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.

Alzheimer’s Month adelaide wills and estate planning

How To Address The Most Overlooked Legal Consequences Of Dementia

How To Address The Most Overlooked Legal Consequences Of Dementia adelaide wills and estate planning

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”.

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.

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.

Estate Planning Challenges: The Ageing of Australia’s Population

Estate Planning Challenges The Ageing of Australias Population

Thanks to modern health care, the ageing population of Australia is growing rapidly. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the demographic of people aged 65 and older increased by 3.7 percent between 1993 and 2013.

These numbers are expected to increase more rapidly over the next decade. If you’re in fairly good health and able to care for yourself well into your golden years, this is great news.

However, no one knows when an illness or injury could strike, requiring expensive long-term care and accommodations. Not planning for the future while you’re still of sound mind and in good health could be disastrous for you and your loved ones—physically, emotionally and financially. This is why it is in your best interest to meet with an Adelaide estate planning lawyer at Genders & Partners as soon as possible.

Legal Documents

When you meet with our experts on estate planning in Adelaide, we will assist you to protect yourself, your family and your assets. In addition to preparing your Will, we will provide advice and assistance on Powers of Attorney, and Advance Care Directives so that your loved ones know who is in charge of making certain decisions for you should you become ill or unable to make decisions for yourself. This leaves no one guessing or arguing over your wishes.

Undue Influence and the Growing Problem of Elder Abuse

Undue Influence and the Growing Problem of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can take many forms, including neglect, verbal and physical abuse, and financial abuse. According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, people who are aged 80 and older suffer two to three times the abuse rate of those in younger age brackets.

As modern health care continues to increase life expectancy, more elderly people than ever will need to depend upon other people who may or may not have their best interests at heart. In such cases, undue influence is a real threat that can be prevented or minimised with the help of our estate planning lawyers in Adelaide.

Six Reasons Why LGBT Couples Should Create an Integrated Estate Plan

Six Reasons Why LGBT Couples Should Create an Integrated Estate Plan

A legal marriage inherently affords certain rights to husbands and wives when a spouse dies without a Will or estate plan. The same cannot be said for LGBT couples, who must meet certain criteria to qualify as domestic partnerships under the law.

Without solid legal documentation of your wishes for your partner, children, health care and finances, you and your loved ones could suffer needlessly in the event that you become incapacitated or die.

Here are just six of the numerous reasons LGBT couples need to meet with Genders & Partners as soon as possible for Wills & estate planning in Adelaide.

The Looming World Crisis of Incapacity in SA

The Looming World Crisis of Incapacity

Australia is facing a tsunami of widespread mental incapacity among the largest and wealthiest segment of our population. Advances in mental health have not kept pace with advances in other areas of medical science.

According to Alzheimer’s Australia, more than 340,000 Australians currently have dementia, and that number is expected to reach nearly 900,000 in the next 35 years unless a medical breakthrough occurs. These grim statistics highlight the need for everyone to plan ahead so that their medical and financial needs are met should they ever become mentally incapacitated.

When it comes to Wills & estate planning in Adelaide, you can trust the oldest law firm in South Australia, Genders & Partners to guide you through the tough decisions you must make for your future care and financial welfare.

The Necessity of Getting Your Affairs in Order Now

The Necessity of Getting Your Affairs in Order Now

Life is unpredictable, and your whole world can change in an instant if you fall ill or sustain a serious injury.

You certainly don’t want to think about your death when you’re in the prime of your life, but there are numerous good reasons to consult with an Adelaide estate planning lawyer as soon as possible.

It may be difficult to face your mortality, but the compassionate team at Genders & Partners will make the legal process of getting your affairs in order as easy as possible so that you can put this unpleasant task behind you and go back to living your life to the fullest.

Australian Supreme Court says DIY Wills are a curse

Australian Supreme Court says DIY Wills are a curse

Western Australian Supreme Court Master Craig Sanderson has publically stated in a 2014 judgment that “Homemade Wills are a curse,” and inevitably lead to protracted and expensive legal battles in family disputes involving substantial estates.

Master Sanderson said the legal issue around the proper determination of the deceased’s Will could have been avoided if he had “consulted a lawyer and signed off on a Will that reflected his wishes”.

Master Sanderson warned of the dangers of homemade Wills, saying there was no question that engaging a properly qualified and experienced lawyer to draft a Will was “money well spent”.

“But where, as here, the estate of the deceased is substantial, the Will is opaque and there is no agreement among the beneficiaries, the inevitable result is an expensive legal battle which is unlikely to satisfy everyone.”

This view is supported by Rod Genders, who is a senior Australian lawyer specialising in trusts, Wills and estate planning, accident compensation, probate and deceased estate administration in Adelaide and throughout South Australia. His boutique specialist law firm, which was founded on 1848, is one of the oldest and most respected in Australia.