Estate Planning

Ensure Your Say in Your Estate with a Valid Will

Written by Andrew O'Donnell, Director - Edney Ryan Legal

What do Amy Winehouse, Abraham Lincoln, Barry White, and Bob Marley have in common? They all died intestate; meaning they died without leaving a valid Will.   A Will is a legal document that sets out how you want your assets to be distributed when you die. It allows you to make your own choices about your estate and gives... Read more

Family Provisions: Who Can Make a Claim on an Estate?

Written by Andrew O'Donnell, Director - Edney Ryan Legal

By Andrew O’Donnell, Director – Edney Ryan Legal In the era of longer life expectancy, marriage, divorce, de-facto relationships and blended families, it is important to be aware of the law around family provisions from estates, both for Willmakers and potential applicants. A Family Provision claim is a legal application by an eligible person for a share (or larger share) of... Read more

Informal Wills: A Risky Way to Express Your Testamentary Wishes

Written by Andrew O'Donnell - Director, Edney Ryan Legal

A legally binding Will must be written on paper and signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses. These requirements are designed to prevent fraud, undue influence, substitution or mistake, given that the person who creates the document is not available to be questioned when the Will is being executed. However, there are some exceptions, and Courts can... Read more

Why Don’t You Have a Will?

Written by Andrew O'Donnell - Director, Edney Ryan Legal

We are regularly surprised at the number of adults we meet who do not yet have a Will. If you have family, or any amount of wealth, or both, you should have a Will. Here we address some of the very common reasons why making a Will is avoided. Do you dislike lawyers? Many people do. We’re used to it.... Read more

Avoiding Mistakes in Wills: Ademption

Written by Andrew O'Donnell - Director, Edney Ryan Legal

‘Ademption’ is a legal term that describes what happens when something that is left as a gift in a Will is no longer owned by the Will-maker at the time of their death. Consider these examples of how this can occur. Example 1: The gifted property has been sold, for example the family home has been sold to fund aged... Read more

Estate Planning And Talking About The Unthinkable

Written by Andrew O'Donnell, Director - Edney Ryan Legal

Choices for end-of-life medical treatment. This is an uncomfortable topic, but nonetheless important for you and your loved ones to consider. We are all living longer, and the wonders of medicine are ever  increasing. But at some point, we will find ourselves moving towards the end of our life.  A “living will” or advance care directive enables you to state... Read more

Executors of Wills – A Word of Caution

Written by Andrew O'Donnell, Director - Edney Ryan Legal

Executing a Will Can Be Personally Taxing If you have been named as an Executor in a Will, following a person’s death there are legal procedures that must be followed. This is a serious task with considerable responsibility, and you can be held personally liable for incorrect administration of the estate. In almost all cases, consulting with a lawyer would... Read more

Parents of Young Children Need to Know About Testamentary Trusts

Written by Andrew O'Donnell, Director - Edney Ryan Legal

Making a Will is an important responsibility, particularly for parents of young children. A testamentary trust is a trust established by a Will and is widely used for asset protection and significant taxation advantages. The end result for your family can be substantial, as illustrated in the following example. John dies leaving behind his wife Jessica, and three young children.... Read more

Where there’s a Will, is there a way?

Written by Angela Boyd, Senior Associate - Edney Ryan Legal

Wills and inheritance can be highly emotional subjects, particularly as family structures become more complicated.  The rules and practices around bequests are not as simple as you might think and the way your beneficiaries and the courts may view the division of spoils after your death may not always align with your expectations. The Succession Act NSW makes some significant... Read more

Mosman locals would already know Angela from her many years running Boyd Legal in Mosman. What is your area of legal expertise? Being a solicitor for 20 years has given me great breadth of experience but I focus now on complex property matters and Wills and Estate Plans. Most common mistake in Wills? Don’t assume that your loved ones will... Read more