An Executor is the designated person appointed by the Will-maker to carry out the Will-maker’s directions and wishes. 1.    Duties of Executors The Executor is responsible for ensuring that the most recent current last Will and Testament of the deceased is located, a Grant of Probate is obtained if the circumstances require such a step to be taken, all assets are accounted for and are secured, all debts and liabilities

Estate planning can be complex in certain circumstances such as when the Will-maker has remarried and there is a blended family dynamic, there is perhaps some family disharmony, or one of the beneficiaries suffers from a disability.  Professional estate planning can help to reduce costs to the estate after the death of the Will-maker.  Failure to obtain proper advice can result in issues surrounding the construction of the Will, or

The definition of a ‘spouse’ differs according to each superannuation fund’s trust deed.  The trust deed is the document which governs the exercise of the superannuation trustees’ discretion.  Some trust deeds confirm that ‘spouse’ has the meaning given to it in section 10 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (Cth) (SIS Act), but others do not. Section 10 of the SIS Act defines the “spouse” of a person as:

A legal practitioner must follow a client’s lawful, proper and competent instructions.  When drafting documents, significant care must be taken by solicitors to ensure the documents prepared for their clients accurately reflect their client’s instructions and wishes. What happens if, under a Will, the instructions given by the Will maker are found on his or her death, not to have reflected the instructions provided to the solicitor? Section 50 of

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Mar 2018

Probate Caveats

A Grant of Probate represents confirmation from the Supreme Court that a Will of a deceased person is the last valid Will of that person.  A Probate caveat may prevent a Grant being issued.  A recent decision in the Supreme Court of Western Australia (Richardson v Devine ¹ (Richardson case)) has provided valuable guidance as to the procedures to follow in WA in respect of Probate caveats. A Probate caveat is a written

For Probate purposes, when is a missing person presumed to be dead? There is a misconception that, if a person has been missing for 7 years, then that person is presumed to be dead. But an automatic presumption of fact does not arise even if 7 years have passed without any sign of the person in question. In fact, it is possible for a person to be declared dead where