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Wills and Estates | Powers of Attorney

Claims against legal practitioners in the wills and estates area have been relatively modest in recent times. However, we do see the same sorts of mistakes occurring regularly.

The mistakes fall into distinct categories of preparation of wills, assessing testamentary capacity, dealing with family provision claims, administering estates and conflicts of interest. Many of these mistakes could easily be avoided.


 

 

27 June 2016

In Check Issue 71 | June 2016

Table of contentsUrgent bulletin for conveyancing practitioners: 1 July new CGT withholding payments for real property sale of $2M or moreA further stamp duty increase for foreign purchasersChanges to lodging fees from 1 July 2016Changes to the Power of Attorney Act 2014Badenach v Calvert – the final chapterNew page for new firms on LPLC websiteCommon […]

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31 March 2016

In Check Issue 70 | March 2016

Table of contentsCyber-crime – how alert are you?Common GST questionImportance of good working relationships within the professionReminder for RedCrest2016 Risk Management SeminarsCheck your contracts for deemed serviceNew look websiteLaw Institute Journal articles Cyber-crime – how alert are you? Lawyers and the legal profession are increasingly becoming targets of cyber-crime and while many law firms may not […]

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1 December 2015

In Check Issue 69 | December 2015

Table of contentsCount your days to the end of the year carefullyCommon GST queries about the farming business exemptionUpdated purchaser statementChanges to foreign investment framework2016 Risk Management SeminarsNew training video – The New NormalOffice closure over Christmas and New YearLaw Institute Journal articles Count your days to the end of the year carefully As the […]

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21 September 2015

In Check Issue 68 | September 2015

Table of contentsPower of attorney – new Act and formsNo simple willsLPLC Chairman retires and new Chairman announcedGST claims on the riseRegistrations now open |  View full program and register here Power of attorney – new Act and forms The changes to powers of attorney in Victoria are now here as the new Powers of […]

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15 June 2015

In Check Issue 67 | June 2015

Table of contentsCyber-crime – client’s email account being hacked2015 Risk Management IntensiveGuides for executors and beneficiaries updatedLaw Institute Journal articlesFamily law claims on the riseIs the tenant liable to pay for essential safety measures?Risk Management Blog – join the subscription listNew presenter’s workbook for our online training videosNew rule old forms – giving a solicitor’s […]

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18 March 2013

Solicitor executors and their fees

Table of contentsSolicitor executors and their feesWhen can a practitioner acting as executor charge fees or commission?What is involved in drafting a will with a payment or commission clause in it?What is the difference between charging commission and charging professional fees? Solicitor executors and their fees The issue of fees and charges a legal practitioner […]

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12 August 2016

Think before witnessing documents

The Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic) brought in a new requirement that the statement of acceptance signed by attorneys must be witnessed. By signing the statement, the attorney agrees that they are eligible to act, understand their obligations and undertake to act in accordance with the Act. While this is not significantly different to […]

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5 August 2016

Are you doing enough to test testamentary capacity?

When acting for a testator, practitioners must always be satisfied the client has testamentary capacity. The following claim serves as a reminder of the steps practitioners need to take when preparing wills. Before taking instructions, the practitioner obtained medical advice to the effect that the terminally ill testator had testamentary capacity. He arranged to meet […]

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8 July 2016

Beware – delays in obtaining full birth certificates

During the recent LPLC regional tour a number of practitioners complained that it can take up to six weeks to obtain a full birth certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages. In one case the practitioner needed the full birth certificate to comply with the safe harbor requirements of schedule 8 of the model participation rules […]

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24 June 2016

Super POA

Sometimes clients, and even practitioners, consider preparing standard forms like enduring powers of attorney (POA) as a simple task that can be done cheaply. Based on the number of calls received by LPLC about the new forms prescribed by the Powers of Attorney Act 2014 (Vic) preparing a POA is anything but simple. You can […]

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26 February 2016

Family law clients and wills

This is a reminder for practitioners acting in family law matters to include in their checklist and material they give to their clients an explanation about the effect of divorce and remarriage on the validity of a will. Feedback we have received from the profession is that many clients say they are not told at […]

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23 September 2015

Key Risk Checklist: Witnessing an Enduring Power of Attorney

Table of contentsDate: Time commenced: Time finished:In attendance Principal: Solicitor: Other witness:The following concepts were discussed with the principal: Date: Time commenced: Time finished: In attendance Principal: Solicitor: Other witness: Photo identification of principal. – Specify form of identification produced eg driver’ s licence, passport Principal over 18 years of age. Principal has read pages 3-18 of the […]

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17 October 2013

Key Risk Checklist: Enduring Powers of Attorney

         

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14 October 2013

Key Risk Checklist: Administration mistakes

Delay in finalising estates Set out at the start of the retainer how you will communicate with the executors, how often that will be, whether you will communicate with the beneficiaries or whether you expect the executors to do that. Give practice risk guides to executors and beneficiaries explaining what is required to manage the […]

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14 October 2013

Key Risk Checklist: Family provision claims

Table of contentsActing for claimants – out of time TFMActing for the estate – premature distribution Acting for claimants – out of time TFM Be familiar with the provisions of Part IV of the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) (Act). When taking initial instructions from a potential Part IV claimant ensure you clearly discuss […]

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14 October 2013

Key Risk Checklist: Preparation of wills

Table of contentsSuperannuationReal propertyAdjustment clauseResiduary clauses Superannuation Obtain details of the client’s superannuation fund and policy. Determine whether the fund has binding, non-binding or no nominations. Review the superannuation fund trust deed if necessary. Alternatively, advise the client orally and in writing to contact the superannuation fund and obtain details of the nomination arrangements. The […]

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11 May 2017

Know your limits

Table of contentsIntroductionLessons from the claimsTime limits most commonly missedClaims examples Introduction With the proliferation of time limits in legislation today missing limitation dates is a mistake that occurs in many areas of the law. The reasons for missing time limits are varied as are the potential repercussions. Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge […]

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13 September 2016

Saving superannuation claims

Table of contentsIntroductionCommon themesSuperannuation related claims from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2015Areas of lawSuperannuation ChecklistAppendix One Introduction LPLC has seen numerous claims against practitioners involving superannuation funds. Claims sometimes arise because the practitioner does not have sufficient knowledge or experience with superannuation matters. Practitioners who regularly act in this area will agree that […]

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29 May 2015

A guide for beneficiaries

Table of contents20 frequently asked questions about being a beneficiary1 Who is a beneficiary?2 What is ‘an estate’?3 Who is an executor?4 What is the role of the executor?5 Do all the beneficiaries need to agree with decisions of the executor?6 Must an executor take on the responsibility?7 Who pays the executor?8 Who arranges the […]

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29 May 2015

A guide for executors

Table of contents18 frequently asked questions about being an executor.1 Who is an executor?2 What is ‘an estate’?3 Who is a beneficiary?4 What is the role of an executor?5 Must an executor take on the responsibility?6 Who arranges the funeral?7 What happens to the bodily remains?8 Should there be a reading of the will?9 What […]

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17 July 2014

Weather-proofing wills and estates

Table of contentsIntroductionMistakes in preparation of willsTestamentary capacityFamily provision claimsAdministration mistakesConflicts of interestChecklistsFamily provision claims Introduction Welcome to the first edition of Weather-proofing wills and estates. This booklet highlights the mistakes that are made by legal practitioners that lead to claims against them and offers recommendations on how to avoid those same mistakes. The claims […]

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