6 May 2020

Will challenges set to spike

It is no secret that the global pandemic we are currently enduring has made many contemplate their own mortality. A great many of us have been thinking a lot about the “What if’s”– what if I pass away? Or what if I lose the ability to make key decisions for myself through injury, illness and […]

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9 April 2020

The virus exposing the risks of no estate plan

As an estate planning lawyer, I see two kinds of people in this world: those who take control of their legacy during their lives, and those who hope that everything will somehow just fall in place by pure luck. I can tell you with millimetre-perfect accuracy which of the two leaves behind a well-considered and […]

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2 December 2019

What is Lawyer Client Privilege and why is it so important?

Lawyer client privilege is a unique and special relationship of confidentiality owed by a lawyer to their client. What is said between a lawyer and their client, in any but the most unusual circumstances, is completely confidential. Sometimes people forget that the lawyers’ office is just like the legendary cone of silence – you cannot […]

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29 April 2019

Billionaire Aldi family bun fight

Another day, another billionaire family fighting over a fortune and a bitter Will dividing them. It’s reported widely that Cacilie Albrecht, recently deceased 92 year old matriarch of on half of the enormous Aldi Shopping Market fortune – estimated net worth more than $55 billion – has left a Will that makes some pretty scathing […]

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5 March 2019

Cut the financial cord with your family, or not?

Have you or haven’t you cut the financial cord with your family? This is the question asked in this illuminating piece in the New York Times today  This article points out some remarkable pathways that open up based on the level of dependence of an adult child. In estate planning we see this routinely.  More […]

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14 January 2019

The tribal psychology of Will contests

I spend quite a bit of my working day in a very contentious environment. I may be acting for one side of a family who are defending a Will against an attack by another family member, or I may be on the attacking side, trying for one or more aggrieved family members to fix a […]

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20 October 2018

The Mac in trouble

Fleetwood Mac have a well known turbulent history – 43 years of platinum hits and blockbuster world tours netting each band member a place in the rock ‘n roll pantheon and enormous fortunes. Their tortuous bust ups and divorces have until now only resulted in solid gold hit songs of heartbreak and lost love. But […]

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12 June 2018

Brady Bunch version 2.0

If only all blended families were are harmonious as the innocuous and disarmingly pleasant Brady Bunch. There are so many complex dynamics that are unique to the blended family – balancing provision for a second spouse against that for children from the first marriage, keeping step-children provided for who are often dependent and preventing favouritism […]

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7 June 2018

What we do now echoes in eternity

We talk a lot about the concept of legacy – what you leave behind. And it is more than houses, and cars and bank accounts, although those things matter greatly to those who inherit them. Legacy is about the footprints you leave on this planet – the mark you have made. Sometimes it is powerful […]

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23 May 2018

The rise of the machines

Every day I seem to see a new article about how artificial intelligence (AI) will make most professions, lawyers included, redundant. I recall reading Richard Susskind’s fascinating bestseller ‘The End of Lawyers’ about 10 years ago.  Susskind, a ‘futurist’, was even then predicting the demise of lawyers as computer power continued to expand and lower level […]

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