News and resources

Search news articles
adopted child, adoption, adoptive parent, challenge, estate, family provision, claim, Succession Act, Adoption Act, biological parent, biological child
30 May 2024

Can an adopted child challenge the will of adoptive parents?

Adoptive parent assumes all rights and responsibilities once child is adopted Under the NSW Adoption Act 2000, any adoption or order made by a court transfers all legal rights and responsibilities from the biological parent of the adopted child to the child’s adoptive parent. Further, section 95 states that the child has the same rights […]
Read the full story
pet, animal, companion animal, deceased estate, will, foundation, trust, trustee, animal charity
17 Apr 2024

How can I look after my pet in my will?

People are often concerned that their beloved pet – be it a dog, cat, lizard, budgie, parrot, rat, horse or fish – will outlive them, and they want to make sure that companion animal is cared for when they are gone. Your pet is not recognised as a family member in Australia With 63 per […]
Read the full story
contesting a will, challenge a will, contest a will, dispute, beneficiary, testator, deceased, will, family provision claim, distribution, assets, probate, executor, eligible person, Succession Act, NSW, claim, validity, undue influence, testamentary capacity, notional estate
06 Dec 2023

Contesting a will in NSW – the horror story edition

Successfully contesting a will can lead to a fairer distribution of assets from a deceased estate and provide protection for vulnerable family members. However, the experience can be fraught with turmoil and financial strain. Emotions can run high and relationships within the family can deteriorate. Contesting a will is a complex legal process that requires […]
Read the full story
Sending an innocent emoji in a text message could land you in court, because the law could see it as a threat or an acceptance of a contract.
30 Nov 2023

How an emoji can land you in court

We often add an emoji to our emails and text messages to bring a bit of levity to otherwise dull communications, but beware – icons such as the thumbs up, smiley face or gun could land you in trouble with the law. Legal impact of using emojis An emoji is an image used in texting […]
Read the full story
bank of mum and dad, BOMAD, bank of dad, loan, gift, family loan, financial support, property, mortgage, cost of living, Centrelink, age pension, guarantor, borrowing capacity, credit score, security, documented, divorce, Deed, verbal agreement
19 Oct 2023

Trouble at the bank of mum and dad – the horror story edition on family loans

Unaffordable housing leads to reliance on bank of mum and dad As Australia continues to rank among the least affordable markets for housing globally, it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people and other aspiring first-home owners to buy a property. Consequently, the “bank of mum and dad” is as popular as ever. However, there […]
Read the full story
superannuation, super, super fund, asset, will, estate, estate planning, super fund trustee, dependant, executor, beneficiary, death benefit, intestacy, SMSF
02 Aug 2023

Where does my superannuation go when I die?

The average amount Australians have in superannuation is $147,000. Many of course have far more, so it is important to make sure it is inherited by the person or persons you want to receive the benefit of your life’s savings. Is superannuation included in my will? The most important thing to remember about superannuation is […]
Read the full story
03 May 2023

Electronic signature needs to be seen when signing

Electronic signing of documents grew enormously during the Covid lockdowns, but now questions have been raised about how an electronic signature, created with the press of a button, is properly witnessed under law. What is an electronic signature? Software such as DocuSign can be used to add a signature to a document electronically by pressing […]
Read the full story
21 Apr 2023

Guilty or not guilty – could computers replace judges in a court of law?

Weighing up the pros and cons of a case, discarding irrelevancies, assessing the likelihood of statements being the truth or a lie… it’s all in a day’s work for a judge in a court. But could computers replace judges, if programmed correctly? Could a computer weigh the evidence and decide whether the defendant is guilty […]
Read the full story
declared dead, legally dead, deceased, missing person, missing, body, assets, will, remarry, presumed dead, presumed alive, natural disaster, mudslide, avalanche, disappearance, murder, misadventure, vanish
21 Feb 2023

Someone vanishes – how long before they can be declared dead?

Someone disappears. Years go by and they are still missing. There is no message, no letter, nothing to indicate whether they are still alive. No body is found. Families are in limbo. Can their partner legally remarry? When can the missing person legally be declared dead, their will enacted and their assets distributed? Can someone […]
Read the full story
probate, grant of probate, will, estate, executor, deceased, property, Supreme Court, application, asset, grant
16 Feb 2023

What is probate, and why do I need it?

You’ve probably heard the word “probate” used when somebody dies and leaves a will. But what does it mean, and what is the process involved in having probate granted? What is a grant of probate? Under NSW law when a person dies leaving significant assets, the executor of the will needs to apply to the […]
Read the full story
unsigned will, will, wills, valid will, legal will, probate, executor, testator, deceased, Supreme Court, grant of probate, assets, distribution, challenge
19 Jan 2023

Can an unsigned will still be valid?

A person is drafting a will but dies before it is signed. Is it legally valid? An unsigned will or an informal will does not comply with the requirements of a legal will. When is an unsigned will considered valid? Under law, a valid will must be in writing, on a material such as paper, […]
Read the full story
executors, will, probate, beneficiary, estate, disbursement, inheritance, affidavit, trustee, executor, funeral
27 Oct 2022

What exactly do executors of wills do?

What are the responsibilities of executors? Every will needs an executor to administer the deceased person’s estate, ensure the estate’s debts are paid and oversee the disbursement of any inheritances according to the will. Executors are also responsible for making funeral arrangements, which are paid out of the estate of the deceased. In some cases, […]
Read the full story
dying without a will, testator, intestate, beneficiary, de facto, Succession Act, inherit, inheritance, superannuation, death benefit, CPI
12 Oct 2022

Your baby, your de facto, your ex – why dying without a will is a very bad idea

Dying without a will can lead to many problems for your loved ones in dealing with your estate and distributing your assets. It can be especially problematic if the person who dies without a will had a de facto, as well as children from a previous relationship. What is a will? A will is a […]
Read the full story
loans to family, loan, gift, borrower, money, sum, asset, agreement, document, bankrupt
29 Sep 2022

Gifts and loans to family members

It is not uncommon for people to give gifts or loans to family members, whether it be money or assets such as property. However, there are some important misconceptions that the lender and the borrower should both be aware of before giving, lending, borrowing or taking. What is the difference between gifts and loans to […]
Read the full story
17 Aug 2022

Does a secret will beat other wills?

It happens all the time in whodunit novels and movies. Someone dies and when the family gather to hear the will read by the family solicitor, they are shocked to discover there was a secret will besides the one they had been told about. This surprise secret will cuts out those who expected to inherit […]
Read the full story
assisted dying, voluntary assisted dying, euthanasia, VAD, end of life, legislation, NSW, terminal illness, eligible, apply, patient, beneficiary, will, pressure, duress
05 Jul 2022

Wills and voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law in NSW

On 19 May 2022, NSW became the last state in Australia to pass voluntary assisted dying legislation. It will not come into force until late in 2023, as there is an 18-month implementation period to establish how it will work and to train health practitioners who are willing to be involved in the process. Eligibility […]
Read the full story
conditions in a will, will, estate, beneficiary, testator, property, asset, expenses, estate planning, probate, deceased
11 May 2022

Can you put conditions in a will? Laws around conditional gifts and bequests in NSW

Can I impose conditions in a will, stating that someone must do a particular thing before they can inherit my estate? What if I say they have to convert to Islam or Christianity within a week of my death or they won’t inherit a cent? Is it legal to leave my farm or business to […]
Read the full story
intestate estate, intestacy, will, assets, valid will, Succession Act, contest, claimant, distribution, eligibility, spouse, de facto, dependant
21 Apr 2022

How do you deal with an intestate estate? Contesting an estate without a will

“I was close to someone who died without leaving a valid will, which meant an administrator had to be appointed to handle the intestate estate. Through this process, the estate was passed to someone who I felt wasn’t deserving of it. I believe the deceased person would have wanted me included in the distribution of […]
Read the full story
chat button

Fill out this form and one of our local law professionals will be in contact

By submitting this form you agree to the terms of our Privacy policy