Our Latest Publications
12 January 2024
Do I need to change my will after separation?
Navigating the complexities of separation can be an emotionally draining experience, involving considerations such as property settlements and parenting arrangements. Amidst these challenges, it is crucial to turn your attention towards reviewing and updating your will and enduring documents. Our goal is to make this process as simple as possible in order to ensure that your estate plan reflects your wishes after a separation.
Don’t wait until the divorce is finalised!
Contrary to common belief, separation itself does not automatically invalidate your will or enduring power of attorney (EPOA). Failing to update these legal documents after separation may mean that your estate is not distributed in accordance with your wishes.
29 August 2022
Testamentary Discretionary Trusts
Testamentary discretionary trusts (‘TDT’) are used by many people as a part of their estate planning. A TDT is a discretionary trust established under a Will. It does not come into operation until the death of the Willmaker.
Instead of assets being gifted directly to a beneficiary, they will pass to the Trustee of the TDT, who will hold those assets in accordance with the terms of the TDT as set out in the Willmaker’s will.
TDTs are given special tax treatment – distributions to children taxed as for adults, allowing distrbutions up to the adult tax free threshold every year, per child beneficiary.
There are significant advantages to utilising a TDT in your Will, especially where assets could be at risk, or as a part of a tax minimisation strategy for the next generation.
2 December 2021
School Building Funds – When is a school not a school?
Case note: The Buddhist Society of Western Australia Inc v Commissioner of Taxation
School building funds are a category of DGR which can apply funds for the acquisition, construction and maintenance of a school building. But when is a school not a school? The Federal Court of Australia’s recent judgement, The Buddhist Society of Western Australia Inc v Commissioner of Taxation, may have implications for many non-traditional and faith based schools.
21 January 2022
Understanding Granny Flat Agreements
More and more retirees are considering a granny flat arrangement for their retiring years. They appear, at first glance, to be a simple and informal way for children to help their parents age in a way that allows them to be part of every-day family life.
Legally, however, these agreements can very quickly become complex beasts. A well drafted agreement and proper legal advice is critical.
As a lawyer it will often be necessary to help clients navigate complicated family dynamics, and consider implications for estate planning and decision making.
4 April 2022
Charities, Advocacy & Electoral Spending
With the Federal election due to take place this year, charities should be aware that there have been recent changes to the law (from December 2021) which may affect their advocacy and campaigning.
Charities have a broad ability to engage in advocacy and campaigning. They can promote or oppose a change to any matter or law, policy or practice provided that these activities advance their charitable purpose, and do not constitute a “disqualifying purpose”.
Charities which incur electoral expenditure at or above the disclosure threshold may be required to register and report to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
8 April 2022
NEW DGR Category Proposed – Pastoral Care Services Fund
Following an announcement by the Government in the 2021-22 Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Outlook, Treasury is calling for submissions around the introduction of a new category of Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) fund – the “Pastoral Care Services Fund.”
At this stage, it is proposed that the new DGR category will be limited to funds only and will exist to support “pastoral care and analogous wellbeing services delivered to students in Australian primary and secondary schools”.