Power of Attorney Explained

power-of-attorney

Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints a specific person to manage the financial affairs of someone while they are alive. It can also appoint a trustee organisation to do the same thing. This person or organisation is chosen by the person whose business affairs they will administer. They can be a family member, trusted friend or another person such as a Perth family lawyer. You cannot appoint a Power of Attorney unless you are over 18.

Why you may need an attorney

If you are going to be out of the country or really busy doing something else, you will need an Attorney to see to all your business affairs. Or if you want to buy or sell property overseas without having to go there, you can give Power of Attorney to a person you trust who can travel or who already lives there and they can do the deal on your behalf.

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The Divorce and Your Will

The Divorce and Your Will

A Will is a legal document that ensures your assets are given to the children, or whoever else you designate as a beneficiary. When you have just gone through the stress of a divorce, making a Will is probably the last thing on your mind, but it is one of the most important things to take care of – with the help of your family law firm – now that you are on your own and very likely have custody of the children. Taking care of them by ensuring they get what assets you have should the worst happen, is paramount to their well-being.

Any Will that you made with your ex is now invalid and both he and you need to make new ones that takes into account your new circumstances. You will have certain assets from the marriage or partnership that need to be taken care of in a Will, if your children are to be the recipients. Of course, they may be too young yet to have full access, but if you have financial assets, you can set up a trust that will take care of their needs until they become of age. That way they will still have enough money for their education and all the things that you have planned for their future.

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Why a Pre-Settlement Inspection is Essential

Pre-Settlement Inspection

Anyone who purchases a home will be eagerly anticipating settlement so they can move in. They will have already inspected the property themselves and had all the necessary inspections done for things like termite damage, other possible damage or illegal additions. So what is the pre-settlement inspection and why is it essential?

When the contracts for the buying and selling of the house are drawn up, there will often be inclusions such as specific curtains and light fittings or other goods and chattels. If there is obvious damage of some kind it is usually mentioned and if the vendor does not agree to have it repaired, the cost is usually taken off the sale price.

The contracts for the deal must be exchanged, but that is not the time when ownership of the home passes to you. First, a settlement date and time must be set for the payment to go ahead and the title deeds to be exchanged. Your lawyer or conveyancer will take care of this and the date is usually 42 days after the contracts were exchanged.

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Steps to Contesting a Will

contesting-a-will

While a person who makes a Will has a right to dispose of their property as they see fit, they still have a responsibility to care for their family financially. Even though courts are very wary of changing a Will, it can be done in certain circumstances or when specific criteria come into play. Here are some of the reasons that a court will allow contesting of a Will.

  • If the Will was not properly written or if it seems that it may have been tampered with.
  • If the Will was found to be an old one and another one is the latest version.
  • If the person who made the Will was wrongly influenced by another person.
  • If the Will maker lacked mental capacity at the time of making the Will.
  • If the Will did not make proper provision to the family.
  • If the meaning of the Will is unclear

If you know of any of the above happening, you need to contact your lawyer immediately to have the matter looked into. However, in the case of the Will not making proper provision for the family, it would be quite clear if this was the case and so all that remains is to inform the wills lawyer what you want done.

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Property and Financial Settlements after Divorce

Property and Financial Settlements after Divorce

When a relationship breaks down irretrievably it leads to separation for 12 months and then divorce. No matter who you are, if you want a divorce you have to separate for 12 months first, but in fact, you can still live in the same house. Whether this happens or not, it is wise to seek fair and equitable distribution of property and finances after the divorce, through your chosen family lawyer.

Divorce is stressful – sometimes it is even traumatic. This often causes a woman to agree to almost anything so long as she never has to see or speak to her ex again. If you are feeling like this it is wise to seek professional counselling and support from trusted friends. It is not wise to agree to anything when it comes to division of assets. If your ex is bitter, he is sure to try and con you out of your fair share and you may not even know it – or care, until later on when you’ve had time to recover emotionally.

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Why Should You Have an Estate Plan?

Estate Plan

People who don’t have an estate plan often don’t realise the impact that this will have should they die. While it may be many years before this unfortunate event occurs, no one can be really sure so it is wise to contact your family or experienced commercial lawyers to draw up such a plan to protect your assets. An estate plan does even more than protect assets, of course. It can also detail how you want to be taken care of should you no longer be able to tell anyone, such as in the case of a stroke or debilitating injury. Here is how an estate plan can help you.

  • It will identify all those loved ones you wish to benefit by giving them some of your assets. Without an estate plan, this is unlikely to happen.

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What is the Family Court

Family Court

The Family Court of Australia services all families in need of legal advice from a experienced family lawyer or help in legal matters pertaining to the family.  This includes parenting, child care, child welfare and many cases that originate in the breakdown of a relationship and end in divorce. They offer a great deal of information and help on their website, through which you can apply for a divorce, for custody of the children, for settlement of assets and even for restraining orders against your ex, if he is harassing you in any way.

It was established by Parliament in 1975 and its judges and other staff have helped families with many complex problems ever since. Most of its services are free, but if you apply for a divorce, there is a fee, although this can be reduced for those that qualify. If you feel in need of help, you will find that the family court offers it without judgement, being respectful of your needs as well as those of your spouse and other family members.

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What to do About Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

It is all too common today for women to become victims of domestic violence. The trouble is that they are often reluctant to seek help because that would mean revealing what they consider to be their own weakness and fault. This is because the very nature of such violence is directed at dominating them and making them feel that it is all their fault.

They feel ashamed to think they are the kind of person who has made their spouse abuse them. This is entirely wrong of course. None of it is their fault. And the only way to be safe is to get out of the relationship and stay out. To avoid the need for criminal lawyers, once you make the break, never go back because that just makes it more difficult to escape the second time. Your life could be in danger, not to mention the lives of your children.

So what’s the first thing to do if you are a victim of domestic violence in the form of physical abuse?

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What To Do About Criminal Injuries Compensation

Criminal Injuries Compensation

If you have ever been injured physically through criminal activities you will know the terror involved. In many cases it really changes your life and you can become too stressed to work or even go outside the house alone. If this has happened to you, talk to a criminal lawyer to see about compensation. It can be some small comfort to receive compensation for what you have suffered, including a changed lifestyle.

Most people are familiar with getting compensation from insurance, so it can be quite amazing to know that the government has set aside a fund that pays compensation to victims of crime who have been injured. In Western Australia, this amount was increased to $75,000 in 2004, with the amount paid depending on the injuries sustained.

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How to Cope with Litigation

Cope with Litigation

If you are in business there is always the risk of litigation and this can come from anyone of the public who may be injured on your business premises or suffer in some way from the goods you sold. It can also come from staff members who may have been injured while at work carrying out their duties.

Prevention is the best cure

The best way to cope with litigation is to prevent it from happening at all, by making sure that your premises are safe and meet all the Australian Standards required for your industry. It is also essential to have an evacuation plan and a plan for how to cope with any emergencies, such as  a chemical spill or an accidental injury.

Then if litigation is the result, the courts will see that you did everything possible to make the workplace safe and this will work in your favour. Some accidents are truly accidental and nobody’s fault. Others are more the fault of the victim than the environment.

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What are Consent Order Applications

custody of the children

When you and your spouse split up there are many decisions to be made and one of the most important ones is who gets custody of the children, and what will be the visiting rights of the one who doesn’t. Child maintenance must be worked out, along with the care and welfare of the children both in the present and the future.

It is important to do this in a way that is not stressful to the children. Often, children feel guilty when their parents split up, thinking that something they did or said caused it. They feel torn between the two and are devastated that they have to choose between the two people they love most in the world. That is usually the situation, but in the case of violence things will necessarily be different.

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Dispute Resolution in the Workplace

Dispute Resolution in the Workplace

Resolving disputes that arise in the workplace is essential if work is to get done and employees are to be treated fairly.  There can be many kinds of disputes, from safety issues through to unfair work practices, harassment and more. Such disputes can escalate from being between two people to dividing the whole staff into different camps and totally interfering with work, so the need for quick resolution is paramount.

However, reaching a resolution may not be that easy. There are several ways it can be done:

  1. Through negotiation between affected parties.
  2. Through mediation with a neutral third party, usually an independent mediator who helps to clarify issues so that the parties can reach an agreement both are happy with.
  3. Through arbitration where an independent arbiter such as a court or judge settles the matter the way they think fit and makes a binding legal decision to see it is carried out.

These days every award includes a clause which sets out how dispute resolution should be carried out. In most cases certain steps must be followed:

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Can You get Out of Your Contract to Purchase a Used Car?

Used Car

Contracts form part of our everyday life and we may not even be aware of it. For instance, when you buy a car you have to sign on the dotted line – and what you sign is actually a contract. It is a legally binding agreement that you bought a specific car in a certain condition of which you were aware, for a certain sum of money. It details how much the repayments will be, when they will be due and how long it will take to pay off.

What contracts contain

Basically, most contracts contain similar information, although it does depend on what they are about. For instance, a work contract will be different from a contract to purchase a car. The work contract details how many hours you will work, for whom and how much you will be paid. It will usually give details about holidays, when they are due and how long they are for.

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Steps From Separation To Trial

Separation To Trial

When there is trouble in a relationship a separation may help both people to sort out their problems and decide whether to get a divorce or to try again. Some people may consider that a separation is simply an essential step to go through so you can apply for a divorce. A family lawyer can help you get through this time with advice on what to do. Others feel that by separating for a few months, their differences could be worked out.

If this is so for you and your spouse, it is wise to put a time limit on the separation, otherwise it is likely to drag on and your lives will become separated to the extent they cannot be put back together. There are several other things to work out for this kind of separation.

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How Estate Planning can Help Your Family

Estate Planning

Estate planning is more than just making a Will; it is making decisions about the distribution of your assets, including superannuation, after you have died, so that your family will be cared for and so that the amount of tax and other costs is minimised. While no one wants to think about dying, it is an unavoidable part of life and if you prepare for it ahead of time your family will have much less stress to contend with.

In addition, your wishes about the distribution of your assets will be carried out, with your beneficiaries getting what you determine they should have. If you die intestate – without a will – this is unlikely to happen. In fact, with the complexities of families these days there could be a great deal of argument between all the family members, each wanting to get a share, or perhaps more than their fair share.

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What are Restraining Orders?

restraining-orders

Many women seem to get tangled up in an abusive relationship. Often they are vulnerable in some way and are the victim of a predator or a con man who can put on a good, caring act to start with. These men are simply using their partners, who may be better off financially than they are, or able to offer a place for them to move into.

Whatever the reason for the abuse, a restraining order is a legal document that prevents an abuser from coming close enough to continue the abuse after the relationship ends.  At least, that is the theory. In reality, the abuser can break the conditions and still cause harm to the victim. The only real benefit is that he can then be prosecuted.

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The Legal Process of Surrogacy

Legal Process of Surrogacy

There are two types of surrogacy available for women who cannot have children for whatever reason. Laws about surrogacy vary in different states so consult your family lawyer to find out what’s legal in your state. Surrogacy brings hope to those couples who want a child that belongs to at least one of them genetically instead of adopting one, but cannot have one in the natural way. There are two types of surrogacy.

  1. The first and traditional way is when your spouse’s sperm is implanted into the surrogate mother using her own egg. This makes the surrogate the baby’s biological mother, even though she is carrying the child for another person.
  2. The second is when your own egg is fertilised by your spouse out of the uterus and implanted into the surrogate. This is referred to as a gestational surrogacy and the woman who carries the child has no genetic ties to it, since her egg was not used. She is called the birth mother.

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How to Help Your Child Cope with the Divorce

Help Your Child Cope with the Divorce

Divorce is often full of bitter recriminations and finding fault. While this is difficult for both parents to go through, it is even harder for children, especially if they hear you fighting over them. They think they have done something wrong and are the cause of the divorce. Then they have to cope with feelings of guilt as well as the anxiety and despair of their parents divorcing.

It is essential to help your child cope with divorce if they are to come out of it relatively unscathed. Sometimes it takes years for a child to get over their parent’s divorce and if they are young at the time they will suffer a great deal throughout their life unless you take charge of the situation to help them. Here are some tips to help your help your child cope.

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