Funeral Musings

Funeral Musings

Funeral Musings

The traditional funeral is becoming less common in Australia and the UK, with only 10% of people now wanting a religious funeral.

One in three prefer to hold a “family-only” life-celebration party rather than a large funeral. Another third do not want any ceremony at all and, for those who do, the use of pallbearers to carry coffins has dropped by 80%.

These statistics are based on a survey of funeral directors from over 500,000 funerals in the last five years and the views of 4,000 adults.

Do not store your original Will at the bank

Do not store your original Will at the bank

Do not store your original Will at the bank

Major bank’s belated discovery of stored Wills could trigger estate disputes

It has emerged that one of the largest and oldest banks in the world – Lloyds Bank – has discovered a cache of thousands of stored Wills in its ‘Safe Custody’ service.

The service was closed to new customers in 2011, but in 2019 the bank discovered that the approximately 190,000 papers still stored there included about 9,000 Wills. Some of the envelopes could not be matched to Lloyds’ customers.

elder abuse and the growing problem of early inheritance syndrome

Elder Abuse and the growing problem of Early Inheritance Syndrome

elder abuse and the growing problem of early inheritance syndrome

Approximately 10 per cent of older Australians are victims of financial or psychological abuse each year, typically from family and friends pressuring them to provide financially for others.

Many elderly parents do not report their concerns, out of a sense of family loyalty, or feelings of guilt, shame or embarrassment.

As we get older, we tend to be more trusting – particularly of those we have known for a long time.

guarding against elder abuse

Guarding against Elder Abuse

Guarding against Elder Abuse

The newsfeeds are full of horrific stories about residents in nursing homes being mistreated, ignored, threatened, assaulted and abused.

Another Royal Commission is taking evidence around Australia. Between 6 per cent and 20% of elderly Australians are abused by someone they trust according to recent research.

That won’t happen in my family

Are you sure about that? Even wealthy celebrities are not immune against elder financial abuse.

do you want the government to decide who gets your assets

Do you want the Government to decide who gets your assets?

do you want the government to decide who gets your assets

Every adult Australian needs a Will, but this often gets overlooked. Confronting our own mortality and making an estate plan makes some people uncomfortable.

There’s no law that says you must have an estate plan—but there are laws in every State and Territory in Australia that determine how your property is distributed if you don’t have a Will.

So, are you happy to let the Government decide who gets your assets?

what you need to know about advance care directives in south australia

What you need to know about Advance Care Directives in South Australia

What you need to know about Advance Care Directives in South Australia

When you can’t make important decisions for yourself regarding accommodation, lifestyle, health or medical treatment, an Advance Care Directive is the shining beacon that guides your family and doctors in the right direction.

The Components of an Advance Care Directive

An Advance Care Directive (ACD) is a legally-binding document that directs how you would like to be treated if you cannot express your wishes, and is made up of three parts:

is inheritance tax coming to australia

Is Inheritance Tax coming to Australia?

is inheritance tax coming to australia

The last time Australia had a federal Labor Government, they commissioned a review of Australia’s tax system, and an inheritance tax was one of the key recommendations.

On 15 October 2009 the most senior tax-policy advisor to the Australian Federal Government, Dr Ken Henry (Chair – Australia’s Future Tax System Review Panel and Secretary to the Treasury) gave an Address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

In that address he identified 6 areas of future opportunities and challenges governments will need to address in respect to taxation. At the very top of his list was: “the ageing of the population, posing challenges for the financing of retirement incomes and of increasing health and aged care needs”.

Becoming an Elder

Becoming an Elder

Becoming an Elder

Turning 50 used to mean that it was time to begin thinking about retiring. That is not the case anymore. Now 50 is just middle-aged, with another quarter-century of busy productive life ahead.

To paraphrase Kermit the frog – “It’s not easy being wise”. I thought turning 50 would mean that things slowed down, calmed down and got easier. Instead, the pace of life seems to be quickening.

Turning 50 is a good time to start thinking about what you’ve learned so far, and reflecting on maybe becoming a “modern elder” and sharing some stories and wisdom with people who are finding their own paths a bit too challenging today.

Estate planning for progressive illness

Estate planning for progressive illness

Estate planning for progressive illness

Estate planning is not solely about preparing a Will, and with progressive illnesses you need to think about estate planning as planning for the future stages of your disease as it progresses.

The life planning portion of estate planning can be very different for a person with a progressive illness than a person without.

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Macular Degeneration: there are dozens of illnesses that are progressive and (so far) incurable. They require special care from an estate planning perspective.

Strange but true recent Wills and estates news

Strange but true – recent wills and estates news

Strange but true recent Wills and estates news

Here’s a quick roundup of some interesting news items from the world of Wills and estates.

Hoist on his own petard? Father who denied paternity is excluded from dead child’s estate

A UK Court has decided that the substantial estate of a mentally disabled child who died without a Will should be distributed to his mother and his foster family.

The court excluded the child’s biological father from inheriting a share because he had denied paternity and played no part in the child’s life.