powers-of-attorney-die-with-their-owners

Powers of Attorney die with their owners

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

Retirement age raised to 70

https://www.genders.com.au/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

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

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.

what-happens-if-you-die-without-a-valid-will-after-separation-or-divorce-in-australia

What Happens if You Die Without a Valid Will After Separation or Divorce in Australia

what-happens-if-you-die-without-a-valid-will-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.

Intestacy

  1. If you do not write a Will, the Government has already written one for you – but you might not like what it says.
  2. When you die without a valid Will, that is called ‘intestacy’. The law of the State where die will determine who gets what. Be careful. Not only does this law change from place to place, it also changes from time to time.
  3. In certain cases your assets might even go to the Government itself!

who-gets-the-jewellery

Who gets the jewellery?

who-gets-the-jewellery

When administering a deceased estate, love and law can intersect in the context of grief, causing problems for those left behind. Small things can set-off major family feuds.

For most families, a desire for personal effects is less about what they are worth and more about their sentimental value. Medals, jewellery and personal items are often the subject of strong feelings.

People in grief can behave irrationally, and their high emotions can create powerful symbols out of ordinary objects – a grandfather’s watch, a necklace, the rings mother wore – and in their minds the items become confused with how much the deceased loved them, rather than the market value of the items in question.

A Guide for Beneficiaries of a Deceased Estate in South Australia | Genders and Partners

Challenges to a Will or Estate in South Australia

A Guide for Beneficiaries of a Deceased Estate in South Australia | Genders and Partners

Challenges to Wills are far less common than challenges to estates. A Will can be contested or challenged when it is alleged that the Will was:

  • executed under undue influence from others
  • executed when the testator lacked capacity to understand what he/she was doing
  • tampered-with or altered after it was signed
  • the meaning of the Will is unclear
  • a later Will has been made by the Deceased
  • incorrectly executed or otherwise invalid due to a failure to follow the correct formalities
  • since been revoked
  • procured via fraud

Where Did My Pension Go

Where Did My Pension Go@2x

In our shrinking world where travel and communication are faster and easier than ever before, it seems that ‘foreigners’ are being officially targeted by every government in the world.

The issue is everywhere in the media at present. Foreign corporations not paying enough local tax. Cashed-up foreigners trying to buy big chunks of our real-estate. From anti-migration walls to offshore detention facilities, it seems that the people holding the purse-strings are blaming foreigners as the reason for our economic decline.

So how likely is it that the Government would try to reduce the pension entitlements for Australians from migrant backgrounds as part of a budget-savings measure?

Increased tax on Super income

Increased tax on Super income

Increased tax on Super income

Earnings from superannuation accounts for retirees in the pension phase are currently tax­free.
In April 2015 the Federal Opposition (Labor’s Bill Shorten) proposed that Super earnings $75,001 and above be taxed at 15 per cent. The Labor Party estimates that would affect about 60,000 people and raise $9.2 billion over 10 years.
I predict that the Government will introduce a threshold above which extra rates of income tax will apply to Super income. Whether that threshold is $75,000 or $150,000 or some other number, I don’t know. But I’d be willing to bet that it’s too big a honey-pot for governments to resist for much longer.