Legal Articles

Executor’s Payment Available in Certain Situations The question is often asked by those appointed executor of a deceased estate, whether they are entitled to a payment for the time and effort required to do everything necessary to sort out the deceased estate. If the executor is also a beneficiary of the estate or if the… Read more »

Will preparation sometimes brings us in contact with terminally ill people.  Such clients have often been given life expectancy time frames and wish to ‘get their affairs in order’.  Whilst everyone’s circumstances are different there are some ‘essential documents’ that should be put in place to ensure that your wishes both before and after you die… Read more »

The failure of a gift in a Will is called “Ademption”.  For example a willmaker may leave a house in a Will but then sell the house.  The gift in the Will is said to have adeemed or failed. Ademption may also occur as a result of a legal rule, the “doctrine against double portions”…. Read more »

If the executor named in a Will cannot act or is unwilling to act and there is no provision for a substitute executor, the question arises as to who can apply for a Grant of Administration (Probate or Letters of Administration) to administer the estate in the original executor’s place? What if the Will does… Read more »

In the case of Mead v Lemon [2015] WASC 71 handed down 26 February 2015 by Master Sanderson in the Western Australian Supreme Court the deceased’s daughter was successful in having her $3 million inheritance increased to $25 million. The deceased’s estate in this matter may have exceeded $1 billion but the amount in dispute was… Read more »

Sometimes after an older person dies it becomes apparent that there has been a transfer of property or other assets belonging to the vulnerable older person to another party for nil or less than market value.  Family members not involved in the transaction may wish to explore reversing it.  What remedies are available to the… Read more »

One of the main reasons why people make the effort to prepare or update their wills is to make sure that their infant children are taken care of.  The Guardianship of Infants Act 1940 (SA), Section 13 provides each parent of a minor child (under 18 years of age) with the right to appoint a testamentary guardian… Read more »

In a recent decision of the Supreme Court of South Australia (Mullins-Trnovsky v Adams [2014] SASC 116) his Honour Justice Gray confirmed that the Court has the power to remove an executor by amending the grant of probate however where there are compelling reasons it is appropriate to continue with the traditional practice of removing… Read more »

When making a will it is important to understand that you can only give what is yours.  Assets owned via a family discretionary trust structure cannot be gifted directly in a will. If some or all of a will maker’s assets are owned through a trust, the will maker does not own the trust assets…. Read more »