Genders and Partners

The Importance of Updating Your Will And Estate Plan

The Importance of Updating Your Will And Estate Plan

At a minimum, your estate plan includes a Will and some powers-of-attorney. These documents are NOT set & forget. They are snapshots of your intentions at that point in time.

The older these documents are when they need to be used, the greater the risk of a successful challenge to them, when you will not be able to defend your decisions. It’s all about Risk Management.

If you have a proven track record of reviewing and confirming or amending your estate planning documents and keeping them up to date every 3-5 years, there is a much reduced risk of interference with your wishes.

Genders and Partners

What Is A Will Worth?

What Is A Will Worth?

Several times each week, my phone rings, and someone asks me the question: “How much do you charge to make a simple Will?”

I always answer honestly, and provide as much detail as I am able.  I try to ask some questions to inform my understanding of their situation.  Some people resist this type of discussion – they think they know what they want, and now are simply shopping on price.

I can’t help those people.  They don’t want what I have to offer.  They aren’t looking for sensible, practical advice.  They aren’t interested in education. They refuse to consider the possibility that they are not asking the right questions. Their minds are closed.

It’s as if they have diagnosed their own illness, and written their own prescription.  They don’t want a doctor to ask them questions or form an independent assessment of their needs.  They just want the pharmacist to fill the prescription with a minimum of fuss and expense.

Best of luck to them, and to their families. I think they’ll need it.

Genders and Partners

Adelaide Lawyer: Becoming An Estate Executor

Becoming An Estate Executor

Has a friend or loved one named you in his or her Will as executor of their deceased estate? If so, you may be confused about your responsibilities and fear that you are not up to the task.

You may be overwhelmed, but the Adelaide probate and estate administration lawyers at Genders & Partners are here to put your mind at ease about your role as an estate executor.

Genders and Partners

Estate Planning for Farmers in South Australia

Estate Planning for Farmers in South Australia

How many horror stories have you heard about farming families getting torn apart when the farm-owner dies?  In my work as a lawyer specialising in estate planning and probate, I’ve heard quite a few.

They often have a common theme – where a relative (typically a younger son) worked for low wages on the family farm for years, with the expectation that the property would be passed on to them after the owner’s death.

There is a sense of expectation & entitlement – of having earned their inheritance – often fuelled by a lack of discussion or planning by the old owner. Unfortunately, this scenario frequently creates significant problems within the family, especially if there is more than one child wishing to benefit from the farm.  Often the farmland and the business it supports are the major assets of the deceased estate.  It can be difficult enough to generate a decent income from the whole – breaking up the farm to give every child a share may mean that the family farming business cannot continue to be viable.

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The Growing Need for Advance Care Directives

The Growing Need for Advance Care Directives

A 2013 report from Alzheimer’s Disease International warns that the number of older people needing care globally is set to nearly treble by 2050 from 101 million currently to 277 million.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia or senility. Symptoms include loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communicating and reasoning.

The report reveals that as the world population ages, the traditional system of informal care by family, friends and the community will need much greater support.

This means that increasing numbers of people aged 60 or over will require long-term care.  This will put huge pressure on families, both emotionally and financially. Carers often have to give up work to look after elderly relatives.

This epidemic of dementia will have specific legal consequences for patients and the people caring for them.  In particular, their loss of mental capacity to make decisions in their own best interests, creates a need to put in place an appropriate system of delegated authority.

5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Estate Planning Disasters of the Rich and Famous

Estate Planning Disasters of the Rich and Famous

Death and taxes (and illness) may be unavoidable … but they don’t have to ruin your family or your business.  Make the effort to protect the people you really care about.  Here are some lessons from famous people who made some BIG mistakes in their Wills and estate planning.

Celebrity: Allan Scott

Mistake: Not Managing Family Expectations in Will

In a Supreme Court claim in South Australia, two of Mt Gambier trucking magnate Allan Scott’s daughters settled claims against their father’s estate for more than $12 million each, more than triple what each had been left in Mr Scott’s Will, which he had signed while he was ill in the weeks before his death.  The millionaire businessman’s widow also has made a claim against her husband’s estate, yet to be resolved. In his Will, Mr Scott had left the bulk of his $600 million estate to two favoured children.