Wills & Estates

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Latest Wills & Estates News

Published in Wills & Estates on 7th Oct 2015

Powers of Attorney - are yours in place? With recent changes to the laws surrounding Powers of Attorney (“PoA”), it is timely to provide a recap on the different types of PoA available and the importance of proper succession planning. What are PoA? PoA are legal documents that let you appoint someone to make legal decisions on your behalf.  Alternatively, you can appoint someone to ‘support’ you to make decisions for yourself. A supportive PoA is primarily for people with disabilities and is not discussed here. PoA can either be enduring or general (non-enduring). Enduring PoA start from a date or time specified by you (or if not specified, immediately) and continue even y...

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Published in Wills & Estates on 16th Sep 2015

What happens to your social media when you die? What about Gmail? who gets funds in a Paypal, Skype or gaming account? Do you have a blog? Ebay or Amazon Account? Precious photos kept on Dropbox? What will your online afterlife be like?    There are many things to consider when making a will. There are the traditional aspects of a will that most people are familiar with such as: Who the executor will be; Who will be the beneficiaries of your assets, including property, shares or bank accounts; Who will be the legal guardian of any children; and Funeral arrangements. But, have you considered what happens to your social media and Gmail accounts when you die? Would your b...

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Published in Wills & Estates on 1st Feb 2015

The amendments are designed to give people greater freedom when drafting their Wills, and limit the number of Testator’s Family Maintenance claims (“TFM claims”) that can be brought against someone’s Estate, by requiring the Courts to give greater consideration to the intentions of the Willmaker. Prior to the new Act, people could bring TFM claims in the following circumstances: If they could show that the deceased had a “responsibility to provide” them with maintenance; and If the individual was left without “adequate” or “proper” maintenance. Determining the appropriate amount of provision depended on the factual circumstances of each case. The new Act narrows...

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Published in Wills & Estates on 13th Jul 2012

We recently acted for a client whose elderly spinster aunt, for whom she had provided care for many years, wished to make a new Will.  Her aunt did not like leaving the house and so, to make the process easier for her, the niece purchased a Will kit.  After asking what she wished to include in her Will, the niece hand wrote the Will, and then arranged for two friends to come to the house to witness the signing of the document.  The provisions of the Will were fairly simple and were clearly articulated – the niece was appointed executor and was to receive most of the estate if another elderly relative predeceased the aunt.  The Will was duly signed and our client and her aunt thought...

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Published in Wills & Estates on 26th Sep 2011

You get married; You enter into a domestic relationship; An executor and/or beneficiary of your Will dies; You have children or grandchildren (including biological, step or adopted); and You and your spouse separate or divorce. If you die without a valid Will, your estate will be divided in accordance with the statutory provisions under the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) (“the Act”). This means you have no control over how your estate is distributed and those whom you wish to receive benefits from your estate may not receive anything. Further, if you die without amending your Will to reflect changed circumstances, the distribution of your estate may not reflect your i...

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Published in Elder Law on 5th Apr 2013

To overcome the obvious human rights issues that this can raise, Parliament enacted the Mental Health Act 1986 (‘the Act’). One of its stated objectives is to “protect the rights of people with a mental disorder” and this ensures that the principles of natural justice and due process are adhered to when a person is detained in a psychiatric ward. The Mental Health Review Board (“MHRB”) The Act establishes the MHRB, whose purpose, amongst other things, is to hear appeals made by, or on behalf of, involuntary patients and to review periodically the orders made for involuntary patients and their treatment plans. When someone is admitted into a psychiatric ward involuntarily, th...

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