August 2019 | Jonathan Harris In New South Wales, a family trust can exist for a period of 80 years before the trust fund must be distributed to the beneficiaries and the trust wound up. This is referred to by lawyers as the ‘perpetuity period’. Although we all hope to live longer than the perpetuity period most of us do not establish a family trust in our 20s. So unless your trust is wound up during your lifetime it
June 2019 | James Freidman Welcome to Statutory Wills 101. A few important estate planning terms to be aware of before we start: Capacity: The term ‘capacity’ has no single legal definition. A person may have capacity to make certain decisions and not others. For example, the Supreme Court found that a person was incapable of managing their financial affairs but was mentally capable of making a will. Testator: A ‘testator’ is a person who has made a valid will.
February 2019 | Jonathan Harris You have worked long and hard to accumulate the assets that will comprise your estate. So it’s your choice who inherits under your will, right? Not necessarily. As a will-maker, you may not be able to prevent family members and dependants excluded under your will from ultimately making a claim for a share (or a greater share) of your estate after your death. A will-maker’s freedom of disposition is curtailed by the Succession Act
January 2019 | Jonathan Harris Estate planning is something most of us put off “until next year” – it’s just too difficult. We promise it’s not! Sure, it can involve some difficult decisions, but that’s because it is one of the most important plans of your life and you should think hard about it. Consider that an estate plan isn’t so much for your own benefit but rather for the benefit and protection of your loved ones. Would you
December 2018 | Jonathan Harris If your child is in a state of financial need, it is understandable that you, as a parent, would want to help them. In recent times there has been an increase in the number of parents giving their adult children an “early inheritance” – that is, providing money to children before their wealth would otherwise have been distributed upon their death. However, these arrangements are not always as simple as
November 2018 | Jonathan Harris In New South Wales, beneficiaries under a will are entitled to receive a copy of the will. This is done by making a formal request to the executor of the estate who must provide a copy, but generally at the beneficiary's expense. However, people often ask, who is entitled to see a will on the death of a willmaker. The answer is that a wide group of persons are entitled to inspect and make
July 2018 | Jonathan Harris & Charlene Hunt Preparing a Will won’t stop someone making a claim against your Estate, but it is a clear record of who you wanted to give your assets to. If you die without a Will, you are said to have died ‘intestate’. In NSW, if you die intestate, your Estate will be distributed as follows: (a) a spouse with no children → your spouse will inherit the whole estate. (b) a spouse with children