Why a Testamentary Trust in a Will?

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There are a number of legitimate reasons to include a testamentary trust in a Will. The benefits include, but are not limited to:

(i) Providing a gift to a beneficiary with a disability, that may not be able to manage their own affairs. The Will maker may want to ensure that the beneficiary may benefit from the income of the fund during their lifetime, with the capital to go to another beneficary on their death.

(ii) Protection ...

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Protecting Your Assets

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We have all read about high profile disputes, over the assets left in the Wills of high net wealth individuals. The families of Richie Benaud, Dick Pratt, and Lang Hancock have all had difficulties sorting out their estate issues.

Unfortunately, no lawyer can give assurances to Will makers that someone in their family will not make a claim against their estate for a share, or larger share than the Will maker deems appropriate. All the Will maker ...

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Will Makers Extended Duty of Care to Beneficiaries

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In the case of Calvert v Badenach, decided in July in Hobart, Tasmania, it was found that a Solicitor’s duty of care when advising a Testator extended to beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries. In that case, a Solicitor advised a client about making their Will, but failed to give any detailed advice about a potential Family Provision Application that could arise from the Testator’s disenfranchised daughter. The Testator left the bulk of his estate to a friend who was ...

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Video Will Admitted in NSW to Probate

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Justice Lindsay of the Supreme Court of NSW, in the case of Re Estate of Wai Fun CHAN, on 7th August 2015 admitted a video made by a dying Chinese woman, to Probate. The 85 year old widow had made a formal written will two days earlier with her Solicitor, leaving her estate equally between her 8 children. She later decided to leave a larger share to her two children who were resident in NSW, and therefore made ...

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Domestic Violence

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It is a sad fact of life that violence within relationships is increasing as economic conditions and financial hardship place more pressure on families. There is no barrier of age, status or gender. It may take the form of physical or sexual abuse but may also take the form of one party exerting control over another.

The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 has made a number of changes to the existing legislation. Importantly, the definition of Domestic Violence has ...

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Divorce – A Trying Time

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Family Law is an area of law that covers a wide range of highly emotional issues consequent upon the breakdown of a relationship or marriage. It deals primarily with such matters as divorce, division of property, care of children, domestic violence and child maintenance just to name a few.

The matters that separating couples have to deal with can be complex and confusing. People are forced to make life changing decisions at a time when they are least equipped ...

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Cut out of the family Will?

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Many people are not aware that they may have the right to challenge the Will in circumstances where they have not been provided with adequate provision for their proper maintenance and support.

If you are the deceased’s spouse, child or dependant and you believe that the deceased’s Will has failed to provide you with what you believe to be a fair and proper proportion of the deceased’s estate then you may possess the right to seek the Court’s discretion to alter ...

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Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law – Director Penalty Notices

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On 29th June 2012, the government amended the Tax Laws to crack down on phoenix operators.

Previously Company Directors could avoid personal liability if:

  1. The company’s liability was discharged; or
  2. The company is placed into administration; or
  3. The Company is wound up and a liquidator is appointed;

within 21 days from the date of the issue of a Director Penalty Notice.

The major change provides a much tighter time frame for Directors to avoid personal liability for outstanding superannuation and PAYG tax. If the liability for ...

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Estate Planning – Too Difficult?

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Most people seem to be aware of the importance of making a Will, however, very few people are aware of the tax advantages and asset protection advantages of making a Will which contains a testamentary trust. Now, more than ever, with the tax free thresholds being substantially increased is the time to seek the proper legal advice in this area. A properly made Will containing a well drafted testamentary trust may result in your loved ones taking advantage of substantial ...

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Buying or selling residential property? – Get the right advice

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All too often buyers and sellers enter into Contracts for the sale and purchase of residential property without first consulting their solicitors. Unfortunately, failure to obtain proper legal advice before entering into a contract may result in adverse and costly consequences.

It is important to note that real estate agents are generally not legally trained and sometimes in circumstances where the parties have not obtained legal advice, adequate disclosures are not made on behalf of the sellers or proper provisions have ...

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