Famous Last Words – Some people try to tell you that “you can’t take it with you,” but that doesn’t mean you have to go quietly into the night. A vital part of pre-death planning is composing a Last Will and Testament that clearly lays out who gets your stuff and your money. But some people also use them as a final “screw you” to the world. These people were determined to have their final say, with their strange Last Wills and Testaments.Details
Another year has passed and 2018 is already here. The New Year is a time of optimism and noble resolutions to quit bad habits, get organised, pay off debt and save money. It’s a good time to take a look at your estate plan to make sure it is in place and up to date.
Your estate planning documents determine who will receive your property when you die, and also determine who has the right to make financial and major medical decisions during your lifetime. Getting your estate plan right will save money and heartbreak for you and your family.
Less than half of adult Australians have any estate planning documents in place and many of those people may have outdated documents. Documents that were created when you first got married or when your children were born may need updating years later, after your family and financial situation have changed entirely.Details
A long time ago (1983 actually), Sean Connery came out of 007 retirement to make an unofficial James Bond movie called Never Say Never Again. In one scene he pretends to be a masseur at a health spa, and suggestively says to Kim Basinger: “Hard or soft … massage?”
This movie-line must have stuck in my brain all these years, because it suddenly seemed like a good way to highlight some important considerations in modern integrated estate planning – Hard or soft … estate plan?
What is the Softer Side of Your Estate Plan?
Identify, document and share your wishes for end-of-life care, the care of your pets, the custodianship of your special assets, who your carers will be, where will you live if you lose your independence, and more.Details
Dementia deaths in Australia have steadily increased over recent years. In 2013, dementia became Australia’s second leading cause of death, overtaking cerebrovascular diseases (strokes) for the first time.
In 2014 and 2015 the number of dementia deaths have continued to rise.
Ischaemic heart disease has been the leading cause of death in Australia since early in the 20th century, but while the rate of death from heart disease was at its worst around 1970, it has steadily declined since then.
Dementia is not one specific disease. There are many types, including Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia, which are each collections of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain, with severe effects on thinking, behaviour and quality of life. These diseases add greatly to the burden of illness and injury in the Australian community.Details
Medical science is keeping us alive for longer than ever before, and the Australian population is ageing fast. Dementia already affects approximately 160 000 Australians.
Dementia affects about 10% of those aged over 65 years, and 20% of those over 80 years suffer from severe dementia. Frighteningly, Alzheimer’s Australia says we can expect a 300% increase in the numbers of dementia patients in the next 30 years.
Senior Australian lawyer Rod Genders discusses how mental health affects a person’s legal capacity to make decisions in their own best interests.Details
Making a Will is a serious business, right? It details how you wish your estate to be distributed, who benefits and by how much.
… because our last post Weird Probate Issues was so popular, here we go again …
But we can still chuckle at the efforts of other people when they outrageously stuff-up their own estate plans. (We’ll suppress our schadenfreude with the thought that this is all educational. ‘Schadenfreude’ is the German term for the guilty pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune.)Details
If you’ve been named the executor of a Will, you might experience a wide range of emotions upon your loved one’s passing.
In addition to going through the grieving process, you might feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities in carrying out the deceased’s wishes.
You may have even heard horror stories about probate that leave you wondering where to begin, but you can relax knowing that your specialist estate lawyer at Genders & Partners can help you navigate any obstacles you face regarding probate & deceased estates in Adelaide.Details
Australian women’s life expectancy is now at its highest ever recorded, and is one of the highest in the world, according to recently released research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The average life expectancy for females is now 84.6 years and for males it is 80.4 years, and these figures demonstrate huge gains in life expectancy over the last century since the Aged Pension was initially introduced in Australia in 1909 when the average life expectancy was below the eligibility age.
At that time it was anticipated that most people would not live long enough to receive the pension, and those that did would not get it for long.Details
Your loved one has entrusted you to administer their estate, and you probably feel overwhelmed with the burden of this responsibility in the midst of your grief. Depending on the size of the estate, your duties can become quite complicated, but the Adelaide Probate & Estate law specialists at Genders & Partners can guide you through the process to ensure that you carry out your responsibilities with a minimum of stress.
Locating the Will and Safeguarding Assets
As executor, your first job after the person’s death is to locate the original Will, which may be with the deceased’s important papers or held securely at a trustee company or lawyer’s office. If you do not have the original in hand right away, you can still work with a copy to familiarise yourself with the contents and make funeral arrangements according to the person’s wishes.
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).