New Requirements for Vendor Statements

New Requirements for Vendor Statements by Jacqui Brauman Yet another amendment to section 32 of the Sale of Land Act has been introduced and is due to commence on 1 October 2014. This section requires vendors to provide a vendor statement to prospective purchasers before they sign a contract. For solicitors, it is a total […]

Family Violence Intervention Orders

Family Violence Intervention Orders by Matthew Elvin. Family Violence Intervention Orders are intended to protect family members who are affected by family violence from the perpetrator of the violence. “Family violence” includes behaviour between family members which causes a family member to be fearful for his or her safety or wellbeing. It can include threats, physical abuse, […]

Small Business Succession

Small Business Succession Small business succession planning is vital, both to take control of your business’  future and to increasing its value. Most importantly, with succession planning, is the contingency plan – so that if something happens to us, we don’t leave our family and employees in the lurch. Contact us to arrange a chat […]

Solicitors Acting as Executors

Solicitors Acting as Executors If you don’t feel like you have anyone appropriate to appoint as your executor in your will, then you may look to appoint a trustee company, such as the State Trustees, or another professional, such as the solicitor preparing your Will. The office of executor is generally gratuitous. However, the Supreme […]

Baby-Boomer Retirement and Business Succession

Baby-Boomer Retirement and Business Succession In 2013, RMIT University completed a report based on a survey of 5,000 randomly selected Australian small businesses. It showed that: the average age of the owners was 58 the proportion of owners who were 65 or older was 25% within Australia, Victoria accounted for 35% of the firms (NSW/ACT […]

Recovering Debts from Companies

Recovering Debts from Companies by Matthew Elvin If a company has failed to pay you or your business a sum greater than $2,000 by the due date, one of the first things you should consider is whether to issue a Statutory Demand for Payment of a Debt (“a Statutory Demand”). At first glance, Statutory Demands […]

Family Farm Succession Planning

Family Farm Succession Planning Farmers and primary producers who run livestock or grow crops or use their rural properties to engage in the manufacture of products (such as grape growers and dairy farmers) covers a broad range of people with special needs. One of the most common examples of the challenges facing family farm succession […]

Death and Taxes: the Basics

Death and Taxes: the Basics by Jacqui Brauman I often get asked if “probate still exists”. Yes, probate still exists, but probate is not a tax. Essentially, a grant of probate is the authorisation an executor gets from the Supreme Court once a Will has been proved and allows an executor to deal with estate […]

What do Consumer Guarantees cover?

What do Consumer Guarantees cover? In Australia, most consumer transactions are now covered by the national Australian Consumer Law legislation (“the ACL”). The ACL is designed to protect consumers and to ensure fair trading. Under the ACL, suppliers and manufacturers automatically provide guarantees about certain goods they sell, hire or lease, and services they provide […]

Family Trust Succession

Family Trust Succession Your family discretionary trust was probably set up by your accountant with the primary purpose being tax and income flexibility. As you age, your priorities will change, and if you are looking at a succession plan for your family trust (particularly if your business is run in your family trust), then your […]

Consumer Guarantees – What does a supplier guarantee?

Consumer Guarantees – What does a supplier guarantee? by Matthew Elvin Last week I explained what the Consumer Guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law (“the ACL”) are and when they apply. This week I detail the guarantees that a supplier must provide a consumer under the ACL. Firstly, a supplier guarantees a number of things […]

Consumer Guarantees – what services are guaranteed?

Consumer Guarantees – what services are guaranteed? I have recently written about the Consumer Guarantees that suppliers provide to consumers under the Australian Consumer Law generally, and, in particular, in relation to the supply of goods. In this article, I discuss the Consumer Guarantees as they apply to services and service suppliers. Firstly, a supplier […]

Charities in Your Will

Charities in Your Will by Jacqui Brauman Australians are a giving nation, with a long proud history of charitable giving – ranging from modest gifts on flag days to charitable trusts whose endowments now measure in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Many well-know charitable trusts have been established by Wills. These include Archibald Prize […]

Are “No Refund” Signs Legal?

Are “No Refund” Signs Legal? In recent articles I have written about Consumer Guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law (“the ACL”). If you have not already read these articles, I encourage you to do so, especially if you are interested in what Consumer Guarantees are and when they apply. In this article I discuss “No […]

Family members who are vulnerable or have a disability

Family members who are vulnerable or have a disability by Jacqui Brauman When any of our family members are gamblers, alcoholics, drug-users, bankrupts or have a severe disability, we may be reluctant to leave a direct legacy to them in our Will out of fear of it being wasted or abused. But we shouldn’t avoid […]

Estate Proceeds Trusts: A Case Study

Estate Proceeds Trusts: A Case Study by Jacqui Brauman In this example, Sara’s husband Tim has died in an accident. They have two primary school aged children, Michael and Melissa. Tim and Sara had prepared Wills a few years prior, when the children were still very young. They were basic Wills, which simply ensured that […]

Repairs and Spare Parts

Repairs and Spare Parts by Matthew Elvin Under the Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”), manufacturers and importers are required to guarantee the availability of repairs and spare parts to consumers for a ‘reasonable’ time. That is, they must take all reasonable steps to provide spare parts and repair facilities (such as a place that can fix […]

What is a trust?

What is a trust? by Jacqui Brauman This is a complex area, because there are many forms that a trust can take. I have previously prepared a downloadable fact sheet on this website about trusts, too, so that would be worthwhile looking at. Basically, a trust exists when someone holds property for the benefit of […]

Consumer remedies under consumer law

Consumer remedies under consumer law by Matthew Elvin In recent articles I have written about the consumer guarantees that suppliers of goods and services must provide consumers, as well as the remedies available when a guarantee is breached. In this article I discuss the circumstance where a supplier has breached a guarantee, but the consumer […]

Succession of family trusts

Succession of family trusts by Jacqui Brauman So you have been running your business or your property investment portfolio in your family trust. But you’re now wanting to retire, or at least know that if you take a step back, that the whole thing won’t collapse. You’re at a crossroads, and you need a succession […]

8 Tips to Buying Real Estate

8 Tips to Buying Real Estate by Jacqui Brauman It may be your first time buying a property, or you may have done it before but not taken much personal responsibility for the process. But now, you want to be more in control, have more certainty, and not be at the mercy of other people. […]

Wills for minors

Generally, you need to be eighteen years old (no longer a minor) to make valid Will. Unless the court helps you make a will for minors.

The Ins and Outs of Splitting Superannuation

Whether a superannuation split is to occur under an agreement or a court order, the first step is always to find out the relevant information of the parties’ superannuation fund(s).

Mutual Wills

It’s easy for them to make mirror image Wills, but a Mutual Will Agreement might be more appropriate for you.

How Much Does a Will Cost?

Asking “how much does a Will cost?” is a lot like asking “how much does a house cost?”. There is no simple answer. The cost of a Will is dependant on a number of factors.

Are you entitled to Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is when one party to a broken down relationship is legally required to provide financial support to (or ‘maintain’) the other for a period of time after their relationship ends.

I received a lump sum – will I get it back after separation?

“Direct financial contributions” are essentially any lump sum of money received during the relationship, such as worker’s compensation, inheritance and lottery winnings. As a basic rule, if you received a lump sum of money during the relationship then this will be Lump sum after separationconsidered your ‘contribution’.

7 Reasons To Have A Will

There is no obligation to make a Will, but having a Will offers many benefits, both financial and personal. Here are some reasons to have a will.