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In a recent Supreme Court Decision, Kenneth Martin J made the remark that society as a whole simply do not appreciate the importance of having a valid, up to date Will. He stated that: “Wider public educational efforts should be made to advance the general state of knowledge of the community on these matters, in my respectful view. This is an age where people outlay significant amounts on a regular basis to update their phones - so they are equipped with the latest technology. But a small outlay to correctly execute a will to secure potential benefits for loved ones and dependants should be an elevated priority. A person's last will is perhaps the most important document that they will ever sign in their lifetime. The long-term worth of leaving a valid will always exceeds the cost of a new electronic device.”
Picture this…. you’re invited to speak on a local radio station about nuptial agreements following a recent government paper seeking to establish the key principals of such agreements for, not only the legal profession, but also the public. This is your first radio interview and so, you spend the evening ensuring you are familiar with the paper and the proposed plans. You’re introduced to the audience, and during that introduction the presenter summarises almost everything you read the night before. His first question to you…..”these agreements….you’re married….do you have one?”.
SPOILER ALERT - The Bachelor - who will get the ring? And so, another season of “The Bachelor” is in full swing, a sign of hope to anyone who’s single that they too could find love, so long as their willing to go on national television and date 22 people at the same time? Or maybe they’d rather be one of the lovely ladies playing house with their 21 competitors. Either way, people across Australia will be watching as all 22 girls fall for Matty J, hoping that a shiny rock awaits the lucky lady who wins his heart.  
I’ve separated from my partner – is my Will still valid? Can I revoke it? When something difficult or unexpected happens in life, it can be hard to wrap your mind around anything other than the distress or shock you’re feeling. People often come to us for advice after separating from their husband, wife or partner and one thing we always ask is whether they have considered the consequences of their separation on their Will. We understand that discussing your death is hardly a desirable conversation, especially when you’re going through a separation, but we have also seen the impact that taking no action can have on a person’s family and friends.
Fixing a broken system – introducing the Family Violence Restraining Order (“FVRO”) Most of us take for granted the safe, nurturing environment we like to call home. For an increasing number of Australians, this is not the case and they suffer the enduring trauma of domestic violence or abuse. Restraining orders give victims of violence a tool to keep their abusers away or at least offer them a little more protection by police if they come close. In July 2013, then Attorney General, the Hon Michael Mischin MLC referenced a review by the Law Reform Commission to the Restraining Orders Act 1997 (WA). He recognised the need for separate legislation that only deals with family and domestic violence.
Drugs, Family Law and the ever-increasing responsibility on Grandparents First, let’s talk about ordinary Family Law circumstances, with a loving set of parents, who simply didn’t make it as a couple. Grandparents do not have an automatic right to see their grandchildren. However, the grandchildren have a right to continue to spend time with their grandparents with whom they are close. In short, if it’s in the best interests of the child that they continue to have a relationship with a grandparent with whom they already have a great relationship, then the Court will take a long hard look at that.
Surveillance vs Snooping Going through a separation has a way of making even the most private and intimate of affairs seem all of a sudden very public. Unfortunately, this exposure of personal details, coupled with an angry ex, can result in uncovering more than a few skeletons in the closet. There are different ways of accessing private information and there are drastic differences between surveillance and snooping – one being legal, and one not. 
When a loved one dies, there are a thousand questions running through everyone’s mind. Did they have a Will? What funeral arrangements should be made? Who should we notify?
Deadline - O rders regarding children’s living arrangements for Christmas For most every family, Christmas is a happy but also stressful time. Whether it is ensuring there are no gift double-ups, Santa’s true identity remains undiscovered, or that th
Doyle’s Guide is considered a prestigious recognition in the Legal Industry as an independent guide to the legal profession in Australia that awards the best lawyers, barristers and law firms in the industry.  Within each area of law, and for ea
Ask anyone and they will tell you that now is the time for girls to run the world. For the first time ever, we’re staring down the barrel of women running the USA and the United Kingdom at the same time. Women have never been more powerful. Or have they? We all know that it’s a well-accepted tradition in Australia that when a woman marries, she “assumes” the surname of the lucky man who bagged her. This is a tradition that stems all the way back to a time when a woman “belonged” to her husband, and her husband wanted everyone to know it.
Leaving on a jet plane….don’t know if they’ll be back again….. The notion of a stranger dragging your child from you off the street is a scary thought for any parent; but what if the person taking your child is their mother or father? Many separated parents wouldn’t ever consider the idea that their former spouse would take their child and leave the country; sadly this isn’t the case for all and many parents live in fear of this exact thing happening every day. I cannot count the number of times I have had to rush down to Court on a Friday afternoon to get an Injunction preventing a parent from removing a child from the country……it’s a lot.
There are some things in life that are just so much better when they’re homemade. Like Mum’s secret recipe sponge cake with fresh strawberries. A hand knitted beanie. Or even a handmade birthday card from your 5 year old niece. But then there are some things that are just better left to the professionals. Why is it that we’re more willing to let the experts take the reins on some things than others? I wouldn’t try to replace the chipped windscreen in my car, because I don’t have the tools or the skills to do it right – and if I don’t get it right the risk is that I will hurt myself (or even worse, someone else) and end up costing myself a lot more money than I would have forked out if I’d just left the job to the right people in the first place.
Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with the concept of pre-nups, with American celebrity culture it is all too common to hear about a couple splitting up and Popstar X being crazy for not having one, or about how B-list actor Y is applying to a Court to overturn the pre-nup. In Australia our Family Law Act allows for parties to enter into their own private agreements about asset division if a marriage or relationship ends, called Financial Agreements. Couples can enter into these Agreements before marrying or entering into a de facto relationship, during the marriage or relationship and even once it has come to an end. So pre-nups, post-nups and just plain nups perhaps?
Whilst the plaintiff questioned whether the gift to Katherine was dependant or conditional on her being the de facto of the deceased at the date of his death, one of the defendants argued that the phrase, “my de facto wife” was merely descriptive and
There is no single right or wrong, one-size-fits-all recommendation for everyone, but there are some useful questions you can ask yourself when thinking about who would be the right Executor for your Estate. Some of these questions are: Whom do I tru
But it was established to the satisfaction of the Court that the 2009 Will had been signed at a time when the testator had already lost testamentary capacity due to certain delusional beliefs which she held. Accordingly, the Court decided the 2009 Wi
Should Accountants be Drafting Wills? What do you do when a client asks you to draft his/her Will? If you’re an Accountant, Financial Planner, or a professional other than a Legal Practitioner, have you ever been asked to draft a Will for your client? Whilst the temptation to be holistic in your services to a client is understandable, this article will offer some guidance, and identify the pitfalls of engaging in a legal practice which could contravene the requirements under the Legal Practice Act 2008 (“the Act”).
  A relationship breakdown is one of the most traumatic things you’ll ever have to deal with in your life. Life as you know it is tossed completely upside down, and not only do you have to grieve the loss of the relationship, but you probably have to move, open new bank accounts, learn where everything is in a new supermarket, and sometimes even stop seeing some of your friends because your former partner got them in the split. While you’re sorting through 3 years’ worth of bank statements and trying to get your ex to agree that the kids can stay with you until 2.00pm on Christmas Day instead of 1.00pm, it might not feel like there’s much time to get your head around anything else.
One of the most frequently asked questions by people who have ever filed anything at the Family Court is ‘what’s the hold up?’. The Family Court process is a slow one, and there are delays across the board - from the ‘simpler’ matters such as divorces, to litigated matters that are heading towards a trial. Divorce hearings currently have a wait-time of about three months. Similarly, it is not uncommon for litigated matters to run for 18 months to 2 years before the trial itself. Tack on another 6 months for the decision to be handed down once the trial has been completed, and you can understand the frustration, with people often feeling like their lives are ‘on hold’ pending the final outcome. So, what’s the hold up?