The Family Court: Implications for Structuring and Estate Planning

On 3 December 2008 the High Court delivered judgement in the case of Spry & Kennon [2008] HCA 56 and the shock waves continue to radiate. This case further strengthens my view that the Family Court is the most powerful Court in this country and is well placed to deal with the many, varied and complex arrangements of Australians in today’s society. The Court’s ability to also make orders affecting the rights of third parties creates significant uncertainty for families and businesses contemplating succession and estate planning.

In this paper, I will briefly summarise the approach of the Family Court to determine financial matters between couples who have separated and the impact on your ability to offer estate and succession advice to your clients.

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