Informal Wills

Informal Wills

In order to make a valid Will, there are two basic requirements: The Will must be in writing. The Will must be signed in front of two witnesses. The Wills Act 1997 sets out further obligations on how to comply with the above requirements which can be quite technical. There are ways to prove a…

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Leaving Gifts in Wills

Leaving Gifts in Wills

We often get asked by our clients how they can leave a gift in their Will for their loved ones. The gifting wishes of each client varies; some choose to gift a particular piece of jewellery while others have a long list of items they wish to gift to different people. There are many types…

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Digital Assets

Digital Assets

In our ever growing and changing world, the type of assets we hold at the time of our deaths are also evolving. In addition to real property and personal property we now also have digital property. These can be categorised into two main categories – Digital Records are items that are not strictly the user’s…

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Storing Your Will and Who to Inform of Its Location

Storing Your Will and Who to Inform of Its Location

A question we get asked often is ‘how do our loved ones know to contact Legal Essentials should something happen to us?’. Unfortunately, there is no magic way that they know to. It depends on you as the Will maker to inform your loved ones and specifically the people you have named as Executors in…

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SMSFs & BDBNs

SMSFs & BDBNs

In our last article we wrote about putting in place your binding death benefit nomination (BDBN) in your superannuation. In this article we would like to refer to superannuation held in a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund, an SMSF for short. Same as your industry owned superannuation, you can name a beneficiary to inherit your superannuation under…

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Electronic Witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney

Electronic Witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney

Last year was a difficult year for Wills & Estates lawyers. When COVID-19 hit, lawyers had to work from home and could no longer have face-to-face meetings with their clients. A big problem quickly arose, how could our clients sign their Wills in front of two witnesses when they were unable to leave their homes…

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Looking After Vulnerable Beneficiaries – Protective Trusts

Looking After Vulnerable Beneficiaries- Protective Trusts

Many clients come to us with questions about how to look after someone with particular needs after their death. This could be an adult child with a disability or an adult child whom you are concerned will simply waste their inheritance. Whilst there are several options for these beneficiaries depending on your circumstances, one of…

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Guardianship of your children

Guardianship of your children

A guardianship clause in your Will is your opportunity to nominate who will look after and care for your children when you die. The guardianship clause in your Will is an indication of your wishes only and as such is not binding. The person you have appointed as your guardian can be challenged by an…

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Jointly Owned Assets & Death

Jointly Owned Assets

Many people are surprised to learn that assets held jointly with another person usually do not form part of their estate when they pass away. In fact, some surprising things can happen with jointly owned assets which you may not be aware of. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones. Real…

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Overseas Assets and Australian Wills

Overseas Assets and Australian Wills

With such a multicultural population, it is not uncommon for us to meet with clients who have assets in overseas countries, whether that be real estate, bank accounts or superannuation funds. But does their Australian Will cover these assets? The default answer is generally no – unless the foreign country where those assets are held…

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