Let me tell you the story of Farmer Green. An elderly widower, Farmer Green had three adult children. He had two farms worth about two million dollars each and off farm real estate also worth about two million dollars. He had two sons who were farming and a daughter who lived in Perth. One farm was held in a family trust and the other was owned by a company. The real estate was owned by himself. Read More
I now provide three examples applying the four step approached discussed in my previous post as to how the Family Court applies the approach in real-world situations. Read More
Couples who are married or are living together in a de facto relationship are entitled to have a property settlement.
The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) governs property settlement for married and de facto couples, except in Western Australia the property settlement between de facto partners is governed by the Family Court Act 1997 (WA).
Both married couples and couples living in a de facto relationship have twelve months from the date of separation by which to apply to the Family Court for a property settlement.
When making a decision on how to divide a couples’ assets following the breakdown of a relationship, the Family Court will use the “Four Step Approach” as follows:- Read More
A person cannot avoid the operation of the Family Provisions Act by putting a clause in their Will to the effect that the Act is not to apply or by providing in the Will that a beneficiary who challenges the Will is not to receive benefit under it. However, in WA (unlike NSW for example) property can be protected from a challenge under the Family Provisions Act by ensuring that it does not form part of the estate of the deceased at the date of death. Read More
I have one particularly gloomy client. He reminds me of the old t-shirt caption: “They said cheer up things could be worse, so I cheered up and sure enough things got worse!”
He recently bemoaned: “what is the point of having a Will if it can be set aside by a court?”
It is true that an act known as the Family Provisions Act enables certain persons to challenge the Will of the deceased. However, as I said to Old Gloomy, there are limitations... Read More
The family trust or the discretionary trust is a great vehicle for the first generation who set it up. It provides tax planning and asset protection advantages. Those advantages arise largely from the fact that nobody “owns” a share or interest in the trust. However, those very advantages can create serious succession planning problems.
The following are typical problems that can arise in a transfer of a family trust from one generation to another... Read More
I recently completed a course in Superannuation at Curtin University Business School to up date my knowledge in the area.
Up-to-date knowledge in respect of superannuation generally and self managed superannuation funds in particular is an important component of legal advice with respect to estate planning, asset protection and tax planning.
Superannuation is concessionally taxed in order to encourage people to fund their own retirement without relying on Government pensions.
Currently money put into superannuation... Read More