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Digital Assets – what’s the fuss? - Feb 2019

A recent American case, where executors of an estate took action against Yahoo Inc. for the release of the deceased’s electronic email account (a “digital asset”) is interesting on several fronts.

Whilst one of the legal issues of the case, whether the Stored Communications Act prevented Yahoo from disclosing the deceased’s personal privacy interest, is not relevant to Australia it highlighted the issues between the protection of privacy rights and data asset protection after one’s death vs the rights of an executor (or for that matter any legal personal representative – LPR) to access that information as part of the administration of an estate.

“Documents of the Trust” - Feb 2019

The distinction between documents of the trust liable to be delivered up to incoming trustees and  documents that a beneficiary of the trust may be entitled to see is part of the ongoing dispute in the Hancock and Rinehart families.

The recent case of Hancock v Rinehart [2018] NSW SC 1684 provides some useful guidance in relation to disclosure and the trustee’s responsibilities and duties regarding what constitutes “documents of the Trust” that are liable to be delivered up to incoming trustees.

Attorneys & Super – can they make a valid Binding Death Benefit Nomination? - Sep 2018

Justice Bowskill in Re Narumon Pty Ltd [2018] QSC 185 has provided a very useful judgment regarding whether an attorney can enter into a Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN) on behalf of the principal who provided the power.  

The attorneys of Mr Giles (his wife and sister) signed a document entitled “extension of Binding Death Benefit Nomination” in 2016, in which the nomination made by Mr Giles in June 2013 was confirmed and extended for a further three-year period.

Supreme Court of South Australia fires a warning shot to executors - Aug 2018

The recent Full Court decision in Brooks & Anor v Young & Ors [2018] SASCFC 81 provides an insight into the court’s view upon executor’s duties in respect to estate distributions generally, but especially when confronted with claims under IFP legislation.

Super Trustee decision draws on social media - Jul 2018

The impact that social media and other commentary has on this process. Consultant Neil Page discusses. 

Superannuation - Interdependency and Spouses - Jun 2018

Author: Neil Page, Consultant. 

No second bite at cherry for former spouse - Lodin v Lodin overturned on appeal - Nov 2017

Lodin v Lodin [2017] NSWCA 327

We previously reported on a family provision claim by a former spouse, who had a property settlement with the deceased more than 20 years earlier, which resulted in an award of $750,000.00 to her in the NSW Supreme Court on 25 January 2017.

Trust deeds in the new SMSF world – Benefit payments and estate planning - Nov 2017

Your superannuation trust deed along with the superannuation laws form the governing rules that self managed super funds (SMSFs) needs to operate by. The introduction of the $1.6 million transfer balance cap (TBC) and new transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) rules are a ‘game changer’ for SMSFs when discussing benefit payments and estate planning. With the new super rules in effect as of 1 July 2017, now is the right time to review if your trust deed needs to be enhanced or amended to deal with the new approaches and strategies you may need to implement.

Protection to finalise administration of estate - Nov 2017

Barr & Anor v Rockman & Anor [2017] VSC 581 

The Victorian Supreme Court recently considered an application by the executors of an estate and the trustees of a trust to be at liberty to distribute the assets of the estate and trust without concern for any potential liability which may arise after distribution.

Are life insurance policies protected from a deceased person’s post-death tax liabilities? - Nov 2017

In the recent case of Application by Clauson [2017] NSWSC 1265, judicial advice was sought relating to whether the proceeds of certain insurance policies were liable to be applied in payment of debts of the deceased.

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