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Divorce, death and aging - What happens when one spouse dies? presentation


In late 2012, the High Court of Australia delivered a landmark judgment on the rights of an estate of a deceased person to still claim a family law property settlement from the surviving spouse. The case reflects the increasing use of family law proceedings by adult children of blended families seeking to 'protect' their inheritance.

This presentation provides you with an update on the ramifications of the High Court's decision in Stanford, and how it impacts on the family law rights of surviving spouses, ageing couples and blended families. It discuss the key issues for advisors to be aware of when dealing with separated clients and ageing couples.

In addition to entitlements to a family law property settlement after the death of one spouse, it also discusses the law relating to the care of children when one parent dies. Blended families are increasingly common, and this presentation addresses the often competing rights and responsibilities of biological parents and step-parents.

Author profile

Wendy Kayler-Thomson
Wendy is a partner of Forte Family Lawyers and has practised exclusively in family law for twenty years. Wendy is accredited as a Family Law Specialist by the Law Institute of Victoria. Wendy is also the Deputy Chair of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the peak representative body for family lawyers in Australia. In that role she has been actively involved in many of the Executive's activities including submissions to the Commonwealth Government on changes to family law, regular meetings with representatives of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's department and the Courts, and presenting at Family Law Section conferences and seminars for family lawyers around the country. Wendy is the Deputy Editor of Australian Family Lawyer, the national journal for family lawyers. - Current at 01 November 2013


This was presented at Estate and Succession Planning Masterclass .

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