Elder Abuse – a Silent and Growing Epidemic

Elder Abuse in Australian Estate Planning

The longer we live, the better our scientists & doctors will become at improving our life-expectancies.   Australia now has one of the highest life expectancies in the world (higher even than USA and UK). As a result we can expect to live longer but we must also expect to require increasing amounts of assistance in our later years.

We are likely to rely upon an increasing amount of care towards the end of our lives, and this care will be provided by people who will be in a position to influence us regarding testamentary gifts.

The role of carer can be quite an intimate one.  Confidences can be shared; friendships are established.  It becomes a “trust” relationship. However the potential inequality in the relationship (the reliance that is necessarily placed upon the stronger person by the weaker person in the relationship) creates a ready climate for exploitation.

Weird Probate Issues

Weird Probate Issues Part 5

Genders and Partners | Last Will & Probate | Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide

The Wills of famous celebrities can teach us some valuable lessons about what NOT to do….

… because our last posts Weird Probate Issues and More Weird Probate issues were so popular, we have decided to create an entire series …

Genders and Partners | Science Fiction in Estate Planning

Science Fiction in Estate Planning

Genders and Partners | Science Fiction in Estate Planning

Could there ever be a legal expectation of a “use-by date” for humans?

We might scoff at such an outlandish notion, and relegate it to science-fiction, but should we be so quick to dismiss it entirely?

If Walt Disney wants to spend his own money to cryogenically freeze his body immediately after his death, in the hope that one day medical science will be able to cure him, then most people would probably shrug and say “So what – it doesn’t affect me.”

But what if a person with limited assets wanted to do this, with the effect that their entire deceased estate would be consumed by the expense.  Would the law (driven by societal expectation) permit that person’s children to over-rule the deceased’s wishes, switch-off the freezer and spend the savings?

You might argue that the person was already dead, but does this automatically forfeit all human rights, and if so are we truly “dead” while there remains some hope for recovery?

Let’s take it one step further: What if the patient has not died, but medical science permits his doctors to preserve his body in a form of coma indefinitely (again in the hope of benefitting from further advances in medical science in the future). If he is still “alive” then should he be permitted to spend his own money, regardless of any limit to the normal human life-span?  Should there be any limits? Who decides?  Should the rest of us be required to contribute towards the expense of his longevity (via Medicare & Centrelink, funded by our taxes)?

Genders and Partners | Last Will & Probate | Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide

Weird Probate Issues Part 4

Genders and Partners | Last Will & Probate | Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide

The Bottom Line – Some people are determined to have their final say in their strange Last Wills and Testaments. Have a smile at their attempts to ‘rule from beyond the grave’.

… because our last posts Weird Probate Issues and More Weird Probate issues were so popular, we have decided to create an entire series …

1. Ingrid Newkirk
Ingrid Newkirk is the founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the organization that tries to keep humans from eating, wearing or being mean to animals. When Newkirk passes on, she instructs that her corpse be given over to PETA, and then things get weird.

12 Dangerous Stresses of Administering a Deceased Estate in SA

12 Dangerous Stresses of Administering Deceased Estate

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.

Genders and Partners | Last Will & Probate | Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide

Weird Probate Issues Part 3

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.

… because our last posts Weird Probate Issues and More Weird Probate issues were so popular, we have decided to create an entire series …

The Best New Year’s Resolution to Help Your Family

The Best New Year’s Resolution to Help Your Family

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.

Dont Neglect the Softer Side of Estate Planning

Rod Genders Podcast Episode #2: Don’t Neglect the Softer Side of Estate Planning

Dont Neglect the Softer Side of Estate Planning

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.

Genders and Partners Dementia will soon become Australia's Leading Cause of Death

WARNING: Dementia will soon become Australia’s Leading Cause of Death

Genders and Partners Dementia will soon become Australia's Leading Cause of Death

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.

Rod Genders Podcast Episode #1: What Is Testamentary Capacity?

Rod Genders

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.