New legislative changes for Attorneys and Administrators

While no person expects, nor wishes, to experience a lack of capacity, the very real fact of life is that they may.  Incapacity can be long term or short term and can impact everyone quite differently. The question of someone's capacity to understand the nature and the effect of something is fraught with difficulty mainly … Continue reading New legislative changes for Attorneys and Administrators

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Optional Extra: Court held exercise of Option to Purchase not done properly

Will making is sometimes pretty complex work. The plan will always be unique to a person’s wishes and the personal circumstances.  Every so often, I receive instructions from clients to include an ‘option’ for one of their family or friends to purchase their property. Usually, this is because they’re trying to balance at least two … Continue reading Optional Extra: Court held exercise of Option to Purchase not done properly

Wife support: FPA by widow dismissed with costs (NSW)

It is a suggestion that arises throughout many estate disputes that the claim of a widow on an estate should be paramount to those of other family member who survive the deceased person. However, as each case is determined on it's merits, this is not always the case. Yesterday, the Supreme Court of New South Wales … Continue reading Wife support: FPA by widow dismissed with costs (NSW)

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

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

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 … Continue reading Computer Will upheld

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 … Continue reading Rural farming and interpretation of “farming machinery” within a Will