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Wills

For a will to be valid, the person making the will must sign that will in front of two witnesses.  Those witnesses cannot be a beneficiary under the will.  Issues are caused if a will is not validly executed.

GLR Law always recommends that clients have a lawyer draft their will.  The reason that GLR Law does not recommend will kits is that:

  1. The law relating to wills and estates is complex, with terms like “testator” and “executor” having specific legal meanings;
  2. Failure to leave certain people provision from your estate in your will (people you ought to have considered and provided for in your will) could mean they have a right to bring a family provision claim against your estate for better provision from your estate;
  3. If children (i.e under the age of 18) or testamentary trusts are involved, a lawyer is required as these are complex areas of law and require expert guidance.

So in summary, GLR Law recommends that a lawyer is engaged to draft a will.

If you are a spouse, child, defacto spouse, step child, or defacto step child of the deceased and:

  • Have a financial need for the money; and
  • Were reliant on receiving money from the deceased in their will; and
  • The deceased ought to have had you in mind when making provision for you in their will; and
  • The deceased has been dead for less than 9 months

Then you might have a right to bring a family provision application for better provision from the will of the deceased. Make an appointment with GLR Law today to see if you are eligible.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants a person of your choosing the ability to make financial and health decisions under certain circumstances. A power of attorney, for example, could give the person of your choosing power to determine what health care you receive if you lose capacity.

Make an appointment with GLR Law on (07) 3340 5157 today to learn more.

If you are going on an overseas holiday you might want to consider having a power of attorney executed prior to your depature.

By executing a power of attorney before you head overseas, you will ensure that the person you picked as attorney can sign documents on your behalf. This is particularly useful is you own a business, are purchasing/selling a property or have any other type of legal document that needs signing whilst you are overseas.

Debt Recovery

It is GLR Law’s recommendation that clients use a lawyer if they want to collect “debts” (this could be in relation to business debtors or personal debtors). GLR Law recommends using lawyers as:

  1. Debt collectors are not generally legally trained and are not usually qualified lawyers. Thus, the advice they can give (and knowledge they have) is limited;
  2. Debt collectors are expensive, with debt collectors often being more expensive than lawyers;
  3. In most courts in Australia you can recover a portion of legal fees paid to lawyers. You cannot recover legal fees from debt collectors;
  4. Debt collectors cannot generally act for you in court and will need to refer your matter to either their internal legal team or external lawyers.

It is for those reasons that GLR Law recommends that clients use lawyers when trying to recover debts from debtors.

The following is a guide to what court to lodge proceedings in depending on how much the debt is you are owed:
  1. If the debt you are owed is less than or equal to $150,000 the Magistrates Court.
  2. If the debt you are owed is more than $150,000 and less than (or equal) to $750,00 the District Court;
  3. If the debt you are owed is equal to or more than $750,000 than the Supreme Court.
The above is relevant to Queensland only.

QCAT (Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal) is an independent tribunal which resolves disputes and makes and reviews decisions about a wide range of issues.  QCAT specifically has jurisdiction (i.e power) to hear deb disputes (amongst other matters).

Debt disputes involve disagreements with another person, business or company about a fixed or agreed sum of money, valued up to and including $25,000. Examples of a debt dispute include:

  • money owed for the removal of minor overhanding branches;
  • unpaid invoice or account;
  • rent arrears, other than arrears of rent for a residential tenancy;
  • work done and/or goods supplied with the cost having been agreed beforehand;
  • money lent and not repaid;
  • IOUs;
  • dishonoured cheques.

Your claim may be a consumer and trader dispute or other minor civil dispute if it involves a dispute against another person, trader or company and:

  • is arising out of a contract for the supply of goods and/or services, or
  • involves the repair of a defect in a motor vehicle, or
  • involves damage to property caused by or from the use of a motor vehicle, and
  • is valued up to and including $25,000.

Traffic Offences

If you have been caught for DUI, or drug driving, depending on the level blown, you may be eligible for a work licence. To be eligible for a work licence you need to:

  1. Apply for the licence prior to pleading guilty to DUI or drug driving;
  2. Have not had another DUI or drug driving conviction in the last 5 years;
  3. Generally have good traffic history;
  4. Have a real “need” for your licence to get to and from work.

If you meet the above requirements you may be able to apply for a special hardship licence. Contact GLR Law to have one of our lawyers assist you with your special hardship licence application.

Yes, you will automatically lose your licence if you are caught drink or drug driving.

How long you will lose your licence for will depend on the level of drugs and/or alcohol in your system and you previous traffic history.

Yes, you may be eligible for a special hardship licence. A special hardship licence is granted in circumstances where you have lost your “good behaviour 1 point licence” but require your licence to make a living (and support your family). GLR Law is able to advise you if you are eligible for such a licence.

Trademarks

GLR Law recommends that clients trade mark any unique branding (i.e logos or names) that they have created for their business.

Registering a trade mark over your business name and logo will give you the best legal causes of action against any business or individual that uses your branding in an attempt to pass themselves off as your business.

Conveyancing

If you have been issued a paper certificate of title in Queensland for your property, you must produce that paper title at settlement to be able to sell your property.

If you have lost your certificate of title, you can make an application to DNRM (Department of Natural Resources and Mines) to dispense with the need to produce the paper title at settlement.  DNRM require you to complete a form 17, in addition to statutory declarations providing an explanation as to how the certificate of title was lost.

Family Law

If you and your partner are intending to enter into a binding financial agreement (i.e “a prenup”), both you and your partner are required to obtain independent legal advice prior to execution of the agreement.

In Ghazel and Anor [2016] FamCAFC 31 (4 March 2016) the Full Court heard a wife’s appeal against the decision to dismiss her application to have her marriage declared valid.

The Full Court determined that, whilst her Iran marriage could become a potentially polygamous marriage due to the marriage laws in Iran, the Marriage Act had no provision which excluded recognition of her marriage. As such, the Court determined that a potentially polygamous marriage (i.e as in Iran a man could take up to 3 other wives) was not at odds with the Australian Marriage Act.

If your spouse is the only person on the title of your property and tries to sell the property prior to the finalisation of property settlement, there are several things you may be able to do to “halt” or stop the sale.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to lodge a caveat on the property or apply for an urgent injunction to stop the sale in court.

The answer is yes.

In Miller v Murphy [2016] FCCA 974 (2 May 2016) Judge Brown granted Mr Miller’s application to use in domestic violence proceedings the report of a family consultant that contained a child’s account of an altercation between the parties that was inconsistent with that f the wife in those proceedings.

The short answer is no.  If both parties agree to the property split, it is possible to have the property settlement/split resolved by way of a binding financial agreement.

Both spouses will need independent legal advice before a binding financial agreement can be executed.