Water Crisis NSW – how temporary restrictions affect your WAL or Approval. – Alex Long

Despite the recent rainfall received in the area, there has not been any significant inflows into the state’s water storages.  On 31 March 2019, the Minister for Regional Water made an order for temporary water restrictions under Section 324 of the Water Management Act 2000 (the Act).

Under Section 324, the Minister has the authority to order temporary water restrictions within a water source for a specified period if those restrictions are determined to be in the public interest. Under Section 324(1), public interest includes “to cope with a water shortage, threat to public health or safety or to manage water for environmental purposes”.… Read More

What is probate and when do I need it? – Suzanne Hindmarsh

A 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 tenants in common with another, Probate will be required.

Financial institutions, superannuation funds, aged care facilities and share registries may also require Probate for larger investments before they will allow those assets to be dealt with. Generally, such institutions will require Probate if the amount held with them is greater than $50,000.00.… Read More

Giving The Gift Of Life – Lesley McDonnell

I am often asked by clients who want to donate their organs, if they should include this wish in their Will. Due to the fact that a Will is not read until after a person’s death, there are better options for people to record their wishes to donate their organs.

Firstly, the Australian Organ Donor Register is Australia’s only national register that enables people to record their decision about becoming an organ donor after their death. Registration is easy, voluntary and allows a person to choose which organs and tissues they are willing to donate. There are a number of ways to register including, but not limited to, the following:

Register through your existing online myGov account;

Register using an Online form through https://donatelife.gov.au website;

Download a registration form from the Department of Human Services website at www.humanservices.gov.au; or

Visit a local Department of Human Services Centre and pick up a Donor Register brochure and registration form.… Read More

You’ve Decided To Sell Your Home – What Now? – Terry Robinson

Before you can advertise a residential property for sale you are required by law to have a copy of the Contract available for prospective Purchasers to inspect. This is required whether you propose to sell through a Real Estate Agent or privately.

To enable a Contract to be prepared you should contact your Solicitor or Conveyancer as soon as possible to avoid delays in getting the Contract prepared.

Legislation sets out various documents and certificates that are required to be attached to the Contract, failure to attach these could potentially give the Purchaser a right to get out of the Contract after Contracts have exchanged.… Read More

Is A Sperm Donor A Parent? – Sophie Newham

Many individuals now plan to have children on their own without a partner.

This means that the traditional make up of a family is no longer clear cut and the law has to keep up with significant social and cultural changes in society making the definition of parents and families so much more complex.

Many parents who use formal or informal sperm donors or conceive a child outside of a married or de-facto relationship, want to know whether sperm donors have any parental rights once their child is born.

There are a number of relevant laws in place in New South Wales, but in summary a sperm donor is presumed to not be a parent of a child unless married or in a de-facto relationship with the mother at the time of conception.… Read More

What happens if you die as a result of work?

In NSW each year there are approximately 100 deaths that occur at work or as a result of work. The Workers Compensation Act 1987 NSW provides specific provisions for compensation to families who have a loved one who dies as a result of work. Section 25 of the 1987 Act entitles dependents to a lump sum death benefit amount which is currently $798,100 (as at 26/03/19). Dependent children are also entitled to a weekly benefit of the current rate of $142.90 per week (as at 26/03/19) under the age of 16 years, or if they are student up to the age of 21 years.… Read More

Air Conditioning in Rented Premises

In our climate, effective air conditioning is usually very important to any lease of retail or office space. A recent Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal case highlighted the legal importance of properly documenting and then complying with air conditioning arrangements.

In this case the tenant operated a Pilates studio from a retail premises in Melbourne. When the lease commenced the parties agreed to insert a special condition to the effect that –

  • the landlord would install new air conditioning;
  • thereafter it would be the tenant’s responsibility to maintain the air conditioning; but
  • the landlord remained responsible for any capital repair costs.
Read More

Can I Change the Purchaser’s Name on a Land Contract?

This is an often asked question. Typically, someone will have bought a property at auction in their own name, or from an off-the-plan development and then decide they want to buy the property in the name of their spouse or some other entity like their super fund.

The decision to change names often happens after they have discussed the purchase with their accountant and/or solicitor and things like asset planning and estate planning are raised.

Most people seem to think they can simply change the “purchaser” on the contract by inserting the words “or nominee”.

That process in most cases will not work and will result in you paying double Stamp Duty.… Read More

Phone, Wallet, Keys… Don’t Forget Your Pre-Purchase Inspections!

A Contract for the sale and purchase of property includes conditions stating that the purchaser accepts the property in its current condition and state of repair subject to all defects both obvious and hidden. You might have heard the saying “let the buyer beware”.

As a result, purchasers have an extremely limited right to complain after exchange of Contracts regarding the quality of the improvements and inclusions. Improvements include the structures on the property, for instance the house, shed, etc.  Inclusions are usually movable items included in the sale, for instance the blinds, stove, air conditioner, etc.  Purchasers should undertake thorough inspections of the property and the inclusions prior to exchange of Contracts, which is when the parties are formally bound by the Contract terms. … Read More

Employee Notice Periods

Are you an Employer? If so, are you aware of each of your employee’s termination notice period entitlements are?

Many employers do not take the time to understand their employment contracts and the effects of the National Employment Standards (NES). This can lead to harsh financial implications when terminating employees or, for example, selling your business, due to the requirement to provide the minimum period of notice or payment in lieu of notice.

If the notice period in the employment contract is greater than the minimum provisions under the NES, then the employment contract will apply. However, if the notice period in the employment contract is less than in the NES, the NES will prevail.… Read More