As the ‘interesting times’ continue into 2022, what are some of the legal challenges you may be facing this year?
Estate Planning always tops the list. Making sure you have in place up to date documents that appoint guardians for your minor children and ensure the smooth transfer of wealth within a family upon your death is a good idea. This means making a Will that considers asset protection and the tax implications of gifting, a binding death benefit nomination that directs where your superannuation goes when you die and making sure you have a succession plan for your business, family trusts and companies. If you eventually become unable to make decisions for yourself, you must have appointed someone to make legal, financial and health decisions for you. Estate planning avoids disputes and the chance of someone else deciding what happens to you and your assets. Don’t be a cautionary tale. Let us help you to implement a plan that reflects your wishes.
Reading recommendation: The Daily Mail – trash for some and treasure for others! Go to reading for salacious reports on celebrity and high-net-worth estate disputes and battles. Unfortunately these issues are not reserved for the rich and famous. It can happen to any family, ultra-wealthy or not. Trust us, we’ve witnessed it first hand.
Loans and gifts to family members. While we are on the topic of families, as a community, we are relying on the bank of Mum and Dad more than ever. If you are providing financial assistance to family members to purchase property, pay school fees or to support business ventures, think about what sort of assistance you are giving and the pros and cons of making a gift of the money or a loan. Lack of clarity on this point leads to conflict (both now and after your death) and could put you in financial need yourself (and K-drama fans know where that may lead)! Let us help you put in place clear and effective documents, so everyone is on the same page.
Viewing recommendation: Squid Game – A dystopian tale of a cash-strapped individuals who receive a mysterious invitation to participate in ‘games’ for a cash prize that would line their pockets, ten times over – but with high stakes to scoop the bounty. A lesson in class and capitalism and what people will do to get themselves ahead in life. No spoilers!
Workplace disputes. Wandering around the CBD on our first day back, begs the question, is anyone open for business? For those of us who are, workplaces are where we are feeling the COVID-19 implications the most. What should employers be doing? What rights do employees have? What can you do to restore harmony to your workplace? A close focus on workplaces over the last two years has raised many questions to do with health and safety, underpayment, unfair termination, the correct way to introduce or change workplace policies and procedures as well as the need for workplace investigations into misconduct. We are a phone call away if you need some prompt and useful advice.
Viewing recommendation: The Office – Michael Scott (or David Brent, depending on which iteration of The Office sparks your interest) manages a team at a paper company – and we use the word ‘manages’ very loosely. His inappropriate jokes and management style leave much to be desired and often, the team of employees is on the short end of the stick. If anything, this is a great example of what not to do in the workplace.
Business Structures. Is there an optimal business structure? We think so. Do you have one? Yes? No? Don’t know? The answer usually depends on your ‘exit plan.’ When you retire, what is going to happen to your business? Are you going to sell it, and if so, to whom – a partner, employees, a competitor, or family members? Are you going to gift it to someone now or on your death? Are you going to just shut the doors? What does your family think? We specialise in this stuff, so don’t hesitate to call.
Viewing recommendation: Succession – With health issues plaguing him, ageing patriarch Logan Roy is contemplating what the future holds while his family fight for control of one of the world’s largest media empires.
Family Law. Stressful times often impact families. Is there such a thing as a good divorce? Maybe, maybe not, but everything, even a divorce, will go better if you are informed and prepared. This preparation is essential if you are entering into a blended family arrangement or if there is significant disparity of wealth or a family business as stake. In these cases, you can mitigate the detrimental effects of a relationship breakdown with a binding financial agreement. If you are considering separation, you must find out as soon as possible what your rights and obligations are in a divorce and make sure you can look after yourself and your children. You can find out the ‘facts’ not rely on what your friends and family tell you about their own experiences and in so doing, avoid costly mistakes. If this is you, our family law team will have a no obligation chat with you to get you started and will support you while you figure out what your new ‘normal’ looks like.
Book recommendation: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (or even better, view the Australian Ballet production). In late C19th Russia, Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature – with tragic consequences.
How we can help
Andreyev Lawyers looks forward to helping you to meet the legal challenges you may face this year. Call us on 1300 654 590 and speak to a great lawyer.