When one will is not enough

An increasingly common estate planning issue is how to deal with assets outside Australia. A growing number of Australians are looking at the prospect of having to draw up more than one will. A will can be drawn up that…

Testamentary trust tax rules tightened

The tax treatment of testamentary trusts is being tightened, to ensure that minors who are trust beneficiaries do not receive tax concessions they are not entitled to. Last week, the Government introduced draft legislation for consultation. Generally, tax law imposes…

Will disputes a waste of time and money

Three recent cases involving disputed wills, shed light on the rights of adult children in making claims on the estate of a deceased parent. Their claims have not gone well. Joshua Piercy received no provision from the estate of his…

Court overturns will to make ‘family provision’

When Darrell Triffett died in 2013, he was survived by his partner of about 40 years, a daughter aged 47 and two sons aged 38 and 30. The daughter, Tanya Booth, was the child of Triffett and the younger sister…

DIY will maker forgets to nominate beneficiaries

Daryl Hely had assets of about $25 million when, in 2014, he went to a lawyer to prepare his will. He owned 14 properties, a share portfolio and cash. The will he made consisted of seven testamentary trusts (trusts that…

Cross-border estate planning a headache

Australia’s large migrant intake means there is a strong chance that an Australian will have assets in a jurisdiction outside Australia, which can result in a conflict of laws when assets have to be distributed after death. “Being a dual…

Selling an inherited property? Here are the tax rules

People who want to delay the sale of a dwelling they receive as a beneficiary of a deceased estate, so they can renovate or wait for the property market to pick up, will not get much sympathy from the Australian…

No will, no super benefit nomination, widow in court

Brian Burgess, a truck driver from Western Australia, died in 2015, aged 45 and with no will. He was survived by his widow Denise and two sons, aged 11 and seven. He had four superannuation accounts. He had not made…

Shedding light on the scope of a power of attorney

A court was asked to rule on an attorney could extend a binding death benefit nomination for an SMSF member. In doing so, it looked at the scope of a power attorney. John Giles died in June last year, aged…

Selling an inherited property? Here are the tax rules

People who want to delay the sale of a dwelling they receive as a beneficiary of a deceased estate, so they can renovate or wait for the property market to pick up, will not get much sympathy from the Australian…