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)?

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 | Last Will & Probate | Wills and Estate Planning Adelaide

Weird Probate Issues Part 4

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…

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 …

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.

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

More Weird Probate Issues

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

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.)

Genders and Partners | 7 Reasons why Australian women outlive their Estate Plan

7 Reasons why Australian women outlive their Estate Plan – and what to do about it

Genders and Partners | 7 Reasons why Australian women outlive their Estate Plan

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.

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).