Weekly Snapshot Issue No: 10 – 14 December 2018

Case we are discussing…

Discretionary Trust are complex legal instruments that are often set up for two main reasons- tax purposes and asset protection.

Kennon v Spry; Spry v Kennon [2008] HCA 56 is a very important decision in discussing and considering the latter option in Family Law property proceedings.

This case revolved around the marital breakdown of Dr. Ian Spry, a retired barrister and Queen’s Counsel in the state of Victoria, and his wife, Mrs. Helen Spry. The parties were married for over 20 years and shared 4 children. Dr. Spry had established a discretionary trust in 1968, of which he was the settlor and trustee. The Trust Deed went through several variations, which somewhat reflected the state of Mr. Spry’s relationship to the trust.

One particular variation, which occurred post- separation, resulted in Dr. Spry removing Mrs. Spry from the Deed all together, and splitting the trust into four different trusts, each for the benefit of the four Spry children, with Dr. Spry and his friend, Mr. Kennon, as joint trustees.

Generally, trust assets do not fall within the definition of property of a party for the purposes of family law proceedings. However, one of the main considerations in this case was the degree of control the husband had over the trust. 

The High Court concluded that the degree of control that Dr. Spry had over the discretionary trust was a factor that established the trust assets’ as property of the marriage. This decision highlights the complexity of establishing a trust, and also exemplifies the Court’s wide power in the family law jurisdiction to dismantle trust structures for family law purposes and ensure that any division of property is fair and equitable.

Read the full case here: https://www.jade.io/article/86851?at.hl=kennon+and+spry  

Sydney getaway we’re obsessed with…

As much as we love the hustle & bustle of Sydney, we sometimes get the itch to just getaway. Nestled among the trees in the Wollemi Wilderness in Bilpin, you can stay at a Tree House fully decked out with a spa, kitchenette & fireplace. If staying grounded is more your thing, check out the Tee-Pee, enchanted cave or any of the cabins on site. With floor to ceiling windows in all facilities, this will most definitely be a memorable stay. 

For more info, contact Lionel: http://www.lovecabins.com.au/home.aspx

App we are loving…

We were recently introduced to the App Headspace. Headspace aims to make meditation accessible to everyone.

It does this through a smartphone app full of “guided meditations” — audio sessions where one of the company’s co-creators leads listeners on a journey of contemplation.

Headspace’s app is designed for mediation beginners. The App actually expects that you’ve never meditated before and that you may not understand the “point” of meditation practice. The goal is to teach you the foundational aspects of meditation in your first 10 days of using the app.

So, does it succeed? We would say Yes.

With options to pick a time that works for you, you will be reminded of your commitment to mediate and in the early days- the mediation will only last for 3 minutes, with the purpose being to stop your mind from wandering and teaching you to be in the moment.

We know the clichés and we were sceptics once upon a time too, but the benefits of mediation and gratitude (which will be discussed in another snapshot) are just too good not to share with you all. Give it a go! 3 Minutes is all that is asked of you and that 3 minutes will help carry you through the chaos that is our daily lives.

Download it via Itunes or Play Store. 

Netflix show we are binging on …

Now that holiday season is upon us, and some of us will be lucky enough to get time off, what should we be doing? Forget socialising (let’s be honest sometimes we need a break from humans)- try binging watching instead.

And what you should binge on you ask?

Well we suggest the British Crime series, Marcella.

The series focuses on both the professional and personal life of the main character, Marcella Backland.

Marcella is a former London detective, who decides to return to work and investigates an open case from 11 years ago involving an unidentified serial killer who appears to have become active again. In the midst of her return to work, Marcella also has to make sense of the breakdown of her 12 year marriage to the love of her life, after her Husband tells her of his decision to leave her.

The series will lead you into the psychology of Marcella and you will find yourself pressing play for next episode well into the early hours of the morning!

Life advice we are offering…

We are all works in progress.  We read and we explore and make genuine attempts to improve ourselves, and most days we are ok.

However, sometimes that voice of optimism is dimmed and that other voice – you know the voice- the one that tells you that you are not enough, that you are not tall enough, or skinny enough or smart enough … that you are just not enough- that voice is triumphant and you find yourself getting sucked into its darkness. Well you are not alone- we all have that voice. We all hear it. Some hear it daily, others not so much. The way to dim that voice is practice quietening it.

I ask you to consider these questions next time you contemplate giving into ‘the voice’. If that voice was a friend, a family member, a work colleague, another human separate to yourself, would you allow that person to be in your life? Would you answer their phone calls? or invite them over for dinner? I doubt it. You’d ignore their calls, block them on Facebook and change jobs to avoid them.

So, learn to quieten that voice and be kind to you- because no one deserves your kindness more than you do.

the way you speak to yourself

the way you degrade yourself

into smallness

is abuse

Rupi Kaur

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