No Will, no way?: Court refuses application for statutory Will in large estate (Qld)

Admittedly, it's not something that one regularly thinks about, but the issue of incapacitated people making Wills is a topic that achieves much discussion nowadays. Where a person doesn't have a Will, whether by choice or otherwise, the law provides what I like to call a "back-up plan" or formula, if you will, of how [...]

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Burden of secrets: Claim for secret trust within an FPA by grandchild (NSW)

Within a family dynamic, particularly as the elderly age and consider their demise, it's common to hear of conversations being held between family members of "understandings" and benefits that may flow the next generation on the death of the elder. Promises made and, sometimes, others rely on those alleged promises. So what happens where there's a secret of a [...]

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 [...]

Rural farming and interpretation of “farming machinery” within a Will

As a regional lawyer living in a semi-rural area and with family in the farming industry (and as a succession nerd generally!), I thoroughly enjoyed reading this case. This case of Frey v Frey [2015] QDC 184 involved an issue of interpretation when the testator gifted "farming machinery" to a beneficiary. With multiple properties (gifted in various [...]

Buyer beware: engaging lawyers that “complicate things”

I hear comments in society all the time such as "lawyers complicate things" or some variation of that. I can entirely understand why people think this, but it's generally not true. It's probably because we ask lots of questions and likely those questions are things you probably didn't think about. BUT that's our job. Some [...]