what is probate?

What is probate?

What is probate? by Jacqui Brauman 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. Probate is just a process of proving that a Will is valid, and having a legal […]

estate planning

Is Estate Planning Just For The Elderly?

Is Estate Planning Just for the Elderly? by Jacqui Brauman Is estate planning just for the elderly? Simple answer: NO. But the problem is that whilst it’s important for everyone, those that are busy never seem to get around to it. Getting your affairs in order may be on your ‘list of things to do’ […]

SMSF and stamp duty

SMSF and Stamp Duty

SMSF and Stamp Duty by Elizabeth Romeril Purchasing property in the name of a self-managed superannuation fund (‘SMSF’) can be advantageous, depending on your financial circumstances. You should always get advice from a financial planner before commencing an SMSF and advice from your accountant before purchasing assets on behalf of your SMSF to ensure your […]

voluntary assisted dying

7 Things to Know About Voluntary Assisted Dying

7 Things to Know About Voluntary Assisted Dying by Jacqui Brauman Victoria was the first state in Australia to introduce a form of voluntary assisted dying, and the legislation begins in 2019. Voluntary assisted dying means having a substance administered after making a conscious choice that the otherwise dying person wants to be in control […]

duties and powers of executors

Duties and Powers of Executors

Duties and powers of executors by Jacqui Brauman An executor is the person appointed in a Will to administer the estate after the Will-maker dies. The executor is also known as the “legal personal representative”, and their role converts to the trustee of the estate, particularly if any of the estate is to be held […]

make a claim against a will

Learn How To Make A Claim Against A Will

Learn how to make a claim against a Will (or how to avoid one) by Jacqui Brauman Since a couple of years ago, Victoria has had narrow categories of people who are allowed to make a claim against a Will. If you are a spouse, child (adult or minor), step-child, spouse of a deceased child, […]

medical power of attorney

Medical Power of Attorney

Medical Power of Attorney by Jacqui Brauman The Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) (medical power of attorney) in Victoria has been replaced under new laws that I introduced here. We now have an Appointment of a Medical Treatment Decisions Maker instead. Along with a change in the term of the person who can make […]

elder abuse

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: 15 June

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by Jacqui Brauman The International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse declared 15 June to be World Elder Abuse Aware Day back in 2006. Maybe because of increasing awareness, the Australian Law Reform Commission finally tabled a report on Elder Abuse in Australia in June 2017, and how the legal […]

cut someone out of your will

How To Cut Someone Out of Your Will

How to Cut Someone Out of Your Will by Jacqui Brauman I’ve had a few more people than usual who have asked how to cut one of their children out of their Will. My answer is: you can’t with absolute certainty. In Australia, you have testamentary freedom, which is the freedom to make whatever Will […]

Power of attorney

Enduring Power of Attorney

Enduring Power of Attorney by Jacqui Brauman An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you (the Donor) to appoint someone (the Attorney) to decisions on your behalf. The powers to make decisions are very broad, in the areas of financial decisions, legal decisions and personal decisions. You can select different people to make decisions for you […]

nominating a beneficiary for your super

Nominating a Beneficiary for your Superannuation

Nominating a Beneficiary for your Superannuation Superannuation is often one of biggest assets, particular when the life insurance component is taken into account. Yet, the superannuation companies don’t make it clear enough about how to ensure that those funds go to the right people if something happens to us. A nomination form needs to be […]

drafting a will that works

Insider Secrets About Drafting A Will That Works

Insider secrets about drafting a Will that works by Jacqui Brauman It’s the little things that make all the different, and in the language of estate planning and Will drafting, every word has a meaning or interpretation that is based on hundreds of years of precedent. It’s not a simple process, and there are plenty […]

medical treatment decision maker

New laws: Medical Treatment Decision Maker

New laws: Medical Treatment Decision Maker by Jacqui Brauman Today, the 12 March 2018, some laws in Victoria have changed. Gone is the legislation the used to allow the appointment of a medical power of attorney. However, all Enduring Powers of Attorney (Medical Treatment) completed prior to today, will remain valid. The new legislation is […]

when parents die

Case Study – Young Parents Die

Case Study – Young Parents Die The facts Daniel and Jennifer were high school sweethearts who met again in their mid-twenties and never stopped their romance. They married within 12 months of meeting again, and worked on their careers for a few years, also buying a house. Jennifer is a nurse and Daniel works for […]


A Complete ‘How To’ for Appointing Guardians for Your Children

A Complete ‘How To’ for Appointing Guardians for Your Children So you’ve taken the time to consider who will be the best people in your lives to appoint as guardians in your Will. You’ve taken the step to make a Will, or at least made an appointment with a solicitor to get the process started. […]

New Year's resolution

Is Your New Year’s Resolution to Get Your Finance in Order in 2018?

Is Your New Year’s Resolution to Get Your Finance in Order in 2018? Among the most common New Year’s resolutions are: Get fit Start a new particular hobby Spend more time with family or looking after yourself Quit smoking, and Get your finances in order. If your resolution is to get your finances in order, […]

new ademption laws

New Ademption Laws

New Ademption Laws by Jacqui What is ademption? Ademption is a very old concept that has developed over centuries of English inheritance law, and been brought to Australia. It occurs when a specific gift is left to someone in the deceased’s Will, and that specific gift is no longer owned by the deceased when they […]

more than one

More Than One Spouse in 6 Years?

More Than One Spouse in 6 Years? by Jacqui Brauman If you die without a Will, you are said to have died ‘intestate’, and the laws of intestacy apply. New laws commenced on 1 November 2017 for the laws of intestacy in Victoria, and my previous article gave some information about those changes. As part […]

Die Without A Will

What Happens If I Die Without A Will?

What Happens If I Die Without A Will? by Jacqui Brauman If you die without a Will, you die ‘intestate’. Each State has its own laws about intestacy, so if you die in Victoria without a Will, then the Administration and Probate Act is the piece of law that dictates what happens to your estate. […]


What a Relief – CGT Help

What a Relief – CGT Help Wilsons can help you negotiate the complexities of the government’s capital gains tax relief which you may be eligible for if have superannuation interests in the retirement phase greater than $1.6m or are receiving a transition-to-retirement income stream. The new superannuation measures required several changes to clients’ arrangements in […]

Aged care

Aged Care Basics

Aged Care Basics by Jacqui Your ACAT Assessment (“Aged Care Assessment Team”) or ASAS Assessment (“Aged Care Assessment Service”) is your first step, and this should be done sooner rather than later. Generally it cannot be done in an emergency, and could take a couple of months to arrange. This Assessment is the key to […]

self managed super

Farming Land and Business Premises in Your SMSF

Farming Land and Business Premises in Your SMSF by Jacqui Having the transfer balance cap of $1.6m introduced for pensions has more impacts on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) if the SMSF has invested in property, particularly valuable farming land that is still being farmed by the family or a business premises that is used for […]

change to super

A Change to Super that Everyone With An SMSF Needs to Know

A Change to Super That Everyone With An SMSF Needs On 1 July 2017, when many new changes to superannuation commenced, there have been some impacts on estate planning due to these changes. Most particularly with self-managed super funds (SMSFs), but this change will also effect large accumulation funds as well. When someone gets to […]


Homemade Wills and Will-Kits

Homemade Wills and Will-Kits by Jacqui Brauman Another homemade Will has just cost a family tens of thousands of dollars in Western Australia, with the family having to work out what the Will actually says in the Supreme Court. The will-maker must have thought they were very smart, but the language used in Wills has […]

The Sandwich Generation

New Book – The Sandwich Generation

New book – Sandwich Generation Who is the ‘sandwich generation’? You are the generation that is stuck between your adult children and your elderly parents. You have obligations to both of them, and you thought you’d have some freedom by now! You are torn between them. Just when your children should be grown up and […]

protective trust

Case study: Protective Trust

Case Study: Protective trust by Jacqui Brauman Protective trusts are not necessarily the best option to use when you have a vulnerable beneficiary, but they are still useful in some cases and should be considered by will-makers. Jay is upset when his daughter’s marriage breaks down, and even more so when she returns to drinking […]

Appoint Guardians for your Children

Case Study: Why You Need to Appoint Guardians For Your Children

Case study: Why You Need to Appoint Guardians for Your Children by Jacqui Brauman One of the cases that I came across a few years ago, through a friend working as a prosecutor, made me want to bring estate planning awareness to parents of young children. This case was one of the reasons why I […]

stamp duty

Stamp Duty Changes to Make Estate Planning Harder

Stamp Duty Changes to Make Estate Planning Harder One of the benefits that we previously had in Victoria was that spouses did not pay stamp duty on land transfers between them, whether it was their principle place of residence or an investment property, or any other restructure of properties between them. This was really important […]

self-managed superannuation

Case Study: Self-Managed Superannuation

Case Study: Self-Managed Superannuation Jay is in his second marriage. He has two adult children from his first marriage, a step-child and a new baby from his second marriage. He is the sole member of a self-managed superannuation fund that he set up before he got married again, and the fund has assets of $1.5m […]

common mistakes

Common Mistakes in Estate Planning

Common Mistakes in Estate Planning by Jacqui Brauman There are a lot of common mistakes that are made by lawyers and others who prepare estate planning documents for their clients via online services other than a lawyer. One of the major mistakes that leads to all the other following mistakes is to not value the […]

separated but not divorced

Separated But Not Divorced? Your Will Should Be A Priority

Separated but not divorced? Your Will should be a priority by Jacqui Brauman I used to tell family law clients when they were separating that their children and their property settlement were the most important things, and that they didn’t have to worry about getting a divorce unless they wanted to remarry. However, if you […]

power of attorney capacity

When Does A Power of Attorney Begin?

When Does A Power of Attorney Begin? by Jacqui Brauman Powers of attorney can be general or enduring. “Enduring” simply means that the powers you give endure beyond you losing mental capacity. Today, we are talking about Enduring Powers of Attorney that give powers in relation to financial, legal and personal matters. These powers of […]