How much Financial help can Mum and Dad give?

saraThere are instances whereby parents assist their children financially even when those children are grown up and have families of their own. Whether it be helping with mortgage payments, providing rent free accommodation, helping out with the groceries or an inheritance at the end, these may be significant from a Family Law perspective.

Parents usually don’t mind helping their children, but what happens when your child separates from their partner and they want to benefit from your generosity?

This was argued recently in the matter of Ross & Audley [2011]. The parties commenced cohabitation in 1986 and were married in 1987.… Read More

Your New Years Resolution: Plan your Estate

Lesley McDonnellAs the year draws to a close, it is timely to commit to new goals for the coming year. As you spend time with family and loved ones this Christmas, we encourage you to consider estate planning as one of your goals for the coming year.

This could mean one of two things. It could mean making a will for the first time which is tailored to suit your personal and financial circumstances. Or updating your current will in case your circumstances have changed since the last time you made your will.

One recent case serves as a timely reminder that just as life does not standstill nor should your will be locked away in a drawer and forgotten. … Read More

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

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