers alike about whether an attorney can make or renew a binding death benefit nomination for their principal’s superannuation policy proceeds. On 24 August 2018, Justice Bowskill of the Supreme Court of Queensland delivered a decision on this very topic. The case of…

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The Unsent Text Message Will: Is it really that simple? No – it’s really not! (QLD)

It’s likely been in your news feed recently that an unsent text message was held by a Queensland Court to be a valid Will.  It may seem quite unbelievable to some that this would even happen! On the other hand, maybe it doesn’t? Reviewing the comments that appear in many of the media articles online…

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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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Australian Citizen resident in China leaves a “note” for mum

Update! This case was successfully appealed in June 2017.  Read my article on the appeal here. Documenting your wishes is simple in theory, but quite a different story in real world.  The Supreme Court of Victoria had quite the job recently in  deciphering whether a note a man left behind was considered to be his “Will” and…

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Family Ties: Former wife successful in FPA where financial settlement finalised 25 years prior

I read, with interest, the recent case of Lodin v Lodin; Estate of Dr Mohammad Masoud Lodin [2017] NSWSC 10, which dealt with a family provision claim by a former spouse of the deceased where a financial property settlement had been reached some 25 years prior to the deceased’s date of death. In New South Wales, a claim for family…

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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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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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