Critical Importance of Making a Will to Protect Children’s Inheritance From Previous Relationships

Critical Importance of Making a Will to Protect Children’s Inheritance From Previous Relationships

Critical Importance of Making a Will to Protect Children From Previous Relationships

Blended families include children form previous relationships (step-children).  They are growing quickly in number, but many people do not stop and think about the implications on children from previous relationships if they die without a Will.  It is a dangerous assumption that the law will automatically protect your biological and step children, as numerous scenarios can preclude or reduce the amount that they receive after you die if you do not seek the counsel of an experienced Wills lawyer in Adelaide.

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?
South Australian law provides that, depending on the size of your estate, your children from previous relationships may receive nothing if you die intestate. For estates valued at less than $100,000, the entire estate goes to the surviving spouse or domestic partner unless a valid Will is in place. For larger estates, your spouse is entitled to the first $100,000, your personal belongings and half of the estate’s balance.  Without litigation, at best your children will receive equal shares of the remaining balance (if any).

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End-of-Life Planning

End-of-Life Planning

Deciding how you want to live out your last days is a touchy subject for most people, but if you don’t take the time to do so now, you and your loved ones could end up suffering needlessly. While you are still of sound mind, you need to determine whom you trust to make decisions about your lifestyle and medical care if you are ever incapacitated.

An expert Adelaide estate planning lawyer can document your end-of-life wishes with an Advance Care Directive to help you attain peace of mind about your future and get back to the business of living in the moment.

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Estate Planning Complications of a Lost Will

Estate Planning Complications of a Lost Will

Estate Planning Complications of a Lost Will

Failing to keep your estate planning documents safe can cause major complications, for you and your family.

In South Australia, the simple form of Probate, known as a Grant of Probate in Common Form requires production and surrender of the Last Will and Testament of the deceased. This means that the original signed document must be located as a matter of priority. Otherwise the executor may not be able to deal with the assets of the deceased.

If the original Will cannot be located, the situation may not be hopeless. A different form of Probate, called a Grant of Probate in Solemn Form, may be attempted with a draft or copy of the last known Will of the deceased.

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Family Disputes and Legal Documents in SA

Family Disputes and Legal Documents in SA

Family Disputes and Legal Documents

Families aren’t always easy. We’re bound to them by blood and history, circumstance and duty. We love them, and sometimes, if we’re really lucky, we like them too. We rarely get to choose them.

At some point in our lives almost all of us will experience some challenging times in dealing with individuals in our family.

It could be the consequences of dealing with misfortune such as illness or unemployment.

It could be your son’s unfortunate choice of girlfriend.

Maybe someone has an inflated sense of entitlement & expectation, or is lacking in appreciation for what you’ve done for them.

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Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

What is a testamentary guardian, and why do I need one for my children?
A testamentary guardian is an adult nominated in a parent’s Will to care for their minor children in case both parents die before the children turn 18.

When we have young children, we understand that if one parent dies, the other parent will automatically retain parental responsibility. But in case both parents die prematurely, each needs to nominate in their Will an alternate testamentary guardian for their minor children.

Otherwise your children may end up in a home you wouldn’t choose for them, being parented in a way that’s not in accordance with your values.

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Genders and Partners Hurricane warns about risk planning

Hurricanes warn about risk planning

Genders and Partners Hurricane warns about risk planning

We all like to think of ourselves as resilient and adaptable to change. But all too often we only visualise ‘change’ of our own making, in our own good time.

It’s quite a different thing to deal with change that is forced upon us by outside forces.

The newsfeeds have been full of the deadly hurricane which wreaked havoc on the US state of Texas at the end of August 2017. This has highlighted the importance of risk management strategies to ensure that all of us can survive severe interruption.

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How to stop the Government giving away your assets after you die and charging a fortune to do it

Rod Genders

With all the recent talk about Australia’s ageing population, changes to superannuation and media speculation about the possible return of death duties, this timely interview reveals senior legal specialist Rod Genders from the oldest law firm in South Australia dishing the dirt on:

  • how estate companies make their fortunes from “free” Wills
  • how to save your family over $10,000 when they administer your deceased estate
  • how to avoid Government bureaucrats taking control of your finances, accommodation, health & medical decisions
  • plus much more.
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Genders and Partners | Alzheimer's Month

How To Address The Most Overlooked Legal Consequences Of Dementia

How To Address The Most Overlooked Legal Consequences Of Dementia adelaide

According to Alzheimer’s Australia, there are nearly half a million Australians currently living with dementia, and by 2025, this number is expected to triple. How should families of vulnerable older people help them to protect themselves and their assets?

There are several different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular Dementia, Dementia from Parkinson’s disease and similar disorders, Dementia with Lewy bodies, Frontotemporal dementia (Pick’s disease), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and others.

Some of the early effects are mild. Symptoms can seem to come and go, and people can have good days and bad days.

In the legal world, there is an emphasis on something called “capacity”, which usually refers to a person’s “testamentary capacity”.

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Binding Financial Agreements are an Important Part of Modern Estate Planning

Binding Financial Agreements are an Important Part of Modern Estate Planning

Binding Financial Agreements Are an Important Part of Modern Estate Planning

Modern relationships are fraught with tension and complexities when it comes to finances. Looking ahead to the time when you and your partner are established in your careers and have accrued considerable assets, it makes sense to want to protect what is yours should the relationship end.

Marriage, de facto and domestic partnerships

Australian Census data from 2011 shows that the married proportion of the total population has been falling. It is no longer the case that a majority of the population is married. Not so long ago the married proportion was as high as two-thirds of the entire population during the mid-20th century.  In 2011, this has dropped to less than half., and the relative divorce rate in Australia remains one of the highest in the world.

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What Are Testamentary Trusts?

What Are Testamentary Trusts?

What Are Testamentary Trusts?

You can think of a trust as a kind of legal-container, in which assets are held safely for the benefit of one or more people. A testamentary trust is setup in a Will, which appoints one or more trustees to distribute income & capital to beneficiaries over time and with certain guidelines in place.

This offers several benefits over standard Wills. Incorporating a testamentary trust into your Will is not relevant in every situation, but our specialist Adelaide estate planning law firm can help you determine if this legal measure would be of benefit to you and your loved ones.

How a Testamentary Trust Works

There are different types of testamentary trusts. A discretionary testamentary trust generally names a class of beneficiaries from which the trustee can choose to distribute, meaning that the trustee controls the assets and maintains legal protections for them until they are distributed to the end-beneficiary. Sometimes the trustee only distributes income from invested assets to one class of beneficiaries, keeping the capital distribution for a separate class of beneficiaries. In this way, the income-benefit of an asset can be given to a person, without them (or their “predators and creditors” being able to get their hands on the underlying asset.

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