marriage or de facto some legal issues to consider

Marriage or De Facto – Some Legal Issues to Consider

marriage or de facto some legal issues to consider

You may have thought the hardest decisions associated with formalising your relationship related to organising the party and keeping uncle Fred away from cousin Merle, but here are a few other considerations…

Change of Name

Traditionally, when a woman married, she took the last name of her husband. However this is not as common as it once was, and there is no legal compulsion to do so.

know somebody who is losing control of their own affairs

Know somebody who is losing control of their own affairs?

know somebody who is losing control of their own affairs

You’re not alone. Every Australian family will be affected by dementia. As we get older, we need to have in place some important legal documents to protect ourselves, our family and our assets. If you wait too long, it could be too late.

In 2021 dementia affects almost 50 million people worldwide, which is predicted to increase to 131.5 million people by 2050.

Every three seconds another person somewhere in the world develops dementia.

7 financial things retirees need to know about estate planning

7 Financial Things Retirees Need To Know About Estate Planning

7 financial things retirees need to know about estate planning

COVID has been scary and frustrating for most of us, and the future remains uncertain.

But if you were looking for a silver lining in all this, I can maybe offer two observations:

1. People have had to learn how to connect digitally a lot more efficiently, so we are all a lot more familiar with zoom meetings now.

This will hopefully mean that we stay connected a bit better from now on, no matter how busy the world gets again.

did you know youre a yoyo

Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide: Did You Know You’re A YOYO?

did you know youre a yoyo

YOYO stands for You’re On Your Own, and it has never been truer for Australian retirees.

In the 1980’s when Bob Hawke and Paul Keating changed government policy to encourage us all to save enough money for our eventual retirement, we did so with an expectation of mastering our own destiny to enjoy a wonderful and carefree retirement.

The idea was to reduce the dependence upon government funds for the old-age pension.

There has been a tremendous change in the social culture of Australia in the 40 years or so since superannuation commenced.

Genders and Partners

Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide: One More Hour … Baby Boomers, Pop Songs and Estate Planning

Genders and Partners I remember when I was young, the world had just begun, and I was happyi.

When I was younger, so much younger than todayii.

One more hour and my life will be throughiii.

Can you name the classic pop songs in which these timeless lyrics were sung? If so, then you’re probably at least as old as me, and you are a “Baby Boomer” (born between 1945 and 1965).

So what does this have to do with Estate Planning? Well quite a few things, really.

If we’re old enough to remember when these songs first made an impact on popular culture, then we’re at an age when we need to confront some harsh realities about our continued existence.

science fiction in estate planning

Science Fiction in Estate Planning

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)?

the best new years resolution to help your family

The Best New Year’s Resolution to Help Your Family

the best new years 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.

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).


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.