What is probate?

What is probate? I’m quite often asked: what is probate? A lot of people think that it is a tax, and that it’s an amount that is paid depending on how big the estate is. Wrong. In most States in Australia, the fee for probate is not related to the size of the estate at […]

types of trusts

Types of Trusts

Types of Trusts I have written an article explaining what a trust is, but this article will take it a bit further. A trust is a relationship between a person (trustee) and another person (beneficiary) in which the trustee holds property (trust property/trust fund) for the benefit of the beneficiary. Sometimes there is more than […]

estate planning

Blended Families and Estate Planning

Estate planning for blended families can give rise to unique problems. Competing interests must be weighed correctly to limit the change of a dispute.

where theres a will

Where There’s A Will

SBS aired a show on Insight in September called “Where There’s A Will”. I didn’t see it at the time, but a lot of people mentioned it to me. So I looked it up…

Death Taxes?

Death Taxes? We have been lucky in Australia that there has not been any probate duty for decades, and that inheritance from a deceased estate is not taxed as income. Luckier still, in Victoria, we have had one of the lowest costs on probate in Australia – in other States, probate fees are based on […]

Business Exit Strategy Checklists – This Goes For Farms Too!

Business Exit Strategy Checklist – This Goes For Farms Too Business succession planning is about planning for the future. It is about making sure that your family and employees won’t be left in the lurch if something happens to you. It is also about planning for retirement, and exiting your business. Here’s a checklist of […]

Verification of Identity

Verification of ID by Jacqui Brauman There are some big changes coming through for the process of conveyancing. They have been in the making for a couple of years, and are now of the verge of implementation – national electronic conveyancing. This will affect anyone buying, selling or transferring property. As part of the electronic […]

Farming: Organic v GM

Farming: Organic v GM by Jacqui Brauman I recently went to a conference where barrister Joel Silver spoke on a torts case which involved a farming who lost his organic certification and was blaming his neighbouring farmer for growing a genetically modified canola crop for that loss. The case was Marsh v Baxter which went […]

Who Is Eligible to Make A Claim Against My Will?

Who Is Eligible to Make A Claim Against My Will? by Jacqui Brauman From the start of this year, the legislation in Victoria in relation to family provision claims has changed. The new changes have significantly restricted the people who can make a claim against your Will. This has been done by introducing a list […]

Self Managed Super Fund: Death and Loss of Capacity

Self Managed Super Fund: Death and Loss of Capacity by Jacqui Brauman I recently attended a seminar at which Peter Pascoe, barrister, shared a paper on this very topic. Since more and more people and using self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) as investment and retirement vehicles, this information is very relevant. If you have a […]

Improving Performance in Your Small Business

Improving Performance in Your Small Business by Jacqui Brauman As a small business owner myself, I am continuously striving for improvements. I truly believe that if we are not growing (as in learning, improving, being curious, and searching for more efficiency), then we are dying. Part of the problem being a small business owner is […]

A New Reason to Register Your Relationship

A New Reason To Register Your Caring Relationship by Jacqui Brauman In Victoria, people have been able to register their domestic or caring relationship with Births Deaths and Marriages since 2008. A domestic relationship is virtually a de facto relationship, and I have always felt that there was very little point to registering a domestic […]

A Year Of Great Information

A Year Of Great Information by Jacqui Brauman A year disappears very quickly, and if I write a blog a week, that’s at least 50 blogs in the working year. Since I have been doing my Masters degree in Wills and Estate planning, my focus has very much been on providing you with lots of […]

In Case of Emergency: A Case Study For Single Parents

by Jacqui Brauman Sara, a single mother working part-time, with her pre-school children both in day care, had a car accident on the way to pick her kids up. She was trapped in the vehicle, with crush wounds to her legs, and a concussion. Emergency crews took hours to get her out of the vehicle […]

Errors Parents Make Appointing Guardians

7 Errors Parents Make Appointing Guardians For their Children

7 Errors Parents Make Appointing Guardians For Their Children by Jacqui Brauman Although most of us have doing their Wills on their “list of things to do” which never gets done, those who do make their Wills to protect their children and loved ones quite often make some mistakes. The common mistakes that are made […]

The Forfeiture Rule

by Jacqui Brauman This is probably useless information to most of you – just a little trivia really – because it’s rare that this situation would arise … The forfeiture rule – is a rule that if someone commits murder or manslaughter then the offender cannot benefit under the Will of the deceased! Makes sense, […]

Types of Gifts in Your will

Types of Gifts in Your Will

Types of Gifts In Your Will – What You Need to Know by Jacqui Brauman What do you mean, there’s different types of gifts I can leave in my Will? Warning: this blog might get a bit dense. I’m not talking about leaving money or leaving your stuff. I’m talking about the way you leave […]

Estoppel and Wills

by Jacqui Brauman Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act is the primary means to bring a claim against a Will in Victoria – that is, a family provision claim, or testator’s family maintenance claim. Such a claim is that a family member who the deceased person had an obligation to provide for has […]

New Powers of Attorney

by Jacqui Brauman The new Victorian Power of Attorney Act is due to start on 1 September 2015. It doesn’t make any changes to the Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment), but it will change the other two enduring powers: Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial) and Enduring Guardianship. Don’t worry if you have these documents […]

What Happens to My iTunes Account When I Die?

by Jacqui Brauman Accounts like iTunes and other services where you can buy music, movies, ebooks and TV shows are usually licensed services. These are not like an online service where you save you own material, like Dropbox or Instagram. Instead, when you use a service like iTunes you enter a service agreement with them […]

Planning Your Exit Strategy

by Jacqui Brauman Your exit strategy is your succession plan from your small business. For each small business, their succession plan could look different. It could involve, depending on the level of planning: outright sale of the business to a third party transfer of management to family members, along with some form of ownership control […]

Stamp Duty on Land Transfers

Stamp Duty on Land Transfers All transfers of land, including gifts, attract stamp duty. Stamp duty is calculated on the greater of the price paid (consideration) or the market value. Water entitlements sold with land are non-dutiable, so stamp duty does not apply to water. There are exemptions and concessions on the payment of stamp […]

Why Do I Need a Will?

Why Do I Need a Will? If you die without making a Will (intestate), you don’t have any say about how your estate is distributed. Here are a few examples of what could happen: Wife and 2 young kids Tom falls of his ladder whilst cleaning out the gutter. He has life insurance that is […]

Am I in a de facto relationship?

Am I in a de facto relationship? Am I in a de facto relationship?: The two year rule for Family Law, though many of these factors also apply to proving a de facto relationship between someone who has died and their surviving partner. Contact us to arrange a chat. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Kilmore Bypass and Compulsory Acquisition

Kilmore Bypass and Compulsory Acquisition The Victorian government has the power to compulsorily acquire land that it requires. You can’t prevent them from doing it; so what is the process and what can you get out of it? (More FREE Information). After VicRoads has reserved the land under a planning instrument with the approval of […]

Enduring Guardian

Enduring Guardian Note: the law has changed since 1 September 2015 There are two certainties in life, death and taxes but unfortunately we do not have a crystal ball to predict whether we will suffer dementia eg Alzheimer’s, or simply lose the capacity to look after ourselves. Appointing a Guardian can provide you with peace […]

What is a Testamentary Discretionary Trust?

What is a Testamentary Discretionary Trust? by Jacqueline Brauman. A Testamentary Discretionary Trust (TDT) operates very similarly to a Family Discretionary Trust, except it is set up in your Will and begins after you die. It has a trustee and two or more potential beneficiaries, such as your children, who are entitled to receive the […]

Vendor Finance – Buy Without A Bank

Vendor Finance – Buy Without A Bank What is it and why use it? If you want to buy real estate or a business and you cannot get a loan for the full amount through a bank, you would approach the vendor to finance part or all of the purchaser. So long as the vendor […]

Agisted Stock: Ownership Risk

Agisted Stock: Ownership Risk by Jacqui Brauman A recent local case has brought to my attention the risks of agistment without a written agistment agreement. Where stock is agisted on a property for 12 months or more, ownership can be jeopardised if the agistment property goes into receivership or insolvency. The situation I came across […]