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.

Estate Planning Complications of a Lost Will

Estate Planning Complications of a Lost Will

Failing to keep your estate planning documents safe can cause major complications, for you and your family.

In South Australia, the simple form of Probate, known as a Grant of Probate in Common Form requires production and surrender of the Last Will and Testament of the deceased. This means that the original signed document must be located as a matter of priority. Otherwise the executor may not be able to deal with the assets of the deceased.

If the original Will cannot be located, the situation may not be hopeless. A different form of Probate, called a Grant of Probate in Solemn Form, may be attempted with a draft or copy of the last known Will of the deceased.

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

Choosing a Guardian for Your Children

What is a testamentary guardian, and why do I need one for my children?
A testamentary guardian is an adult nominated in a parent’s Will to care for their minor children in case both parents die before the children turn 18.

When we have young children, we understand that if one parent dies, the other parent will automatically retain parental responsibility. But in case both parents die prematurely, each needs to nominate in their Will an alternate testamentary guardian for their minor children.

Otherwise your children may end up in a home you wouldn’t choose for them, being parented in a way that’s not in accordance with your values.

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.

Six Reasons Why LGBT Couples Should Create an Integrated Estate Plan

Six Reasons Why LGBT Couples Should Create an Integrated Estate Plan

A legal marriage inherently affords certain rights to husbands and wives when a spouse dies without a Will or estate plan. The same cannot be said for LGBT couples, who must meet certain criteria to qualify as domestic partnerships under the law.

Without solid legal documentation of your wishes for your partner, children, health care and finances, you and your loved ones could suffer needlessly in the event that you become incapacitated or die.

Here are just six of the numerous reasons LGBT couples need to meet with Genders & Partners as soon as possible for Wills & estate planning 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.