what is probate?

What is probate?

What is probate? by Jacqui Brauman I’m quite often asked: what is probate? A lot of people think that it is a tax, and that it’s an amount that is paid depending on how big the estate is. Wrong. Probate is just a process of proving that a Will is valid, and having a legal […]

estate planning

Is Estate Planning Just For The Elderly?

Is Estate Planning Just for the Elderly? by Jacqui Brauman Is estate planning just for the elderly? Simple answer: NO. But the problem is that whilst it’s important for everyone, those that are busy never seem to get around to it. Getting your affairs in order may be on your ‘list of things to do’ […]

parenting plans

Parenting Plans, Parenting Orders and Children’s Issues

Parenting Plans, Parenting Orders and Children’s Issues When setting out arrangements for children, separated parties have the option of obtaining parenting orders (by agreement if possible) or entering into a less formal parenting plan. Whatever you choose, the first recommendation is always that parties attempt to reach an agreement on their own and if successful, […]

Chinese walls

Acting for Both Parties, Information Barriers & Proverbial Chinese Walls …

Acting for Both Parties, Information Barriers & proverbial Chinese Walls…  by Rochelle Manderson This is an interesting area of law, so a warning to all those avid readers who have been following my blogs over the past months, this one contains some relevant case law AND reference to Conduct Rules … and Chinese walls. You […]

SMSF and stamp duty

SMSF and Stamp Duty

SMSF and Stamp Duty by Elizabeth Romeril Purchasing property in the name of a self-managed superannuation fund (‘SMSF’) can be advantageous, depending on your financial circumstances. You should always get advice from a financial planner before commencing an SMSF and advice from your accountant before purchasing assets on behalf of your SMSF to ensure your […]

voluntary assisted dying

7 Things to Know About Voluntary Assisted Dying

7 Things to Know About Voluntary Assisted Dying by Jacqui Brauman Victoria was the first state in Australia to introduce a form of voluntary assisted dying, and the legislation begins in 2019. Voluntary assisted dying means having a substance administered after making a conscious choice that the otherwise dying person wants to be in control […]

First Home Owner

First Home Owners

First Home Owners by Elizabeth Romeril The availability of the First Home Owners Grant (‘FHOG’) to first time buyers is well known. Your eligibility for this grant will depend on the requirements applicable at the point in time when you sign a Contract of Sale, and these are subject to change. Currently, the FHOG is […]

duties and powers of executors

Duties and Powers of Executors

Duties and powers of executors by Jacqui Brauman An executor is the person appointed in a Will to administer the estate after the Will-maker dies. The executor is also known as the “legal personal representative”, and their role converts to the trustee of the estate, particularly if any of the estate is to be held […]

without prejudice

Without Prejudice …

Without Prejudice … How nice! by Rochelle Manderson ‘Without Prejudice’ … it is such a lovely thought, and then there is ‘Without Prejudice, Save as to Costs’ … how poetic. These are legal terms used during the process of negotiation and possible litigation matters, and their meaning is far more complex than they first appear. […]

business structure

Own Your Business Structure

Own Your Business Structure A quick and easy way to assess how you want to run your business by Jacqui Brauman The right structure for you could depend on a lot of different factors: your goals, your current business size, the size of business that you want to have, how many owners there are, and […]

make a claim against a will

Learn How To Make A Claim Against A Will

Learn how to make a claim against a Will (or how to avoid one) by Jacqui Brauman Since a couple of years ago, Victoria has had narrow categories of people who are allowed to make a claim against a Will. If you are a spouse, child (adult or minor), step-child, spouse of a deceased child, […]

husband wife land transfer

Stamp Duty for Spouses

Stamp Duty for Spouses by Elizabeth Romerill The transfer of property between spouses is a transaction that takes place routinely. Whether it is to achieve taxation benefits or to put in place effective estate planning, it is important to consider the possible stamp duty implications of such a transfer before proceeding. Previously, any transfer between […]

when should i get a lawyer?

When Should I Get A Lawyer?

When should I get a lawyer? by Lajita Allan-Agnew There are really very few legal situations in which you will not need legal advice, at least, and others when you would be foolish not to get one. Examples of when you can do without a lawyer are for small claims court, lawsuits that you do […]

family farms

Stamp Duty and Farms

Stamp Duty and Farms by Elizabeth Romerill The State Revenue Office recently made changes to the exemptions and concessions available for the amount of stamp duty payable when you purchase a property. Over the next few weeks we will explain some of the exemptions and concessions that are now available and how that could affect […]

medical power of attorney

Medical Power of Attorney

Medical Power of Attorney by Jacqui Brauman The Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical Treatment) (medical power of attorney) in Victoria has been replaced under new laws that I introduced here. We now have an Appointment of a Medical Treatment Decisions Maker instead. Along with a change in the term of the person who can make […]

elder abuse

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: 15 June

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by Jacqui Brauman The International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse declared 15 June to be World Elder Abuse Aware Day back in 2006. Maybe because of increasing awareness, the Australian Law Reform Commission finally tabled a report on Elder Abuse in Australia in June 2017, and how the legal […]

security deposit

Security Deposits … or is that a Bond?

Security Deposits … or is that a Bond? by Rochelle Manderson Mention the word ‘Bond’ to any stranger on the street and they will no doubt respond with the numbers 007, but ask a lawyer the same thing, and we will immediately be thinking ‘security deposit’. So what is a security deposit? And when is […]

lodge a caveat

Do I Need to Lodge a Caveat After Separation?

Do I Need to Lodge a Caveat After Separation? by Lajita I am separated from my partner/spouse, “do I need to lodge a caveat on our property?”. A caveat on real property serves to warn anyone dealing with that property that someone has a priority interest in that property. It is a common occurrence in […]

cut someone out of your will

How To Cut Someone Out of Your Will

How to Cut Someone Out of Your Will by Jacqui Brauman I’ve had a few more people than usual who have asked how to cut one of their children out of their Will. My answer is: you can’t with absolute certainty. In Australia, you have testamentary freedom, which is the freedom to make whatever Will […]

Power of attorney

Enduring Power of Attorney

Enduring Power of Attorney by Jacqui Brauman An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you (the Donor) to appoint someone (the Attorney) to decisions on your behalf. The powers to make decisions are very broad, in the areas of financial decisions, legal decisions and personal decisions. You can select different people to make decisions for you […]


Services and the Australian Consumer Laws

Services … and the Australian Consumer Laws by Rochelle Manderson We have some previous blogs that describe some of the Australian consumer laws (‘ACL’) regarding the sale of goods, but what about the provision of services? The ACL includes three consumer guarantees that apply to the provision of services, and like the consumer guarantees regarding […]

nominating a beneficiary for your super

Nominating a Beneficiary for your Superannuation

Nominating a Beneficiary for your Superannuation Superannuation is often one of biggest assets, particular when the life insurance component is taken into account. Yet, the superannuation companies don’t make it clear enough about how to ensure that those funds go to the right people if something happens to us. A nomination form needs to be […]

superannuation split

Splitting your Superannuation After Separation

Splitting your Superannuation after Separation by Lajita When a marriage or de facto relationship breaks down, the asset pool can be divided between the parties. Superannuation is treated as property under the Family Law Act 1975 but it differs from other types of property because it is held in a trust. Splitting does not convert […]

drafting a will that works

Insider Secrets About Drafting A Will That Works

Insider secrets about drafting a Will that works by Jacqui Brauman It’s the little things that make all the different, and in the language of estate planning and Will drafting, every word has a meaning or interpretation that is based on hundreds of years of precedent. It’s not a simple process, and there are plenty […]

medical treatment decision maker

New laws: Medical Treatment Decision Maker

New laws: Medical Treatment Decision Maker by Jacqui Brauman Today, the 12 March 2018, some laws in Victoria have changed. Gone is the legislation the used to allow the appointment of a medical power of attorney. However, all Enduring Powers of Attorney (Medical Treatment) completed prior to today, will remain valid. The new legislation is […]

Oscar's law

Pet Registration, “Oscar’s Law”, and What it Means For You

Pet Registration, “Oscar’s Law”, and What it Means for You By Rochelle Manderson The popularity of dogs and cats as domestic pets is well documented, and for many people, the pets they share their lives with are important members of their family.  It is estimated that there are over 4 million dogs in Australia, whilst […]

How to Control Your Legal Fees

How to Control Your Legal Fees by Lajita Allan-Agnew Depending on who you talk to, legal experiences can range from horror stories to feel-good movies. The genre of your legal experience as well as the reality of legal fees is however, to a large extent, within your control. Is there an alternative to going to […]

fit for purpose

Fit for Purpose?

Fit for Purpose? by Rochelle Manderson It may seem very basic, but if you purchase an item it should be fit for the purpose it was designed for, right??? The following article continues our series on the Australian Consumer Law, and how this very simple idea is enshrined in our law so that goods that […]

when parents die

Case Study – Young Parents Die

Case Study – Young Parents Die The facts Daniel and Jennifer were high school sweethearts who met again in their mid-twenties and never stopped their romance. They married within 12 months of meeting again, and worked on their careers for a few years, also buying a house. Jennifer is a nurse and Daniel works for […]


A Complete ‘How To’ for Appointing Guardians for Your Children

A Complete ‘How To’ for Appointing Guardians for Your Children So you’ve taken the time to consider who will be the best people in your lives to appoint as guardians in your Will. You’ve taken the step to make a Will, or at least made an appointment with a solicitor to get the process started. […]

acceptable quality

Acceptable Quality for Goods

Acceptable Quality for Goods by Rochelle Manderson Avid readers of our resources page will recall the introductory article on the Australian Consumer Law. It listed the nine consumer guarantees, and discussed what constitutes a major failure. This article outlines the first of the nine guarantees –  that goods are of acceptable quality. The acceptable quality […]

conveyancing in 2018

Conveyancing in 2018

Conveyancing in 2018 There have been a lot of changes over the last 12-18 months in the world of conveyancing. The introduction of electronic settlements on the PEXA platform (and the push for all settlements to occur this way) has had wider impacts. Transfers The forms at Land Victoria have all changed, and because many […]