Defective Goods & Unfair Contracts
As we are approaching the peak season for consumer spending, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has recently been promoting awareness of your legal rights when dealing with retailers.
Today's article brings to your attention some of these public statements made by the ACCC which you need to keep in mind when making a purchase.
Moving Home: Same-day Settlements.
When you decide to move your home from your current address to a new premises, it's common to try and sell your existing home, and buy the new home at the same time - and to settle the 2 Contracts on the same day
You may have successfully bought and sold on the same day before - and if it all went smoothly, you'd think it's common-place and the normal thing to do.
We've been waiting for 25 years, but it appears that the Queensland government may finally be about to improve the embarrassingly poor quality of Contracts for the sale of real estate.
The Commercial and Property Law Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology is a specialist network of researchers with a vision of reforming legal and regulatory frameworks in the commercial and property law sector. The public can make submissions regarding their report up to 10 November 2017.
The Current Situation
The current process requires a Buyer to sign a Contract without the Seller disclosing the most fundamental of information which would directly impact upon whether (i) the Buyer would want to buy the property, and, (ii) at what price the Buyer would be prepared to pay for the property.
Asset Protection: But Who From? One afternoon, Gary was driving home from work. As he approached his house, he noticed a pile of material on the footpath outside his property. The sort of scene you see after a flood, when all your water damaged furniture is dragged onto the footpath ready to be transported to the local tip!
Earlier this year, I mentioned that if a New Zealand citizen intended to buy a Queensland property, it would be a good idea to obtain legal advice (before signing any contract) regarding the amount of transfer duty that might be payable.
At the Property Law Conference held in Brisbane last week, the Office of State Revenue clarified their approach to the treatment of New Zealand citizens.
One of the great advantages of having a SMSF is that the fund is able to buy your business premises, and then to lease the property to yourself (or the entity that conducts your business). If you (or a company or trust that you control) already own your business premises, you can sell the property to your SMSF – but only after obtaining professional advice & following the rules.
Wills & Estates
It's impossible to over emphasise the huge financial benefits to families of working together when planning their financial affairs.
Most families do not plan, and the Australian Taxation Office thanks you for your generosity in contributing more of your income than is necessary.
Today's article presents a fairly straightforward scenario. The figures do the talking. The cost of a Will could be recouped in 3 months - even though the benefits could continue for decades.
The benefits for families in executing a plan can reap enormous financial rewards - which brings greater happiness through reducing financial stress.
The primary advantage of having a sophisticated will is that they include optional testamentary trusts. Where a testamentary trust is used, income can be split amongst children and there are preferential tax rates for distributions to minors under testamentary trusts.
We constantly recommend being proactive about the management of our personal affairs. Taking action to prepare for the future.
The benefits of firstly - planning, and secondly - executing the plan, can reap enormous rewards for you and your family.
Today's article is about someone who planned for the breakdown of his marriage, but his execution of the plan was poor.
Helping your family get their legal affairs organised is not as easy as it sounds. For a start they have to want to do it!
When it comes to their Will, they don't deal with the consequences - and it isn't the most uplifting of topics!
The understandable media attention on a Supreme Court decision declaring that a Will made on a mobile phone was valid can be wrongly interpreted by some as meaning that they don't need to prepare a proper Will.
By failing to consider his father’s estate planning, this man had to give $150,000 of his dead father’s assets to his ex-wife!
This is a summary of a Family Court decision made in July 2017!
This relationship lasted a little over 8 years. However the parties didn't take action to finalise a property settlement until 5 years after separation. It is likely their focus was on providing a stable environment for their child - as they continued to share parenting.
3 1/2 years after separation, the husband received a large inheritance from his father's estate.
When it comes to bankruptcy and superannuation, a lump sum death benefit payment from a regulated super fund to a bankrupt is protected, and that money will not be available to creditors. But what happens when the lump sum death benefit payment is paid to the estate, and the estate pays the money to the bankrupt?
Andrew Gapes was made a bankrupt on 17 January 2011. On 18 December 2013, his mother died. Andrew was an executor and beneficiary of his mother's Will.
The proceeds of the mother's superannuation fund were not paid directly to Andrew or his siblings, but rather were paid to her estate. On 12 March 2014, in accordance with the terms of her Will, the superannuation funds were distributed to Andrew and his siblings. Andrew directed that his share, being $87,900.33, be paid to his wife because he did not operate a bank account at that time.
The Trustee in Bankruptcy of Andrew's estate commenced legal proceedings against Andrew's wife on 14 November 2016 demanding the payment of the money.
The Court had to decide whether the death benefit which was firstly paid by the superannuation fund to the estate of a deceased, and then secondly was paid by the estate to the bankrupt person, was protected from creditors. The answer: NO. On 13 July 2017, the wife was ordered to repay the money!
Why Everyone should Upgrade to a Smarter Will
Smarter estate planning is not just for the wealthy
Even if all you own is your house/ apartment, you should still upgrade from a so-called 'simple' will to a more sophisticated will that properly protects your assets and reduces unnecessary tax.