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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No Undue Influence + Mutual Wills: Appeal dismissed in Birch v Birch case (Qld)

I have been eagerly awaiting delivery of the appeal decision in Birch v Birch [2018] QSC 289. The case of Birch v Birch involved a situation where a mother had transferred her interest in a farming property to one of her sons, who also happened to be the mother’s duly appointed power of attorney. Whilst…

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Decisions, Decisions: ‘bad faith’ SMSF Trustee discretion decision set aside, Trustee removed

There is certainly no question that superannuation is a complex beast.  Add to that the self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) variety and it will keep you busy, with it’s complex twists and turns, for days. I read a case recently that is no different.   A shout-out to a fellow nerd, Clifford Hughes, for bringing this case…

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Catch and Release: Court considers when s33Z applies to a ‘purported’ Will (Qld)

Recently, the case of Saltmer v Rennick Lawyers Pty Ltd [2018] QSC 307 was heard in the Supreme Court of Queensland in Townsville where the Court was called upon to question of costs in a situation where a deceased person’s family member requested a copy of a document held by a Solicitor that the family…

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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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Excluded child’s claim dismissed: 40 years of estrangement after bitter divorce (NSW)

In case it’s not already evident to my readers, I have a particular interest in family provision cases that touch on disentitling conduct or estrangement.  So, it’s no surprise this recent case in the Supreme Court of NSW caught my eye yesterday where a family provision application by an adult child, who was excluded from…

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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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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…

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Blood thicker than water: novel intestacy case in NSW, Aboriginal half-sisters vs adoptive half-sisters

Starting the year off on a very novel case of an intestacy contest, Justice Lindsay of the Supreme Court of New South Wales was called to determine how distribution of an indigenous man’s estate should be distributed where his surviving family were Aboriginal half-sisters and adoptive half-sisters. The case of Re Estate Wilson, Deceased [2017] NSWSC…

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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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