Where’s the Fire?

With the devastating bush fires Australia has faced in recent times, it is a timely reminder to check and ensure that your smoke alarms are installed in accordance with the legislation and more importantly that they are in good working order.

The Law in relation to smoke alarms in New South Wales is pretty clear. There is a requirement for all buildings in which people sleep to have working smoke alarms installed.

Firstly, how do you make sure they are working?

NSW Fire and Rescue recommend testing smoke alarms once a month (press and hold the test button) and changing the batteries every 12 months.… Read More

My Superannuation will go to the beneficiaries listed in my Will… Right?

Wrong! This is one of the biggest misconceptions people have when talking about Superannuation. Superannuation is not an asset of your estate, and as such is not distributed in accordance with your Will. Superannuation is distributed by, and at the discretion of, the Trustee of your Superfund.

Most people have provided their commercial superfund with a non-binding beneficiary nomination, however while it gives the Trustee an idea of who you would like to give the benefit of your superannuation, they are in no way bound by this nomination.

You can however override the discretion afforded to the Trustee of your Superfund by completing a Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN) It is important to ensure that the BDBN is valid.… Read More

The Simultaneous Settlement: Selling & Purchasing Property at the same time

So, you have sold your property and have decided to purchase another. It may sound simple, however the process can be rather cumbersome and there are various matters which require your careful consideration. For instance, should your purchase Contract be made conditional upon your sale? Do you have a cash deposit available for your purchase or are you relying on your sale proceeds? Can you obtain early access to your purchase property to ensure vacant possession of your sale property is provided on settlement?

The Conditional Contract:
If you are relying on your sale proceeds for your purchase, it is important to make your purchase Contract conditional upon completion of your sale.… Read More

Journey claims and Christmas parties

With the festive season in full swing and enthusiastic employees awaiting a party to unwind from their work responsibilities, employers should be aware that liability for workers compensation claims is still applicable. This is regardless of whether the annual Christmas party is held privately or publicly, at a location or premises different to their usual place of business.
In the case of Suzanne Elizabeth McCoy v State Super Financial Services Australia Limited [2018] NSWWCC 77 which was decided in 2018 the applicant worker was planning to attend her work Christmas party at a local hotel in the same town as her employment.… Read More

Can a trustee delegate his/her duties?

The position of a trustee of a trust is an important position which is governed by State and Commonwealth Legislation and Case Law.
Trustees of a family trust have many duties. Broadly speaking, these include the trustee:
• Acting in good faith;
• Acting personally;
• Acting unanimously where multiple trustees are involved;
• Not being dictated to by others such as beneficiaries;
• Having a duty to consider how distributions should be made and to whom; and
• Having a duty to avoid fettering of any discretion they have.

So can a trustee appoint someone else to perform the trustee’s duties, like an attorney?… Read More

Special tax considerations needed if any of your beneficiaries are non-Australian residents

When making a Will you need to be aware of special rules that apply to gifts to non-resident beneficiaries. These rules can even apply to gifts to Australian citizens who have lived overseas for a long period.
The general rule is that the beneficiary is taken to have acquired the assets on the day the testator died, and any capital gain or loss relating to a Capital Gain Tax (CGT) asset owned by the deceased is disregarded. That means-
• no CGT is payable from the estate
• no CGT is potentially payable by the beneficiary until he or she actually sells it; and
• the beneficiary will usually have access to a range of CGT concessions when he or she actually sells.… Read More

Ending a Residential Tenancy – from the Landlord’s perspective.

There are strict rules that apply when a Landlord wants to bring a residential tenancy to an end.

A termination notice must be provided to the tenant. This notice must be in writing, addressed to the tenant, signed and dated by you or your managing agent, provide the date the tenancy is to be terminated and the tenant needs to vacate and in some circumstances provide the reason for the notice.

In some circumstances there is no minimum notice period for the tenant – for example if the tenant dies, the property becomes uninhabitable or is destroyed, is being compulsorily acquired (for example by Council) or is not legally usable as a residence.… Read More

Are you in Year 12 at Tamworth, Quirindi, Gunnedah or Manilla? Are you wanting to study Law next year at University? Great news – the applications are now open for the Sir Adrian Solomons Memorial Law Bursary

Everingham Solomons are pleased to announce that once again a Tamworth, Quirindi, Gunnedah or Manilla Year 12 student wishing to undertake university study in Law will have a valuable opportunity to receive the benefits of our Law Bursary.

The Sir Adrian Solomons Memorial Law Bursary has long provided financial assistance for the successful applicant during their first year of university as well as an opportunity to gain valuable paid work experience in our offices periodically throughout the duration of their studies.

Everingham Solomons will also be making a cash donation to the school of the successful applicant to assist in maintaining the excellent educational standards that our region can offer.… Read More

Employ Skilled Migrants in Regional Areas

If your business need skilled workers that are in short supply, a good option for your business is to employ skilled migrants who are already in Australia on a skilled visa such as subclasses 189, 190 or 489/491. Many skilled migrants have high-level qualifications and years of work experience. You may find them valuable to the operation and development of your business.
In regional areas, the most common skilled visa held by migrants is 489 visa (to be replaced by 491 visa as from 16 November 2019). The 489 visa is also called Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa. Typically, under the invited pathway of 489 visa a skilled worker is nominated by an Australian state/territory or sponsored by an eligible relative and is then invited to apply for the visa.… Read More

You attended an auction – or did you?

As many of you would know, there is a 5 business day cooling off period which applies to the sale and purchase of residential real estate.
The intent of the legislation which created the cooling off period was to encourage potential purchasers to exchange quickly to avoid being gazumped whilst retaining the ability to pull out of the sale at minimal cost if anything untoward was discovered.
There are a number of situations in which the cooling off period does not apply. One of those situations is where the property is sold at auction or is sold on the same day after a failed auction.… Read More