Our Legal Services
A valid will is one of the most important documents a person will sign.
It gives the persons intentions as to what will happen to their estate when they pass away. If a person dies intestate (without a will) the estate is distributed in accordance with certain rules and the deceased person's intentions may not be acknowledged.
The preparation and signing of a will does not mean the person is going to die immediately- it merely puts in place their requirements and intentions for the distribution of their estate.
It should be noted that a divorce or marriage nullifies any will executed prior to that occurrence.
Many people request that someone else be authorised to sign documents on their behalf.
This is done through the execution of a power of attorney for a financial matter.
A power of attorney is not a document to be entered into lightly. It gives extensive authority to the person appointed. The attorney may withdraw money from that person's bank account or transfer property on behalf of the person- however they must be seen to be acting in the best interests of the person on whose behalf they are signing.
The power of attorney may be revoked at any time provided the person has the mental capacity to exercise their rights to revocation.
When a person passes away, their estate must be administered and settled.
This is usually done by obtaining a Grant of Probate depending on the total value of the estate. All assets and liabilities are included and the provisions of the Will are followed to ensure distribution of the assets are in accordance with the deceased’s wishes.
An enduring guardian is a person you appoint to make your personal or medical decisions if you should lose the ability to decide for yourself because of a disability.
Generally, if a person loses ability to make decisions, decisions are still made by family or carers. Usually these arrangements work well, completing an Enduring Guardianship will give you certainty regarding the person who makes decisions for you.
You may also want to ensure that your wishes are known and followed. It is wise to choose someone you trust who will be decisive and who will be a good advocate for you.
The appointment of your enduring guardian takes effect only if you become unable to make your own medical or personal decisions.
Your enduring guardian can then communicate your wishes on your behalf after you have lost the ability to communicate.
Your enduring guardian would make your medical and lifestyle decisions.
These could include what medical treatment you have, whether you live in your own home or a nursing facility. He or she could decide who visits you and what personal services you receive, such as home support or meals on wheels.
Your enduring guardian is legally bound to:
- Follow your specific directions.
- Act in your best interests.
- Ensure that decisions about your life promote your dignity and freedom as much as possible.
Family law is an area of the law which deals with family related issues and de-facto relations including:
- Marriage and de-facto relationships.
- Issues arising throughout the marriage or de-facto relationship including spousal abuse, and child contact issues.
- Termination of a relationship including Divorce, Property Settlements, Child
If you want to buy or sell a home, land or investment property you’ll have to sign a contract. The legal work involved in preparing the sales contract, mortgage and other related documents, is called conveyancing.
When you sell your home by private treaty, you set a price and the property is listed for sale at that price. In general, the price is negotiable with the seller often asking a higher amount than they expect to sell the property for, and the buyer making an initial offer much lower than the asking price.
The process of a sale by private treaty offers the following benefits:
- greater control over the sale
- time to consider offers by potential purchasers
- the ability to extend the time for which your home is for sale indefinitely
- potential purchasers must make offers for your property 'blind', without knowing what other buyers think it is worth.
- Selling privately is often just as tense as a public auction, and you will be faced with important decisions when you are presented with offers which are lower than your asking price.
- There are risks with selling by private treaty which also should be considered:
- if the price you set is too high, your property may not sell
- if the price you set is too low, you may miss out on maximising the selling price.
You should also be aware that when a property is sold by private treaty, the buyer has a five day cooling-off period during which they may withdraw from the sale.
The conveyancing process can involve the following steps:
- arranging building and pest inspections
- examining a strata inspection report if the property is part of a strata scheme
- arranging finance if necessary
- examining and exchanging the contract of sale
- paying the deposit
- arranging payment of stamp duties
- preparing and examining the mortgage agreement
- checking if there are outstanding arrears or land tax obligationsfinding out if any government authority has a vested interest in the land or if any planned development could effect the property (eg. local council, Sydney Water, Roads and Traffic Authority)
- finding out any information that may not have been previously disclosed such as a fence dispute or illegal building work
- calculating adjustments for council and water rates for the property settlement
- overseeing the change of title with the Land and Property Information NSW
- completing any final checks prior to settlement
- attending settlement.
Criminal law is the body of rules with the potential for severe impositions as punishment for failure to comply. Criminal punishment, depending on the offence and jurisdiction, may include execution, loss of liberty, government supervision (parole or probation), or fines. Criminal law typically is enforced by the government, unlike the Civil Law, which may be enforced by private parties. Criminal law is the principal means by which the government identifies and criminalizes behavior that is considered wrong, damaging to individuals or to society as a whole or is otherwise unacceptable.
The criminal justice system is the mechanism by which action is taken to deal with those suspected of committing offences. The criminal justice system refers to the whole process from the initial investigation of a crime through to acquittal or to conviction and sentence in the criminal courts.