Superannuation Death Benefits – Be Warned

Superannuation Death Benefits Be Warned

As a matter of law an entitlement under a superannuation fund does not automatically form part of the assets of a deceased estate.

All superannuation funds in Australia are trusts, which are governed by their respective deeds of trust, subject to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth), and administered by a trustee who holds a discretion in terms of the persons whom the trustee decides should receive the superannuation trust fund proceeds.

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Becoming an Elder

Becoming an Elder

Becoming an Elder

Turning 50 used to mean that it was time to begin thinking about retiring. That is not the case anymore. Now 50 is just middle-aged, with another quarter-century of busy productive life ahead.

To paraphrase Kermit the frog – “It’s not easy being wise”. I thought turning 50 would mean that things slowed down, calmed down and got easier. Instead, the pace of life seems to be quickening.

Turning 50 is a good time to start thinking about what you’ve learned so far, and reflecting on maybe becoming a “modern elder” and sharing some stories and wisdom with people who are finding their own paths a bit too challenging today.

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Estate planning for progressive illness

Estate planning for progressive illness

Estate planning for progressive illness

Estate planning is not solely about preparing a Will, and with progressive illnesses you need to think about estate planning as planning for the future stages of your disease as it progresses.

The life planning portion of estate planning can be very different for a person with a progressive illness than a person without.

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Macular Degeneration: there are dozens of illnesses that are progressive and (so far) incurable. They require special care from an estate planning perspective.

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Top 10 reasons why challenges to Wills and estates are becoming more common

Top 10 reasons why challenges to Wills and estates are becoming more common

Top 10 reasons why challenges to Wills and estates are becoming more common

Generational change in attitudes mean that more people than ever before are now prepared to challenge a Will if they don’t get what they regard as a fair share

A recent survey in the UK reveals that one in four people would mount a legal challenge against a loved one’s Will or estate if they were unhappy with it.

UK Court statistics confirm such disputes are on the rise, reflecting the increased readiness of family members to oppose a relative’s last wishes, with a record number of inheritance disputes now reaching Court.

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Rogue Executors

Rogue Executors

When executors goes bad, and what to do about it…

Several times each month, my phone will ring, and someone will tell me about a family member who is doing the wrong thing in the administration of a deceased estate.

It’s often a sibling. For some reason, some brothers and sisters can have a rivalry that borders on all-out warfare. There have been times when I’ve had sibling-executors in my office who couldn’t agree on the colour of an orange! (The expression ‘cats and dogs’ comes to mind).

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Strange but true recent Wills and estates news

Strange but true – recent wills and estates news

Strange but true recent Wills and estates news

Here’s a quick roundup of some interesting news items from the world of Wills and estates.

Hoist on his own petard? Father who denied paternity is excluded from dead child’s estate

A UK Court has decided that the substantial estate of a mentally disabled child who died without a Will should be distributed to his mother and his foster family.

The court excluded the child’s biological father from inheriting a share because he had denied paternity and played no part in the child’s life.

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any old will wont do

Any old Will won’t do

any old will wont do

Forget about religion or politics. If you want to start an argument on Facebook, try talking about the possibility of someone’s Will potentially being contested.

Boy, does that get people riled-up!

I’m always trying to educate people about Wills and estates, and the topic that most divides opinion relates to what is called ‘testamentary freedom’.

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essential guide to super death benefits

Essential Guide To Super Death Benefits

essential guide to super death benefits

Most people in Australia badly misunderstand what happens to their superannuation after they die.

The biggest mistake people make in this area, is thinking that they can give their super to whomever they wish outside of their Will.

In fact, federal Australian legislation places substantial restrictions on who can receive your super after you’re gone.

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What is Probate and is it always required in South Australia

What is Probate and is it always required in South Australia?

What is Probate and is it always required in South Australia

Probate is the process of a Court establishing that a Will is valid and represents the final testamentary intentions of the Testator. There are time limits for a Will to be submitted to the Probate Court after the date of the death of the Testator.

When someone dies, their estate is represented by an executor or administrator. If the deceased person has made a Will it is the named executor(s) who will be charged with the responsibility of implementing the terms of the Will and administering the estate.

Usually, subject to the value of an estate, an executor(s) is required to obtain what is called a “Grant of Probate” from the Supreme Court of South Australia. The Grant of Probate is a process whereby a deceased’s Will is validated as being his or her last Will. Upon a Grant of Probate being made, an executor then has the responsibility of implementing the terms of the Will by distributing the assets of the estate to the nominated beneficiaries after payment of liabilities and expenses.

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12 Dangerous Stresses of Administering a Deceased Estate in SA

12 Dangerous Stresses of Administering a Deceased Estate in SA

12 Dangerous Stresses of Administering a Deceased Estate in SA

Sometimes the Executor of a Deceased Estate gets pressure from family and other beneficiaries to do questionable things in the administration of the Estate

Here are a few of the higher-risk demands frequently directed at nervous Executors by pushy relatives:

1. Obtain a Grant Of Probate As Quickly As Possible

Sometimes relatives and other potential beneficiaries might push an Executor to go faster than they should.  Almost always, those beneficiaries will have their own interests at heart, without necessarily considering your rights, duties and responsibilities as Executor, nor the other interests attaching to a Deceased Estate.  A prudent Executor might do well to remember the adage: Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick 2.

In South Australia, generally Probate cannot be applied for until at least 28 days after death.  In certain circumstances an urgent application can be made faster than this, however special reasons need to be proven.

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