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.

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.


Powers of Attorney die with their owners


In the UK recently a person has been fined the equivalent of many thousands of dollars for using an expired power of attorney to withdraw money from the principal’s bank account after her death, even though he acted with the consent of her sole beneficiary (her son).

The agent was a close friend of the deceased, and of her only son. Although aware of her death, over the subsequent weeks he made three withdrawals from her personal bank accounts.

Some of this money went towards funding a property transaction which had been specifically authorised by the deceased before her death.

Other funds were either used for legitimate and authorised estate expenses, or were not used at all and later returned to the estate account.

Advance Care Directives in South Australia

Advance Care Directives in South Australia

Since 1st July 2014 this new style of document in South Australia has replaced the older documents known as Medical Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Natural Death Anticipatory Directive.

This Advance Care Directive document allows you to appoint one or more persons to act as your Substitute Decision Maker, to make decisions for you about your medical & health care treatment and accommodation issues if you’re unable to do so for yourself. This can make all the difference between ensuring your wishes are met in very stressful times, and having treatment and care almost forced upon you against your wishes.

An Advance Care Directive is a legal form that allows people over the age of 18 years to state their wishes, preferences and instructions for future health care, end of life, living arrangements and personal matters and/or

An Advance Care Directive cannot be used to make financial decisions.  This requires a different document known as a Power of Attorney.


Retirement age raised to 70

For a long time the official retirement age in Australia was 65 for men and 60 for women.

This was gradually changed to be 65 for everyone. Then the Labor Government increased it to 67 and in April 2014 the Federal Liberal Treasurer Joe Hockey announced the Government’s intention to increase the age of eligibility for the aged pension to 70.

The rationale behind this is that we are living longer on average, and the social security system cannot sustain the current level of payments for a longer period, especially with relatively fewer Australians remaining in the workforce.


Estate Planning Tips For Caring for the Kids After Separation or Divorce in Australia


When you are going through a separation, you need to update your estate planning documents to protect yourself, your children & family and your assets. Here are some important matters to consider after a relationship breakup.

Who Looks After Your Kids if You Cannot

  1. There may come a time when an unmarried, separated or divorced parent is unable, owing to physical or mental incapacity, to take care of his or her minor children. If a parent dies, the minor children will need a guardian. In these circumstances, those caring for the children will need direction—as will the Courts. By writing and executing a Will that includes instructions on guardianship, a parent may select someone with the legal authority to act for minor children and assume control over the assets of the children.

Estate Planning Documents You Need to Update After Separation or Divorce in Australia

Estate Planning Documents You Need to Update After Separation or Divorce in Australia

Estate Planning Documents You Need to Update After Separation or Divorce in Australia

When you are going through a separation, you need to update your estate planning documents to protect yourself, your children & family and your assets. Here are some important matters to consider after a relationship breakup.

Other Documents in Addition to Your Will

  1. After separating, you should create a new Will. You should also review your powers of attorney, advance directives, trusts, proxy, delegation, etc. You may well need to formally revoke these important legal documents, so that your ‘ex’ cannot continue to control aspects of your life. However to be valid, these ‘revocation’ documents must be communicated to the individuals whom you had previously appointed, so these are not as confidential as the Will.