Your Estate Lawyer client Sue

End Of Life Care

It never ceases to amaze me that in our fear of talking (or even thinking) about death, we’ve created a vacuum where we’re blindsided by how emotionally and physically taxing it is to care for someone who is dying. People often tell me they don’t want to burden their family with the messy, emotional heavy […]

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Estate Planning Vs Writing A Will

Your estate is the total of everything you own, including money, assets, investments, property and debts. Your will is the documentation that outlines what you want to happen to all of those things when you die. Whilst a will is an important tool, estate planning is about so much more than just making a will. […]

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Why would I want a Testamentary Trust?

Including a Discretionary Testamentary Trust in your will offers your beneficiaries more choice about how they receive their gift, whilst providing significant asset protection and tax advantages. Yet many people are unaware the process is as simple as setting up the ‘rules of the trust’ as part of their estate planning. How does a Testamentary […]

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End Of Life Care

It never ceases to amaze me that in our fear of talking (or even thinking) about death, we’ve created a vacuum where we’re blindsided by how emotionally and physically taxing it is to care for someone who is dying. People often tell me they don’t want to burden their family with the messy, emotional heavy […]

Estate Planning Vs Writing A Will

Your estate is the total of everything you own, including money, assets, investments, property and debts. Your will is the documentation that outlines what you want to happen to all of those things when you die. Whilst a will is an important tool, estate planning is about so much more than just making a will. […]

Why would I want a Testamentary Trust?

Including a Discretionary Testamentary Trust in your will offers your beneficiaries more choice about how they receive their gift, whilst providing significant asset protection and tax advantages. Yet many people are unaware the process is as simple as setting up the ‘rules of the trust’ as part of their estate planning. How does a Testamentary […]

Will I Need To Apply For A Grant Of Probate?

A Grant of Probate is recognition from the Supreme Court that a will is valid and that the person or people named in the Grant are authorised to deal with the estate. If the deceased doesn’t have a will an application for a Grant of Letters of Administration can be applied for by a lawyer […]

What Does An Executor Do?

An executor is the person (or people) nominated by a willmaker responsible for managing distribution of assets and carrying out directions when someone passes away. Below is a step-by-step guide of the duties of an executor.  1. Decide if you wish to take on the role of executor Being an executor is not just an […]

Before I Do An Estate Plan… Does My Life Need To Be In Order?

If you’re waiting until life settles down or you get all your ducks in a row before doing an estate plan. Chances are high you’ll die waiting. There’s no perfect time to write your will – except right now. Life has a way of turning out different to what we imagine. We see it all […]

Information For A Death Certificate

When completing the paperwork for a death certificate an innocent mistake, oversight, or incorrect information can have bigger consequences than you may think. When someone dies in South Australia, the funeral director will normally register their death with Births, Deaths and Marriages on behalf of the person’s family or friends. Deaths need to be registered […]

Business Estate Planning: Companies

As a business owner it’s vital you adequately plan for the future of your business and that means making sure your assets and operations are looked after if you become unwell, have an accident or die. Estate planning isn’t a nice to have for business owners. It’s an essential piece of equipment in your business […]

Death Chats: leaving a death letter isn’t brave

Using your will to name, shame or punish people who haven’t lived up to your expectations during your lifetime is cruel, heartless, and more often than not punishes the people you’re trying to reward as much as those you’re trying to write out. Even if you write a letter explaining why. There aren’t many people […]

The Conversation: talking to your family about your estate plan

It’s Christmas. Your family are gathered together for the first time in months. Maybe years. You’ve exhausted polite conversation about the weather, politics and the cost of the Christmas roast. It seems like the perfect opportunity to have The Conversation, whilst you have a captive audience. Whether you want to have a conversation with your […]

Estate Planning Glossary

So you’re trying to pull your death team together and you can’t figure out which bib (or gurnsey or badge) everyone gets…? We’ve pulled together a handy estate planning glossary so you can sort your PAs from your SBs. When it comes to your death team its important to understand which job is going to […]

Writing a Great Eulogy

So you’ve been asked to write a eulogy for a funeral or memorial. Before you launch into a CV that covers birth to death and everything in between we got together with a professional writer for a few tips on writing a great memorial speech. “Stories are the most powerful way to share values, connections […]

The Simple Solution To Estate Disputes

“No matter what happens, I don’t think it can hurt or be any worse than leaving your family to seek solutions to avoidable problems.” A friend recently told me she’d decided to put her big girl pants on and have a conversation with her widowed mother about being named a co-executor of her mum’s estate. […]

Charitable Bequests

Leaving a chartitable bequest or donation to a charity in your will is a powerful way to make a positive difference to a cause you believe strongly in. But is it as simple as simply writing your gift in your will? “Do you want to look like a hero after you’re dead? Or be a […]

SA Woman Awards 2022 Ceremony

SA Woman Award Emerging Business

Fiona Shilton has been awarded the SA Woman Emerging Business Woman award in recognition for her work changing the conversation around death, wills, and estate planning and creating a legal practice that focuses on kindness, care, and bravery. “We can only live our lives as fully as possible even if it is based on a […]

Business Estate Planning: Sole Trader

When you’re a Sole Trader it can feel impossible to separate yourself from your job. What most Sole Traders don’t realise is when it comes to the law, you and your job are entirely inseparable. When it comes to the law there is no distinction between you and your sole trader business. Being a sole […]

Collectibles: Trash or Treasure?

I’m not in the business of judging you for your urge to collect things. No matter how weird and wonderful it might be; autographs, radios, kettles, antique brooches, kewpie dolls or the more standard fare of stamps, artworks and coins. “I’ve never met anyone yet who isn’t deeply emotionally connected to their collections.” When it […]

Do You Really Want A Plain English Will?

If I had a dollar for every client who has asked me to “Please just write my will in plain English Fiona,” I’d have a few extra dollars a week to run through my accounting system.   “Whilst the language your will is written in doesn’t need to be decipherable to the untrained eye, the language […]

Safe Deposit Box

What to Keep in a Safe Deposit Box (and What Not to)

Are safe deposit boxes all they’re cracked up to be?  When it comes to hiding valuables I’ve heard it all; tin cans of cash buried in the backyard, diamonds stitched into the curtain hems, illegal items not just under the mattress but in the mattress. Everyone wants to keep their treasures safe.  “End-of-life wishes and […]

Strong Willed

Being Strong Willed In 5 Easy Steps

The world is full of people walking around feeling confident they’re winning at Adulting because they think they have a good will, when in actual fact they don’t.  Discover why being strong willed isn’t just about the piece of paper and how you can muscle up and make your will do the heavy lifting. “Good […]

This Is Your Life

When to Update Your Will

A fellow much wiser than me one said “Nothing is contant except change”. Our lives have a funny habit of changing. Given your will is designed to protect the people and things you love right now, it’s important to update your will so it matches your life.  Imagine for a moment I ask you to […]

Does Your Young Adult Need A Will

Estate Planning + Your Adult Children

What would your life look like if you couldn’t help your child or make decisions on their behalf when they really need you to?  Many parents are shocked to discover once their young person turns 18 they are legally no longer able to step in as a substitue decision maker if they became unwell or […]

If you love someone. Let everyone know.

Brendan died of a massive heart attack in May 2021.  He was 51 years old.  He left behind adult children, an ex-wife and his partner of 4-years Cherie. This is Cherie’s story. “Just when I didn’t think I would find true love and a forever partner Brendan walked out the door towards me and I […]

Burial Place

Deciding On Your Final Resting Place

Destination Final You’ve decided to be cremated but you figure your loved ones can decide where they’d prefer your final resting place to be.  That would be the most caring thing to do right?  Maybe not. When faced with a menu of Goodbye options families often struggle to make the decision about where to scatter […]

Do It Yourself

DIY Wills Suck

Online Wills and DIY Will Kits have long been heralded as a saviour for the time-poor (or just poor in general).  But are they all they’re cracked up to be? Everything you need to know before you DIY your will. I often get asked what I think of DIY wills.  I used to be too […]

Testamentary Guardians

Appointing A Testamentary Guardian

Appointing a Testamentary Guardian in your will means you have control over who makes decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to look after your children. Like every parent I know, my kids are my world. I was lucky enough to get five of them, in two batches. In 1998, my daughter […]

Fiona Shilton Estate Lawyer Wills Adelaide

Estate Planning Is Kindness

Estate Planning built on time and kindness   This is the story of the woman who helped me become a lawyer. The woman who showed me the work I do in estate planning is a valuable and vital gift to my community. Earlier this year the death of my Nana hit me hard. She was one […]

Good will making

How To Write A Good Will

My estate plan is a constant work in progress. Which is what makes it good. My estate plan is a constant work in progress.  Not because I don’t have my s**t in a pile but because I don’t want to just leave a will.  I want to leave a good will. A good will plans […]

Estate Planning with kindness and compassion

The Perfect Time For Estate Planning

When it comes to estate planning, done is better than perfect. If you’re anything like me, perfectionism can stop you from getting things done.  Getting your roots touched up, folding your laundry, getting that box of stuff out of your boot and into the op shop – and of course top of most people’s list […]

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