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Literary Executor

Appointment of a Literary Executor

The appointment of an executor within a Will can be assigned to a specific property or a certain type of property. However, the specified executor must fall within the meaning of ‘executor’ under the Probate and Administration Act 1898(the Act), section 41 to be granted probate which states:

“41 The Court may, if it thinks fit, grant probate to one or more of the executors named in any will, reserving leave to the other or others who have not renounced to come in and apply for probate at some future date.

This is evident in the NSW Supreme Court case The Estate of Nicholas Paul Enright [2017]. Nicholas Enright within his Will appointed two executor’s of his estate and a third ‘Literary Executor’. It was brought to the Court to determine whether the appointment of the third executor fell within the meaning of executor under section 41 of the Act as they weren’t granted probate alongside the other executors, and if so, whether the property was inclusive of “the copyright and other intellectual property in the deceased’s works”. It was noted that the term ‘Literary Executor’ had appeared in other cases.
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Intestacy rules of the Succession

Order of death can be important where it is relevant to the determination of the destination of the estates of the deceased. This was demonstrated in NSW Trustee and Guardian v State of New South Wales [2015] and demonstrates the need to have a Will Lawyer prepare a Will for you.

In this case a mother and son were found dead in their shared home. Both the mother and son died without a Will, so the destination of the estates and the persons entitled on intestacy would be determined by the sequence of death. The mother was a widow, with one child and there was no evidence that the mother had remarried, entered into a de facto relationship or had an issue after her husband’s death.  The son was unmarried and there was no record that he had ever had any children.

Depending on the sequence of death, there are two potential outcomes. If the son had died first the entirety of his estate would pass to his mother. From there the assets would be distributed according to the intestacy rules of the Succession Act 2006. Alternatively, if the mother died first her estate would pass to her son and then be distributed in accordance with the intestacy formula.
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Blended Families and Mutual Wills

Blended families (“Brady Bunch families”) create their own challenges in estate planning. In particular, how can both sets of children and both sides of the family be protected?

One method is the use of Mutual Wills. Mutual Wills are based on the Willmakers signing a contract regarding the contents of a Will.

A Will is of its nature revocable and can be changed. The main feature of Mutual Wills is that there is an express or implied contract not to revoke a Will after the death or incapacity of one of the contracting parties.

Typically a Mutual Will Contract will include covenants as to the agreed terms of the Wills of each party which are not to be changed.

Advantages of Mutual Wills

One advantage is that a Mutual Will gives the survivor of the contracting parties more freedom and flexibility to deal with assets during their lifetime while still reflecting the joint wishes of the Willmakers at the time they make their Wills. This is contrasted with limitations imposed by way of alternatives such as life estates.
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Will Lawyer for non-English speaking clients

How a Will Lawyer can assist non-English speaking clients

A recent report prepared by Charles Sturt University and the University of Adelaide found that … roughly half of adult Australians have a Will but nearly half of those who do don’t feel that their Will is up-to-date or adequately expresses their wishes.” A Will Lawyer can assist.

This is surprising, considering that a Will is probably one of the most important documents that a person will ever sign.  It also highlights the importance of talking to a Will Lawyer.

A Will is defined as a legal document, and a statement of a persons wishes that are to be carried out when they pass away.  The benefit of having a Will is that you get to decide how the assets that you have gained over a lifetime may be distributed.  When preparing a Will, it is important that you speak to a Will Lawyer to ensure that your will meets all legal requirements and that your wishes are clearly expressed so as to reduce the chance of there being an argument over what your intentions were (who receives what).  

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How a Will Lawyer can Assist Non-English Speaking Clients

A recent report prepared by Charles Sturt University and the University of Adelaide found that “…roughly half of adult Australians have a Will but nearly half of those who do don’t feel that their Will is up-to-date or adequately expresses their wishes.”[1]

This is surprising, considering that a Will is probably one of the most important documents that a person will ever sign.  It also highlights the importance of talking to a Will Lawyer.

A Will is defined as a legal document, and a statement of a person’s wishes that are to be executed when they pass away.  The benefit of having a Will is that you get to decide how the assets that you have gained over a lifetime may be distributed.  When preparing a Will, it is important that you speak to a Will Lawyer to ensure that it meets all legal requirements and that your wishes are clearly expressed so as to reduce the chance of there being an argument over what your intentions were (who receives what).
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Estate Planning – Extinct Institutions in a Will

Estate Planning – Extinct Institutions and Charitable Purpose

In Hicks v Mater Misericordiae Ltd [2017] QSC 38, the Court had to consider whether a testator’s charitable gift in her will had failed its charitable purpose because of the institution’s closure after her death.

Facts

  • The testator left the residue of her estate to the ‘Medical Superintendent for the time being of the Mater Children’s Hospital in Brisbane for the purchase of medical equipment for the treatment of seriously ill children’
  • However after the testator’s death and before the distribution of her estate, the Mater Children’s Hospital’s public hospital functions were taken over by another children’s hospital

Decision

  • The court then had to consider whether the charitable purpose of this gift had failed because of the closure of the Mater Children’s hospital
  • However, the court established that the evidence allowed the residue of the testator’s estate to be applied as near as possible (cy-pres) to the objects of the defunct institution
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