NDIS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT – Impact on Elder Care & Powers of Attorney

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NDIS SCHEME The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth) ( NDIS) came into effect in March, 2013.  It set out the framework for the Scheme and the establishment of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).  The NDIS came into effect on 1 July, 2013.  It is estimated that around 460,000 people access the scheme.[1]    It […]

Trustee’s minute of meeting evidences bad faith

Australian Taxation Institute Journal – Trustee’s minute of meeting evidences bad faith

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by Christine Smyth, TEP, & Katerina Peiros, ATI, Hartwell Legal. The failure of a discretionary trustee to give real and genuine consideration in their decision-making, and to act in good faith and for proper purpose, invalidated a distribution decision.  Trani v Trani1  defies all odds. The legal principles are simple and yet rare to be applied successfully. The facts are […]

Loss of capacity – an issue for all advisers

Australian Taxation Institute Journal – Loss of capacity – an issue for all advisers

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by Christine Smyth, TEP, and Katerina Peiros, ATI, Hartwell Legal  Three cases about solicitor duty to ascertain if their client has capacity to give instructions in the conduct of litigation are informative to other advisers. It is old news that mental and cognitive disorders are on the rise across the population. This will not improve in our lifetime.1 Those […]

The future of solicitor’s duty to willmaker

Australian Tax Institute Journal: The future of solicitor’s duty to willmaker

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Solicitors would be breaching their duty of care if they were to merely commit the client’s testamentary wishes to paper, without properly advising on the effect. The era of “simple” wills ended many moons ago. No will nowadays should go without some sort of clause about executor self-dealing or conflict, taxation, balancing of non-estate wealth, […]

Stepchildren seeking further provision in Victoria

Australian Tax Institute Journal: Stepchildren seeking further provision in Victoria

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by  Christine Smyth, TEP, and Katerina Peiros, ATI, Hartwell Legal,  New developments in the  definition of “stepchild” in Victoria will affect other jurisdictions. The Victorian Justice Legislation Amendment (Succession and Surrogacy) Act 2014 made changes to Pt IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) (the Act), which governs applications for further provision from deceased […]

Ready, willing and able

Victorian Law Institute Journal: Ready, willing and able

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CASELAW GUIDES PRACTITIONERS IN ADVISING THEIR CLIENTS ON NON-BINDING NOMINATIONS, COLLECTION OF DEATH BENEFITS AND POSSIBLE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST FOR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES. –  BY CHRISTINE SMYTH AND KATERINA PEIROS Australians currently have more than $2.3 trillion1 invested in superannuation products and so it is no surprise, that upon death, an interest in the proceeds of these […]

Australian Tax Institute Journal: Bankruptcy – protecting death benefits and insurance

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by Christine Smyth, TEP, and Katerina Peiros, ATI, Hartwell Legal,  Mercies of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and Life Insurance Act 1995 that should be wider known and utilised. Personal bankruptcy results when an individual is unable to pay his or her debts as and when they fall due and payable.1 Notably, the test is not whether the debts exceed […]