What happens to a mortgage after death? With soaring house prices over the last few years it is becoming more common for people to pass away when they still have a mortgage over their property. The word “mortgage” is derived from the French word “mort” being death...

What happens when executors disagree? It is very common to see a person appoint more than one person as the executor of a will.  Especially when there are adult children involved who the testator wants to all have a say in the running of the estate. This...

9 common problems with Wills & Estates distributions One of the main reasons people plan their estates is to avoid problems and disputes between family members and other intended beneficiaries after they pass away. Unfortunately, it is sometimes the estate planning documents that cause problems and...

What is a grant of probate? A grant of probate deals with the assets and liabilities of the deceased. But executors and administrators also have duties and rights concerning the deceased's causes of death and body disposal. The deceased Cause of death- suing for damages and/or defending will...

Whether your inheritance will be counted in the divorce assets to be split depends on each case. There is no "one rule for all cases". Where the inheritance has already been received these are some relevant factors taken into account in a divorce case: Time...

In 1998, Victoria introduced the Testator’s Family Maintenance claim through Part IV of the Administration & Probate Act 1958 (Vic) (“the Act”). This allowed a person to seek either provision from a deceased Estate or an increase in their provision. The definition of ‘eligible person’...

The law in Victoria has not yet changed and the following cases show examples of successful challenges of wills by grandchildren.    Remember, you have 6 months from the grant of probate of the will after death, to use the court to challenge a will. In...

Changes to the law proposed- may disadvantage those left out of family member's wills. Currently in Victoria if a family member who was left out of a  Will challenged it, then they would have some chance of success provided that the deceased had an obligation to provide...

Fraud upon the elderly is becoming more and more widespread and sophisticated. Presently there does not appear to be any unified Australian legislation which protects older people from this type of abuse.   In a 2011 study conducted by the Crime Research Centre of the University of...

WILLS AND FAMILY AGREEMENTS: WHAT CAN GO WRONG There are a significant number of generous parents these days who purchase properties for their adult children based on family "understandings" that are never recorded, only verbal. The agreement varies from family to family and can include arrangements anywhere from...

We are living too long for the kids to wait for their money The average life expectancy of people has increased by 25 years over the past century. As a result of people living longer, next of kin are likely not to inherit from their parents...