Blog

  • What happens to frozen embryos in the event of the breakdown of a relationship?

    Our interest was piqued recently in relation to the issue of what happens to frozen embryos in the event of the breakdown of a relationship. This was in light of the recent Sofia Vegara and Nick Loeb matter in the United States in which Loeb is suing Vegara for control of two frozen embryos. In that matter, Vegara alleges that Loeb signed a contract allowing the embryos to be destroyed in the event of the breakdown of their relationship; however, Loeb claims that destroying the embryos would be contrary to his pro-life values and that he was pressured into signing the contract.

  • “Let me Breathe” by Colleen Hewett

    Our John McKell was recently involved in the establishment of The Rotary initiative charity – Violence Free Families who supported the production of Colleen Hewett’s new single “Let me Breathe”.

  • Statutory Will authorised for severely disabled child

    A Court may authorise a Will to be made on behalf of a person who does not have capacity to make a Will on their own, due to lack of capacity. These are commonly referred to as “statutory Wills”.

    The Court will authorise the Will if it is satisfied that the proposed Will accurately reflects the likely intentions of the person if he or she had testamentary capacity.

  • Employer blocked from compelling former employees to hand over documents

    What to be aware of if you suspect former employees have obligations regarding your business’ confidential information

     

  • Successful claim for provision by adult son in small estate

    Gabriele v Gabriele [2015] VSC 115

    In the recent case of Gabriele v Gabriele [2015] VSC 115, the deceased died leaving two sons, the Plaintiff and the Defendant. Her estate consisted only of a half share in a property which was co-owned with the Defendant, valued at $250,000. In her Will, the deceased left her entire estate to the Defendant.

    The Defendant had made substantial financial contributions to the acquisition of the property, and cared for the deceased for many years while she was ill.

  • Gender Dysphoria: The Family Court’s approach to cases relating to transgender children

    Gender Dysphoria is a diagnosis given to persons who have the biological and physical characteristics of one sex, but identify themselves emotionally and mentally as being the opposite sex. People whom have been diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria often report feeling a lack of identification with their biological sex from a very young age. 

  • Superannuation » Binding Death Benefit Nomination declared invalid

    The Supreme Court of Queensland, in its recent decision in Munro v Munro [2015] QSC 61, has found that a binding death benefit nomination was invalid, essentially due to incorrect terminology in the description of the nominated beneficiary. 

    Mr Munro died in August 2011, and was survived by his wife, and two daughters from a previous marriage.

  • Appeal no longer a right to the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal for Civil Cases

    Kennedy v Shire of Campaspe [2015] VSCA 47

    The new civil appeals regime adopted by the Victorian Supreme Court in November of 2014 requires that leave to appeal be obtained in almost all cases regardless of whether the decision is final or interlocutory.

    The relevant rule is found in s14A(1) of the Supreme Court Act 1986 (“the Act”) which provides that subject to the exclusions contained in ss(2):

  • The benefits of settlement offers in VCAT proceedings

    The general rule under s 109(1) of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (“the Act”) is that each party bears its own costs as the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“VCAT”) is a no costs jurisdiction.

  • Facebook introduces new Legacy Contact feature

    Often a person’s online presence/reputation is one of their most valuable assets, yet there are insufficient guidance/procedures for a deceased person’s online accounts to be managed after death. There is no uniform law in relation to online accounts, and each individual website/organisation will have its own requirements for passing control of such accounts, if any exist.