A Rock Solid Legacy

Have you visited that little known, secret hide away modestly called the Garden of Stones?

With two profession photographers from Fairfax Media, Tia McIntrye (the Clique Event Organiser), and 14 other wannabe photographers I visited the Garden of Stones last weekend.  Just 2 1/2 hours from Sydney it’s a geological wonderland on the edge of Lithgow and is at the centre of a battle between the coal industry and local conservation groups.

Natural Pagodas

Natural Pagodas

According to those with the money it is an area of no historical, geographic or other important significance ….. not much good for anything except digging up.

I don’t judge, but invite you to have a think about it.

Below are a few snaps I took in my short visit.  If you haven’t been there…… do so …. but quickly.  I’d hate you to miss it.

Keep an eye open for a photo exhibition featuring the Garden of Stones in the next few months in Sydney’s CBD – not sure where yet, possible at Customs House.

If you want to know more contact the: Colong Foungation Website

…. and then there is the future of the mine workers … where is it?  It’s certainly not with their current industry which has a used by date that’s looming fast.  What are we doing for them?  Like the Gardens of Stone,  they too need some love and protection … perhaps,  alternate job opportunities.  The alternate energy sector  is a viable option for them … oops, I forgot our Prime Minister is sun struck and has layered the industry with a thick coat of greasy sunshine screen to shield it from growth.

We all have a role to play in protecting all from extinction: The Garden of Stones, mine workers and the alternate energy sector.

I ASK:

What legacy should we leave future generations ?

The Garden of Stones0876 The Garden of Stones0846 The Garden of Stones0807 The Garden of Stones0743 The Garden of Stones0737 The Garden of Stones0708 The Garden of Stones0416WHO AM I?

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.

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Disclaimer: this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.


Disputes over Wills – What are the main causes – Avoiding Will Disputes

A recent national survey revealed that over one third of Australians have experienced conflict over deceased estates.  Why ?  How can you minimise the risk? Read on….

The research conducted by Slater and Gordon Lawyers showed that the main causes of wills disputes are:
•  A sense that the assets were unfairly divided
•  The division of sentimental items, such as photos, letters or clothing
•  Differences of opinion around what the deceased would have wanted
•  The use of an asset such as a house
•  Unethical or unfair behaviour of the executor

The research also identified the main factors that could help minimise disputes:
•  Greater communication and clearer instructions while the person was still alive
•  A letter or video explaining their approach and reasoning
•  Those left behind adopting a less competitive approach to the distribution of assets

In my experience as an estate planning and asset protection lawyer, it is all too common for people to have Wills that do not clearly explain how and why their assets are to be divided. Uncertainly causes a great deal of added strain and stress on grieving family members …… what did s/he really mean is a question that resonates round the heads of those remaining behind, and the answers then to err on the negative.

Thank you to the copyright owner - home truths in a snapshot

Thank you to the copyright owner – home truths in a snapshot

To minimise the chances of a disharmony and dispute it is paramount that people clearly articulate in their wills how their assets are to be divided and communicate the reasons why to the family.  The earlier the better.  Sometimes a letter to the executor explaining their wishes can be very helpful.

The single most important thing is to avoid ‘surprises’ and ‘misunderstandings’ that arise when you have passed away.

Identify potential areas of dispute before you pass away, and address them yourself.   Communicate, communicate, communicate – before you pass away.  Don’t let your will be a grenade that you lob amongst your family from the other side.

Have individual meetings or even family meetings to explain yourself.  Just think – if you can’t resolve them when you are there to manage expectations, how do you think your family will resolve issues when you aren’t around? It’s not difficult to imagine what will occur.
Leave behind fond memories.   Don’t let your legacy be a family feud you created.

Have your will reviewed every three to five years to ensure it is current; and keep in mind that changed financial circumstances such as the acquisition or sale of an asset, births, deaths, marriages and divorces are just a few of the events that may require a will to be reviewed.

I’m a specialist estate planning lawyer + professional traveller + keen photographer + political observer. I like to share my experiences across all four devotions – often as a mixed lot. If you like this blog please subscribe for more.

 

I INVITE YOUR COMMENTS

If you have any comments about this blog or tips to add to this blog please do so – your comments and tips will help all of us in our travels.

Use the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right hand side of the blog (above my photo) to send a message to me.

Use the “Follow” link at the bottom of the column on the right to subscribe to this blog.

PLEASE SHARE THIS BLOG WITH PEOPLE YOU BELIEVE MAY BE INTERESTED

VISIT OTHER BLOGS 

Estate Planning Tip 1

Estate Planning Tip 2

Estate Planning Tip 3

OR

MY TRAVEL TIP SERIES: Click Here

WILLS FOR PETS ?:    Wills for Pets ?

 

MY INSTAGRAM

Disclaimer: this blog is of a general nature for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should seek specific help for their specific circumstances.


My Mate – The World’s Worst Photographer

My good friend George, a mate for over 40 years, is the world’s worst photographer. He is successful at every thing he has ever focused on – but ‘snaps’ just didn’t rank as a priority. He tried a dozen different cameras before he decided “it was him, not the tool”.

That all changed. A hiking trip in Nepal to the base camp at Mt Everest opened his eyes to the beauty around him. Capturing it on film was a piece of cake.

The turning point? What made the difference?

He took time to see what he was looking at. To observe the beauty and soak in vibe. Recording it just followed.
GM NepalGM Nepal-3GM Nepal

A bit like planning for the future.

First you need to take time to take stock. Look at what exists around you, and evaluate it. Appreciate the good bits and recognise the not so good bits – so you can manage and deal with them rather than ignore them.

They have a habit of coming back to haunt you, whether a health issue, relationship problem, business risk or other thorn in your virtual side – ignoring it won’t make it go away.

The most ignored aspects of our life are death, illness and potential lost of capacity through illness, accident or the ageing process.

Take a leaf out of George’s book, make a conscious effort to slow down, observe what is around you, record it and use your observations and captured memories to plan the rest of you journey.

Now George sees and captures beauty in almost everything he looks at. Then uses every skerrick of information to plan his next venture, his journey through life. So much so he’s taken the time to address those personal and financial issues necessary to enable him to continue to fulfill his dreams whilst he can…..and help his kids do likewise when he falls off his perch.

So…it’s easy for us all to improve our lives the way George improved his photos.

Start observing today, and plan for tomorrow.


Marriage kills Wills – National Survey Results

Are you aware how marriage affects your Will?

How about separation?

Find some surprising answers by viewing my blog at: Slater & Gordon Blog by Rod