Licence Conditions – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksAs of Monday 20 November 2017 changes to the Graduated Licensing Scheme (the process you go through from learner to fully licensed driver) are being implemented for new licence holders.

These changes only apply to new licence holders, being people applying for a new category of licence after 20 November 2017.

For new licence holders after 20 November 2017, there are 3 major changes:

1. Hazard Perception Test

The Hazard Perception Test (“HPT”) is a computer based test that measures a driver’s ability to recognise potentially dangerous situations and respond appropriately. Currently Provisional P1 (red) licence holders must pass the HPT to progress to a Provisional P2 (green) licence.… Read More

What is Probate and when do I need it? – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksA Grant of Probate is a document issued by the Supreme Court that acknowledges the validity of the deceased’s Will and authorises the Executor/s to administer the Estate.

Whether or not Probate is required depends on the nature and value of the deceased’s assets.

If the deceased held land in their sole name or as a Tenants In Common with another, Probate will be required.

Financial institutions, superannuation funds and share registries may also require Probate for larger investments before they will allow those assets to be dealt with. Generally they will require Probate if the amount held with them is greater than $30,000.… Read More

Power of Attorney – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksIf your circumstances suddenly changed and you could no longer manage your own affairs, do you have the necessary documentation in place to authorise another person to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf?

If you don’t then you ought to consider making a Power of Attorney.

A Power of Attorney is a document which allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial and legal affairs. For example it empowers your Attorney to manage your assets and operate your bank accounts.

The document may be structured in many different ways so that it is tailored to suit your needs, for example:

  • You may appoint more than one person.
Read More

Licence Appeal – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksThe Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) has the power to suspend driving licences in certain circumstances. If your licence is suspended by the RMS for speeding by more than 30 kilometres per hour, or loss of demerit points if you are a provisional licence holder, you can appeal the suspension to the Local Court.

The Court does not determine guilt or innocence at the appeal. It determines whether the suspension should be upheld or whether the appeal should be allowed. In making this decision the Court will take into consideration the following:

  1. the circumstances of the offence, for example where you were driving from and where you were going, how you came under notice, why you were speeding;
  2. your traffic record, for example how long you have been driving for and if you have committed any prior offences; and
  3. your need for a licence for example if you will lose your job if you lose your licence, or if a sick relative is reliant upon you to drive them to medical appointments, or no availability of public transport.
Read More

No Will, No Say – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksThe harsh reality is that if you do not have a Will, you do not have a say.

If you die without a Will – or without an effective Will – your Estate is dealt with under the intestacy provisions in Chapter 4 of the Succession Act 2006.

As an example:

  • If you have a spouse (somebody to whom you are married, or with whom you were carrying on a domestic partnership, being a relationship in existence for a continuous period of 2 years or resulting in the birth of a child) your spouse will be entitled to the whole of your Estate.
Read More

Sorry I Just Sold Your Inheritance! – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksIn 2014 Sally made a Will in which she left her property to her son Peter and the remainder of her estate her to daughter Jane.

In 2015 Sally made a Power of Attorney appointing her daughter Jane as attorney.

In 2016 Sally had a stroke and had to go into care.

Jane needs to sell Sally’s property to pay for the nursing home accommodation bond.

Can Jane sell the property?  

Provided it is necessary and appropriate in all the circumstances and in Sally’s best interests, Jane can sell Sally’s property and use the sale proceeds to finance the nursing home accommodation bond, regardless of the fact that the property is bequeathed to Peter in Sally’s Will.… Read More

Freedom of Speech / Freedom of Post – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksContrary to popular belief freedom of speech and freedom of expression does not give you immunity to make unfounded or baseless accusations or allegations, or to vindicate, ridicule or threaten.

The prevalence of social media, its instantaneousness and reach makes it imperative that you consider the impact and effect of what you post online.

The several occasions in which the District Court has awarded damages for defamatory social media posts appears to have raised awareness of the civil remedies however, the criminal penalties and potential impact on ongoing court proceedings continue to be overlooked by a significant number of social media users.… Read More

You Are NOT Putting Me in a Home – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksAppointing someone as your guardian does not mean handing over your decision making power.

By creating an enduring guardianship you are protecting your interests, not purchasing a one way ticket to a nursing home.

An Appointment of Enduring Guardian only comes into effect if you reach a point where you are unable to make health and lifestyle related decisions for yourself. While ever you have capacity, you decide where you live and what medical treatment you receive. Your guardian only starts making health and lifestyle decisions on your behalf in the event you lose mental capacity that is, you are not of sound mind or understanding to make those decisions for yourself.… Read More

Don’t Wait Until You’re Dead, Plan Ahead – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksI know it’s hard to accept but if you think “I’m young and healthy, I’ll worry about estate planning when I’m old and sick”, you are WRONG!

You drive a car, travel overseas, and you are not permanently encased in balls of cotton wool which means it is not just granny that needs to be thinking about protecting her interests.

If you want a say in how your assets are divided after your death, you need a Will. If you don’t have one, the succession legislation will make that decision for you.

If you want to nominate the person/s who will manage your financial and legal affairs should you get stranded overseas or otherwise require assistance, you need a Power of Attorney.… Read More

I WANT MY SHARE – Natasha Wood

NKW-booksHow do you go about leaving unequal provision of your children in your Will?

Most people either don’t make a Will because they think their wishes won’t take effect or they execute a poorly drafted document which can burden their Executor with having to defend a Family Provision claim with no evidence of why they did what they did.

A Family Provision claim is an application made by an eligible person (spouse, child, dependent etc.) to the Supreme Court seeking that they receive a greater share of your estate to adequately provide for their proper education, maintenance and advancement in life.… Read More