In an ageing and growing population with life expectancy increasing, it is becoming more and more crucial to test someone's decision-making capacity in the making of Wills. The foundational test for testamentary capacity is found in the case of Banks v Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QB 549 which is a case from 150 years ago. In light of recent trends in the population and aged care living, it is essential to review whether the test set out in this case is still applicable, or whether a new test for capacity is needed to meet the current circumstances.
Estate Litigation concerns suits against the Estate of a deceased person, usually because they were passed over for an inheritance but also in relation to how the Estate is being managed or in relation to the validity of a Will.
The Succession Act 2006 (NSW) is the piece if legislation that deals fundamentally with the affairs of an individual surrounding the act of succession, that is passing of property to another.
The recent decision of Estate of the late James Sundell  NSWSC 1108 highlights the issues and complexities that surround making handwritten amendments to a Will after it has already been signed.
If you are concerned that a Will was signed in suspicious conditions, you are able to challenge it. The NSW Court of Appeal in its recent decision of Mekhail v Hana; Mekail v Hana  had reason to consider this question and identified the major legal principles to be considered for a suspicious Will.
There is much more to succession planning than simply putting in place a generic Will, and a Power of Attorney and Guardianship appointment document.
The sense of loss and grief after losing a loved one is heightened when the Executor seems to be unwilling or is unable to process the Will by applying for the grant of probate. A delay can see the assets devaluing.
A Testamentary Trust Will is used to give a legacy to one or more beneficiaries by utilising a trust for each beneficiary.
What is a Mutual Will?
There are key events for which people should immediately update their estate planning documents, such as a marriage, a death of a spouse, a breakdown of a marriage or a birth of a child. Without updating your will with these changes, they will not be considered when your will is executed.