4 Quarterly 2013 - Issue 3

Posted on 21 August 2013

How Well Would Your Heirs Manage Their Inheritance?

You’ve managed over your life to accumulate a sizeable estate made up of a variety of investments. You have worked hard to build your portfolio but now have a dilemma. If something happened to you, how well would your heirs manage their inheritance?

Young people of today are following life and career paths which are quite different to that of baby boomers and their parents. Leaving home later, travelling and starting in steady employment later. This being said, it would be a shame to see your hard earned investment frittered away and wasted by young people who have not settled into a lifestyle pattern which would see them appreciate and benefit from a significant inheritance.

With well thought out Estate Planning however, you could put into place a staggered distribution to your beneficiaries. Through a trust, should you pass away when they are still teenagers or even in their 20’s or 30’s, the proceeds could be held and managed for them until the age you deemed suitable for the distribution to take place.

If you believe a Trust could suit your Estate Planning needs, speak with Dooley & Associates about setting up a Trust which could manage your estate until the age you believe you would want your beneficiaries to benefi t from the full value of their inheritance.

Dos and Dont’s of Buying a Property

If you are in the market for a new property, here are some tips to ensure you are ready to strike:

1. DO get finance approval from your lending institution before you start negotiating

2. DO make sure that you ensure you have sufficient finance to cover additional costs required to purchase a property

3. DO your Pest, Building and Strata Inspection reports.

4. DO make sure your solicitor is available at short notice to discuss any urgent matters

5. DO get your solicitor to review any contract BEFORE you attend the auction or BEFORE you sign it or BEFORE cooling off expires (at the very least!).

6. DO NOT attend any Auction without a full loan approval.

7. DO NOT bid above your maximum available funds if attending an Auction.

8. DO NOT rely on word of mouth warranties on a property, from the Agent or the Vendor, make sure you undertake the necessary investigations and inspections.

9. DO NOT buy on impulse, make sure you do your research and know the property and the surrounding area you are looking at buying BEFORE you start negotiations.

Fair Work Update

A number of changes were implemeted from 1 July 2013. Some significant changes are included below.

The filing fee for dismissals and general protections applications made under ss.365, 372, 394 and 773 of the Fair Work Act 2009 increased to $65.50.

The high income threshold in unfair dismissal cases increased to $129,300 and the compensation limit will be $64,650 for dismissals occurring on or after 1 July 2013.

The Fair Work Commission also decided to raise the minimum weekly wage of low paid workers by $15.80 a week. From 1 July 2013, the new national minimum wage was increased to $622 a week, up from the current minimum of $606 a week.

As a further reminder to our 4 Quarterly earlier this year, the time limit for filing an Unfair Dismissal Claim or General Protections Claim also changed at the start of 2013 and is now 21 days.

With the impending election it will be interesting to see what further changes will made to our employment law landscape over the coming months and years.

If we separate or divorce, can’t we just write down what we want and sign it?

Breaking up can be one of the hardest events in your life. While it might sound like the most convenient option, it’s not the best idea to entrust the division of your assets and/or the parenting (custody) of your children to a piece of paper you have both signed. Unless that ‘piece of paper’ is legally binding, one or both of you are probably not going to stick to it if your agreement becomes inconvenient. ‘Binding’ means that it is enforceable by the Family Courts.

So if you’ve managed to reach an agreement with your ex, how do you make it binding? The two ways are:

1. Consent Orders – court orders made by agreement; or

2. Binding Financial Agreement - a formal private contract.

We recommend that if you have reached an agreement, contact a lawyer to discuss the agreement to make sure that all the issues have been dealt with; then you can proceed with obtaining legal assistance to make sure that the agreement is legally binding.