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Wills

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Seven steps to easier management of your estate

Don't make life difficult for the person trusted to manage your estate. Find the time to arrange your documents, contacts, online accounts and files in a convenient place, including giving them some cash.

Seven items your estate plan may have left out

Most people pay cursory attention to estate planning, limited to a will and maybe a chat with the children. Those who want to make their intentions clearer and easier for others should check these quick tips.

Six common estate planning errors

Even if you are in a wonderful relationship now, you should not assume you will never be in a blended family. We all need to plan accordingly by avoiding common mistakes in wealth planning.

Most estate planning for tax is inadequate

Many people are reluctant to plan financially for their death, and it's not simply a matter of passing money to heirs. Far more tax-effective techniques are available which can make inheritance simpler.

The Thorny Birds of McCullough's estate

The final act in the Colleen McCullough drama was a messy court case pitting her former husband against a Foundation, and featured unreliable witnesses the court did not trust.

How a carer inherited an estate

Carers may have a legitimate claim to an estate even if the deceased suffered from dementia when making a subsequent will. The Court seeks to establish whether testamentary capacity was disabled.

Talk to your family about ageing and your will

Retirees should discuss goals and plans with their adult children, including wills, finances, consequences of incapacitation and current plans. Includes a suggested 'Goals and Plans' document to kick off the conversation.

Limits to a will’s power over an SMSF

Unlike the rest of a person's estate assets, a will has no power over the decisions of trustees of a superannuation fund when it comes to the payment of a death benefit.

The impact of super changes on estate plans

The July 1 super changes will encourage many people to reconsider their estate planning, and the role of testamentary trusts should be part of the process. The range of choices has moved far beyond a will.

Trust alternatives after 1 July super changes

The changes to superannuation rules make rolling over an estate into a surviving spouse's pension account less attractive, reviving a role for testamentary trusts.

Careless estate planning: how artists can lose their legal voice

Using the example of an artist's body of work being highly sought-after once the artist dies highlights the importance of appointing the right executors - ones that will handle your affairs the way you intended.

Estate planning: where there’s a will, there’s a way

Part 2 in this series on estate planning focuses on wills. What a will can and cannot achieve, its objective, how wealth is transferred, and the importance of keeping things up-to-date.

Most viewed in recent weeks

House prices surge but falls are common and coming

We tend to forget that house prices often fall. Direct lending controls are more effective than rate rises because macroprudential limits affect the volume of money for housing leaving business rates untouched.

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

100 Aussies: five charts on who earns, pays and owns

Any policy decision needs to recognise who is affected by a change. It pays to check the data on who pays taxes, who owns assets and who earns the income to ensure an equitable and efficient outcome.

Three good comments from the pension asset test article

With articles on the pensions assets test read about 40,000 times, 3,500 survey responses and thousands of comments, there was a lot of great reader participation. A few comments added extra insights.

The sorry saga of housing affordability and ownership

It is hard to think of any area of widespread public concern where the same policies have been pursued for so long, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence that they have failed to achieve their objectives.

Two strong themes and companies that will benefit

There are reasons to believe inflation will stay under control, and although we may see a slowing in the global economy, two companies should benefit from the themes of 'Stable Compounders' and 'Structural Winners'.

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