You are here: >> Home >> Wills and estates >> Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries

Home made will – a good idea?

A home made will is one prepared by the willmaker themselves, perhaps using a “will kit” and without without the services of a lawyer and the benefit of individual legal advice. This may seem an economical and convenient approach to will-making.  While a lawyer’s costs are avoided at this step, there is the  potential is …

Home made will – a good idea? Read More »

“Gift over” in a will to a substitute beneficiary

gift over, substitute beneficiary, making a will, gifts in a will, wills, deceased estate, will making, beneficiary dies,
An outline of a how a gift over works in a will. A gift over in a will is when the person designated to receive it has died, the gift then passes over to a substitute person, if so named to take.The substitute beneficiary only inherits if the main beneficiary has already died, not survived the deceased or died before attaining a vested interest.

Read more >>

Early inheritance issues and family provision

sandstone carving, Parkes Courthouse, New South Wales, An early inheritance of a mortgage-free home was given to the younger daughter at the time of her marriage. It was well understood by all family members at the time that the other older daughter would receive her inheritance when the last parent died. However things didn’t go to plan.

Read more >>

“Contrary intention” in succession law and will-making

Image: Coat of Arms, Broken Hill Courthouse, NSW, by B Stead.

Broken Hill Courthouse - Coat of Arms, early Australian courthouses, Australian legal history, Australian Colonial courthouses,Many provisions in state and territory legislation on succession and wills allow for a willmaker to express a contrary intention in their will to override the statutory rule. Where a provision of succession legislation contains these words, it means that the statutory rule can be displaced, that is not apply in the administration of their estate, if a willmaker has expressed a different intention on the matter in their will as to what they want to have happen.

 

Read more >>

Signing a will, having it witnessed & witnesses

WitnessThe legal formalities to make a valid will require the will-maker to sign their will in the presence of at least two people, acting as formal witnesses to the event.
Signing a will in front of witnesses fulfils a protective function. Can anyone witness or attest the signing of a will? And what must they do?  Read more >>

Nieces and nephews – leaving them an inheritance by your will

 

Nieces and nephews in wills, nieces and nephews, whole blood, half blood, ancestors, common ancestor Who our ‘nieces and nephews’ are, if we have them, may seem so obvious as to not need mentioning, after all it is all in the family and identifying them should not be a problem.

 

Leaving a gift to be divided among “nieces and nephews” by will then, should be a simple matter. Not always, as circumstances and relationships may change from the time a will is made to the date of death.

Read more >>

Illegitimate children, ex-nuptial children – can they inherit?

illegitimate children, ex-nuptial children, contest a will, challenge a will, inheritance, inheritIllegitimate children are those born outside of marriage, or out of wedlock, in older terminology.  These days the word “illegitimate” has largely been replaced in law by the term “ex-nuptial” – nuptial referring to marriage.  Either way, can an ex-nuptial child inherit from their natural parents?  Or contest a natural parent’s will for provision out of their estate? What if no will was left?  

Read more >>

Residue of a deceased estate – what is it?

residue, deceased estate, wills, making a will, administration, probate The residue of a deceased person’s estate is basically what is left over after the payment all costs in connection with the estate. That is, payment of funeral expenses, costs incurred in the administration of the estate, payment of the deceased’s debts, discharge of any liabilities and the distribution of any specific gifts made under the will.

Codicil to a will – making minor changes

Sydney Harbour SunsetA codicil is a short additional document, typically one or two pages, used to make a minor alteration to an existing will. Both the will and the codicil documents together form the “will” of the person.  To be legally valid the codicil document must be signed and executed in front of witnesses in the same way as for a will. 

A codicil is a convenient way to change an executor or trustee named in a will.  For example in a situation where someone appointed as an executor has died a codicil can be used to replace them with someone else who is willing to act when the time comes. Read more.

Dying intestate – when there is no will left or an invalid one

intestate, no will, will-making, make a willIntestate means dying without a will. But sometimes even if a person has left a will there may be a partial intestacy. This is when the will does not effectively dispose of all of their property. If that happens the identified property falls into the residue of the estate and distributed according to what the person’s will states about disposal of the residue, and if silent, then according to the statutory intestacy rules.

Read more >>

 

Youth allowance, super death benefits & tax

youth allowance, super death benefits, taxation, tax, deceased estateIn ID 2014/6 the ATO addressed the question of whether the adult child was dependent on the parent at the time the parent died for the purposes of being a death benefit dependant. Losing a parent in these circumstances is particularly devastating. If the young person receives superannuation death benefits from their parent’s superannuation fund, would they be assessed on this money for income tax?