I am very pleased to announce that I have again been successful in the election to be a member of the STEP Qld Committee.
In the past, I have been one of the members of the Newsletter sub-committee. In 2020, I will be the chair of that sub-committee.
The first newsletter has been distributed to members and it contains a link to a website in which are found all the 2019 Newsletter case notes. This is the first innovation that I have introduced and I hope it is well received.
I have also joined the lunchtime seminar sub-committee. The lunchtime seminars are part of the high calibre of informative events held by STEP Qld to inform members and guests on topics of interest to professionals working in areas involving Trusts and Estates. Although a large number of members are in the legal profession, it is pleasing to see a growing number of financial professionals joining.
The first lunchtime seminar is being held on 25 February 2020. The topic is "Estate Planning - All you need to know about varying trusts".
29-09-2019 to 02-10-2019
Family Law, Child Protection and Criminal Law Conference
I presented at this conference which was held in Hawaii late last year. I spoke about the issue of capacity of clients. In particular, my focus was on what "capacity" means in particular situations and what steps a lawyer can take if they are concerned about their client's capacity.
Cross Border Estates
In 2017, I undertook an Advanced Certificate in Cross Border Estates run through STEP. The course focused on the difficulties encountered in estates where assets may be located in different jurisdictions. Those difficulties include issues in determining which jurisdiction's law applies to the succession of individual assets (including the differences in Civil Law countries and Sharia Law countries) and the tax regime that might apply. I am pleased to announce that I obtained a distinction in the course.
Calvin v McTier  FamCAFC 125
This decision by the Full Court of the Family Court confirms that the treatment of property acquired post-separation is discretionary. This issue of property acquired after separation is one I find often arises in Family Law property disputes. This case is worth a read:
Re Nichol; Nichol v Nichol
 QSC 220
Another interesting Will case - in this instance, the Court found an unsent text message was a Will.
Radford v White  QSC 306
Continuing on the theme of interesting methods of creating a Will - in this case, it was declared that a video recording formed a Will.
Baker v Baker  QDC 92
In this case, the Judge gave some sage advice about the way evidence is required to be provided in applications for provision from estates and made some comments about my soapbox issue - costs.
Changes to the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld), the Powers of Attorney Act 1998 (Qld) and the Public Guardian Act 2014 (Qld)
On 26 March 2019, the Guardianship and Administration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was passed. A number of the provisions have not yet been proclaimed. It will provide further powers to both the Public Guardian (Qld) - by allowing any investigation started by them to continue even after an adult has died - and to QCAT - in a number of areas but in particular, in allowing the Tribunal to appoint an Administrator for a missing person and also allowing the Tribunal to order an administrator to pay compensation for loss. The changes were expected to commence at the end of March 2020 but it has now been delayed. The new commencement date is not yet available. You can read the Bill here: