News

We can’t find Dad’s original will

What happens when an original will is lost? Well - it depends. If the original will was last known to be in the possession of the testator, then it is presumed that the will was destroyed by the testator with the intention of revoking it. In simple words, that the...

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Funeral Disputes

I have just been reading a relatively new case from the Supreme Court in Townsville where the court was called upon to make orders for funeral arrangements for a deceased person. One of the reasons that the court was called upon to make orders, was that the...

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When estate litigation is an abuse of process

Recently, executors of a small deceased estate sought summary dismissal of a family provision application which appeared doomed to fail. The estate was small, and the competing claim of the sole beneficiary, who was the deceased's widow, was strong. The executors...

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Don’t costs come out of the estate?

It is commonly believed that the costs of estate disputes come out of the estate, but this is not always the case. Legal costs are complex, to say the least, but one thing for sure is that there are no guarantees that costs will be paid out of the estate. Often...

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WHEN CAN I GET MY INHERITANCE?

Beneficiary rights in relation to deceased estates are limited primarily to what is known as the “due execution of the estate”. This means, basically, that a beneficiary has to stand back and let the legal representatives of the estate get on with its...

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BLENDED FAMILY ESTATE PLANNING

Sometimes, there are few answers to the problems of blended family estate planning. Sometimes, the answers are not attractive, or easy. It is often difficult to discuss, too, because of the many sensitivities that arise. Faced with the reality, many people give up...

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SHOULD THERE BE A WILL READING?

The answer is simple: If you are expecting that the solicitor who holds a will, must conduct a reading of the will to interested family members, the answer is “no”. Will readings are events that occur in movies or books, but not in real life. It may be that, back...

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IS IT TOO LATE?

Wait and see! That’s what many people do when they realise that they have been left out of a will. They think it is tacky or insensitive to ask for a copy of the will soon after the death, or to assert that a moral duty applied, such that provision ought to have...

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CAPACITY TO ASSESS TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY

A recent judgment from the Supreme Court in Queensland confirmed that Succession Law Accredited Specialists have the necessary skills to assess testamentary capacity, that is, the mental ability to make a will. The test for testamentary capacity has ever been a...

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SO, WHO OWNS THE BODY?

It’s an uncomfortable question, but a question that arises surprisingly often when there is dispute over funeral arrangements. The law says that no-one owns a body. This is a challenge when there are competing claims to the right to bury or cremate, or otherwise...

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