No Will?

JBBIf you die, without a Will, or without an effective Will, your Estate is dealt with as set out in Chapter 4 of the Succession Act 2006.

If, when you die, you have a spouse (somebody to whom you are married or with whom you were carrying on a domestic partnership), the practical effect of the legislation is that your spouse will be entitled to the whole of your Estate.

If you and your spouse have children, your spouse will continue to be entitled to the whole of your Estate.

However, if you have children, who aren’t the children of your spouse, then your spouse is entitled to your personal effects, a statutory legacy and one half of the remainder of your Estate.… Read More

Solicitors Trust Accounts

JBBSolicitors Trust Accounts are regulated by the Legal Profession Act 2004 and the Legal Profession Regulation 2005.  These laws are in place to regulate the conduct of money held in Trust for clients. Such money might include funds required to settle property purchases, to pay stamp duty, for distributions in deceased estates, for debts recovered, for settlement of claims, or funds required to pay legal expenses.

Trust accounts are subject to external examination every year, as well as periodic random audits by the Law Society’s Trust Department. These external examiners and auditors will check transactions through the Trust accounts to ensure they comply with the Regulations.… Read More

How the Law Changes

JBBIf you have some connection with a Family Trust, Centrelink will attribute to your assets,  for the purpose of assessing your entitlement for a pension, all the assets of that Trust.  This is so, even if you have never had any ownership or entitlement to the assets of the Trust.

If the assets are substantial, then attributed to you will be all those assets and hence you will be unable to qualify for those benefits from Centrelink which require you to satisfy the assets test.

Recently, there was a case which challenged this fact.  The case involved a couple who were in receipt of a pension which they lost because Centrelink attributed to them the value of the assets of a controlled private trust.… Read More