At Bradley Lawyers, we like to keep up-to-date not only on legal changes that affect the advice we provide our clients, but also on broader news and current affairs that impact on our clients’ lives and lifestyles. We encourage you to check this page periodically to keep updated on legal matters and news that may be relevant to your circumstances.
15 June 2016
Earlier this year a client’s sibling passed away without
executing a valid Will. Prior to his death, the deceased indicated verbally
that a Will presented to him for signing was in accordance with his wishes.
Unfortunately, the deceased never had the opportunity to sign the Will before
independent witnesses and died without executing a Will.
As the deceased had no spouse or children, under the rules
of intestacy his Estate would have gone to his father. This was an undesirable
outcome to the family of the deceased, as the father’s pension would have been
affected and he wished to benefit the deceased’s other children rather than
himself. Fortunately, we were able to prove the unsigned Will by establishing
to the Supreme Court’s satisfaction that it may dispense with the formalities
required of the Will and admit it to Probate.
While we managed to achieve a successful outcome for our
client, the costs were far higher than if the deceased executed a valid Will
prior to his death.
Many young people consider that they do not have enough
assets to warrant making a Will. In most cases, this is correct. However, life
insurance has become a popular inclusion in many superannuation funds. Many
young people die leaving hundreds of thousands in insurance and superannuation benefits
without considering or receiving advice as to how these funds should be
You can make either a binding or a non-binding nomination to
decide who will benefit from your superannuation and life insurance death
benefits. The trustee of your superannuation fund may take into account a
non-binding nomination when making its decision whom to distribute. A properly
executed binding nomination will bind the trustee of your superannuation fund
to distribute to whom you wish.
However, there is more to consider than simply whom you wish
to benefit. Benefits can only be passed tax-free those in a dependent or
interdependent relationship with the deceased. Additionally, if the deceased
makes a binding nomination to a non-dependent, this can be overridden in favour
of a dependent.
Executors and family members who
may become company directors-beware!
New directors now inherit
personal liability for tax due from before they were appointed.
Further, director penalties apply
for unpaid superannuation obligations under these changes, a director is no
longer able to avoid penalty by placing the company into administration or
liquidation if the company as PAYG or superannuation contributions unpaid and
unreported 3 months after the due date.
New directors now have only 30
days from appointment to ensure PAYG and super obligations are up to date;
otherwise they will be liable to a director penalty for amounts preceding their
If there is a chance you may
accept an appointment as a director – see us first.