Take a look at the articles we have published so far:
If you are heading overseas for an extended period of time, and have a SMSF, then you need to do some housekeeping before you leave.
You may have recently received a letter from RevenueSA asking you to take action in relation to your trust by 3 June 2020. This is because the SA Government has recently made changes to its land tax law. Find out about your options.
Are you a barrister trying to access rent relief during this COVID-19 period. Not so easy with a service trust? We have some views that may be helpful.
If you hold equipment in one entity, and carry on your business in another, you may be thinking this is a great asset protection strategy. It is, but it is missing one critical part - registration of the arrangement on the PPSR.
Avoid Additional Stamp Duty in Victoria – Exclude Foreign Beneficiaries from Your Discretionary Trust
The Victorian State Revenue Office (SRO) has announced that from 1 March 2020 it has adopted a new approach in applying the ‘foreign purchaser additional duty’ (FPAD) provisions of the Duties Act 2000 (Vic) to discretionary trusts. Make sure you don't get caught by this additional 8% of duty.
Schools and other education providers are just like any other business in our community - and are being hit hard by the harsh economic reality that is now upon us. We can help guide you through this new economic landscape with a compassionate, yet effective, debt collection strategy.
If you've been sponsoring sports teams and events as part of your marketing spend - maybe it's time to move to warp speed, and consider eSports! The world is your virtual oyster.
If you're paying for your grandchildren's education costs, then you're not alone. But is this financial support a 'gift' or a 'loan' to your children? If this is left in any doubt, then bitter family disputes will arise. Take the time now to make sure the ground rules are clear.
In today's modern economy all businesses rely heavily on their intellectual property (or 'IP'). Whether you realise it or not, your employees are using or generating some form of IP each and every day they are at work. But what happens when your employee walks out the door (or is pushed)? Have you taken the necessary steps to ensure your IP remains behind?
So you're in a contract you want to get out of and not sure what do to. Terminating an agreement is never easy, but there are some practical steps you can take.
It's always nice to make a sale - but the fun soon ends if you don't end up getting paid. You need to ensure that your 'terms of trade' protect your interests, and you also need to ensure these interests are register on the PPSR. Find out how.
We have a lot of dentist clients who have downed tools during the Level 3 restrictions. One thing they have in common is that they’re making lemonade out of lemons and getting their practices ‘shipshape’ for when the restrictions are downgraded back to Level 1 or 2. If this sounds like you, read on!
Employers faced with the reality of reducing their workforce in an attempt to mitigate the adverse effects on their businesses want to know “What is the difference between a ‘stand down’, 'termination' and ‘redundancy’?” All is explained...
I’ve been asking myself — why has the stock market recovered so quickly from historical falls (during March 2020), when all indicators in the wider global economy point to a downturn of a significant magnitude., possibly even an unprecedented magnitude?
It's tiring to make the same decisions over and over again, and its difficult to make decisions under pressure. This is where 'decision rules' come in - to streamline how you get through life!
You think you know what's expected of you. Your customer thinks they know what they're getting. But who's right? If you don't have 'Terms & Conditions' in place, chances are you're both mistaken. Avoid the argument and take the time now to put clear Terms & Conditions in place before you start trading.
Times are tough for everyone at the minute, and it's not easy getting paid if you're owned money. In this article we set out what you should be doing right now to improve your position to collect your debts.
Deciding to get married is a big emotional decision. But it's also a massive legal and financial decision. Asset ownership, asset protection, super, life insurance, decision making, estate planning and family financial support, all need to be carefully considered to provide a solid legal foundation for a successful life together.
So you want to help a family member under financial strain? What starts out with the best intentions can soon result is family disharmony. Confusion about whether the advance is a loan or gift can quickly result in argument. The tragedy is that this is so easy to avoid if you take some simple precautions from the outset.
If you are carrying on a business through a partnership, then we strongly suggest you consider moving to a company. Find out why will hold this opinion.
Many parenting orders put in place by the Family Court may not be able to be strictly complied with during the recent and ever-evolving coronavirus pandemic. The Family Court has issued advice to parents who cannot practically comply with parenting orders already in place or who feel that for the safety of their child, the orders should not be followed at this current time.
Will my Family Court case still go ahead amid the COVID-19 crisis? Can I still begin a Family Court matter?
The short answer is that the Family Court is 'Still Open' to hear matters. But there are now procedures in place to limit social contact to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Find out how to keep things moving.
Getting your estate planning up-to-date. Part 3: What happens if you’re incapacitated for a period of time?
If you are incapacitated for a period of time, things won't stand still and wait for you to recover. Someone still needs to manage your legal and financial affairs, and others will need to make personal and healthcare decisions for you. Do you have the necessary documents in place to make this happen, and avoid the need for your loved ones to apply to the Government for help? If not, read this.
In this article we cover the important questions you need to answer to put in place an effective Will, namely: why should you make a Will, who gets what, how do you fairly divide your assets if you are in a 'blended family, and who you will need to involve in your estate plan? Time to act!
One of the reasons you accumulate assets and savings is to ensure your loved ones are adequately looked after when you die. Your accountant is likely to have put in place strategies to save you tax and protect your assets. But without proper planning, this can mean that your assets don't end up in the hands of the people you intend. FInd out more.
Do the temporary changes to insolvency law mean that you won’t get paid? Not entirely, but they do mean you need to be super careful to assess creditworthiness before extending credit.
COVID-19 has meant that weddings, parties and celebratory events are being cancelled all over the country. In many cases these events are merely postponed, but if you are a caterer, party planner or event manager, the question you need answering is ‘do I have to refund the deposit?’
We all want to support our local businesses during this period of ‘social distancing’. One way for us to do this it is to purchase ‘vouchers’ or ‘gift cards’ from our local merchants. If you are in business and you want to put a voucher scheme in place, read this to find out how.
When people go into business together it’s common for them to enter into a Shareholders’ Agreements to govern how they will own and administer their company. Our preference is to use a tailored version of the company’s ‘Constitution’ as the primary instrument to regulate the affairs of a company. Our reasons are:
A common frustration experienced by primary producers is that they cannot use their super savings in their business. Not being able to access your retirement savings until you are 60 (generally) and retired, can feel like you are diverting capital away from where it is needed. One way around this issue is to own farmland in your Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF).
You need an SMSF Deed that keeps pace with legislative and common law changes. A lot of the sophisticated strategies are only possible if your SMSF Deed is up-to-date and written carefully.
The trustee of your SMSF is all-powerful. The trustee decides how much money you can put in the fund, who else can join, how your money is invested, how much gets paid out to you and when, and finally who gets what’s left over when you die. So how do you ensure the trustee of your fund continues to do the right thing when you can no longer be involved? There are a number of strategies you need to have in place
If you hold residential land in NSW in a discretionary trust, chances are you will be subject to surcharge land tax due to changes that take effect at midnight on 31 December 2019. We can help you avoid the surcharge.
Do you want to be more strategic in your charitable giving, make a real impact on the community and create a lasting legacy as part of your family’s story? Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) can be a great option to achieve these goals. To help you decided whether PAF is right for you, we’ve pulled together our answers to 5 questions we are frequently asked by those considering establishing a PAF.
If you are separating from your spouse, and assuming the primary role of looking after your kids, then one of the most important issues you need to understand is how child support works. At its most basic level, the purpose of child support is to protect your kids from the economic impact of your separation. There are both advantages and disadvantages to private child support agreements, depending on your circumstances and what you hope to achieve by entering into one.
Disputes involving executors of deceased estates are increasing. Usually, a trusted family member or friend appointed as an executor is just trying to do the right thing by their loved one. So, what are they doing wrong? Read on to find out how you must perform your duties as an executor.
Given the increasing heat being placed on directors and business owners, it's important for you to understand the legal requirements and put in place compliance systems so that employees are being paid their legal wages and entitlements.
It’s not unusual to make a decision to enter into an agreement, based on a statement or promise by the other party about what the future will hold. Then when that promise doesn’t hold or ring true, you could find yourself out of pocket.
Our opinion about the Sharpcan case (Commissioner of Taxation v Sharpcan Pty Ltd  FCAFC 163), being a Federal Court case from late 2018 (a copy of the full judgment can be found here: https://www.ato.gov.au/law/view/pdf/misc-case/rdr_2018fcafc163.pdf).
Founding a company is a lot easier than retaining control of it. Part of your journey will necessarily involve other people. First, it may be a co-founder. Then family and friend investors, and ultimately professional investors. During this evolution, the chances of you being left behind, and things getting out of control, increase exponentially. We’ll help you get back in control, with a binding entitlement to what you’re worth.
Picture this: You are a small business owner. After getting through the first five years of trade, you are starting to see returns on the time, emotion and finances that you have invested into the business. Then a document comes in the mail and your fortune turns on its head. You are faced with a claim by a former employee and you realise your business is faced with an unexpected liability worth thousands of dollars. All due to a clause nested in a Modern Award that you had simply overlooked or misunderstood. Here’s how to avoid becoming that business.
Andreyev Lawyers - supportive and empathetic. This was a difficult process but Andreyev Lawyers provided timely advice and guidance and I was confident that they were doing their upmost.
As a general rule, a company provides its shareholders with ‘limited liability’. This means that the extent of resources a shareholder risks when they invest in an enterprise is limited to the amount of capital they put into the company (or agree to put in). If the company runs out of resources, or gets hit with a nasty surprise, the capital may all be lost, but the shareholders are not obliged to put anything additional in. They have just ‘done their doe’. The limitation of liability for shareholders has not really changed much over the centuries that limited liability companies have been around. What has changed, is the role and responsibility of directors.
As a general rule, Budgets try to please as many people as possible, and upset as few as possible. This strategy is even more important for a Budget in an election year - when short-term memories are still likely to be working on polling day.
A relationship breakdown may put significant financial strain on you and your family. If the household income is dramatically reduced, how then do you apply income to support your family during the separation?
As a business owner, you trust your employees to be honest. It’s therefore every employer’s worst fear to find out that an employee has been stealing from you. But what if then, that employee sues you, and your lawyer tells you that employee has a case?
Indemnities are often treated like a ‘standard’ or ‘boilerplate’ contract clause, when they are anything but. If they are ignored or overlooked, you could be in trouble when something goes wrong. However, when used properly, indemnity clauses can help you to manage your risk when entering into an agreement.
As a lawyer, you really savour the great deals you get to assist great clients with. Find out about just such a deal we recently had the fortune of being entrusted with.
The ATO is using Director Penalty Notices more often. However, the ATO officers are only human and they can make mistakes. There are four main ways in which your DPN may be challenged.
You would think this is obvious. Some of us can still remember our first school savings account with the State Bank, pink piggybank and all… But when you start involving companies, trusts and partnerships, things can get a little more complicated.
The 7 year anniversary of transitional and original Personal Property Security registrations is coming up soon. That means that many security interest registrations will automatically expire on 30 January 2019 if they not rectified or renewed.
If you are involved with an incorporated association or considering setting one up, then chances are you have come across the term ‘model rules’. Did you know that you do not have to use the model rules? Incorporated associations can choose to write their own rules. Here are 5 things to consider when preparing or updating your incorporated association’s rules.
The departure of an employee can be a difficult time for your business. It is also a time that your business is exposed to the potential for real damage. If you establish a clear and consistent process for departing employees, you can protect your business and minimise the impact on staff and customers. Use our ‘departing employees’ checklist to protect your business.
We have written a lot of technical stuff about selling a business. But we’re finding that more and more people want to understand the best high-level strategy to actually conclude a deal. This article sets out the key steps.
Most Shareholder Agreements, Constitutions and Partnership Agreements provide 'pre-emption' rights. These are rights that require someone wanting to sell an interest in the enterprise, to first offer the interest to the other equity holders. But they do not necessarily require the majority to buy.
There really is only one sustainable career or endeavour – commoditisation. This is the work of taking something requiring high levels of knowledge, experience and creativity, and turning it into something that a novice can easily do for themselves, for free. If you want to maintain and grow your real value over an extended period, that is it. There is nothing else.
If you have a company then you have probably sat in a meeting with your accountant and heard the phrase 'that may raise Division 7A issues'. Everyone usually then grumbles and nodes wisely, and moves on... But you may be asking yourself, 'what the hell is Division 7A all about?' Glad you asked.
The Government has announced a 'tax integrity' measure to 'improve' the taxation of testamentary trusts. What impact does this potentially have on your estate planning strategies?
We all love our trusts, but unfortunately they don't last forever. They have an ‘expiry date’. When you reach this date, the Trust ends and its property must be distributed to beneficiaries. Before this time you need to consider who will be entitled to the assets, and what tax and stamp duty liabilities may be triggered. You also need to see if the date can be extended...
It's relatively easy to get into property ownership with someone. But it can be considerably harder to get out. Particularly if you don't have a co-ownership agreement in place. Find out what court remedies may be available to you NSW if you find yourself stuck in a property.
Many businesses have built strong brands by treating customers well. But it is also important to ensure that no single customer can put your business at risk. You need to draw the line somewhere. This is where your terms of supply come in. However, these terms need to be consistent with the Australian Consumer Law.
In South Australia stamp duty is not payable on a transfer of real property from a trustee of a trust to a person who already has a defined beneficial interest in the property. For example, a transfer of property from the trustee of a unit trust to the unit holder. But there are a couple of tricks you need to be aware of.
A few judges and populist politicians have recently made some snarly comments about lawyers and ‘greedy’ people who are challenging Wills. Apparently, as a profession, we are getting a bit of ahead of ourselves in bringing too many of these cases to court. Read this article to get informed about the debate.
Everyone gets a $1.6 million cap on the assets that can support a tax-free super pension. You and your spouse each get a separate cap. But super pensions that pass to you from your spouse when they die may put you over your cap. This will have adverse tax outcomes. You need to plan for this as part of your estate planning.
In South Australia it is possible to transfer a property from a family trust to a beneficiary without stamp duty. Find out how.
The end of the first calendar quarter for the year is fast approaching, and this is a great time to think about improving your employment processes and procedures. To get you started, these are our favourite employment law 'nuts and bolts' that may need some tightening.
If you're thinking of selling your business, we bet there are 2 key outcomes you are looking for: 1. Getting the highest purchase price possible; and 2. Being able to make a clean break from the business, so you can think about something else (and maybe even relax or take a holiday). These outcomes are both realistic and achievable, but it will take some planning before you put the business up for sale.
We think 'learning how to learn' is perhaps the most important meta skill you can acquire. Why - because effective learning enables you to effectively respond to change - and your ability to respond to change is the number one (and perhaps only) thing that will determine your longer term success.
The Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) is the legislation that governs everything about security interests in personal property, which is almost all property that is not land. The broad purpose of the PPSA is to create a system for the registration of security interests, which is searchable by anyone and which can then be enforced against other parties. This register has been formed as the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).
We are not advocates of higher taxes. But, we are advocates of honest tax policy. So read 'company tax cut' as essentially a reduction in Australian tax on foreign investment. Full stop.
In this podcast Dr Rhonda Patrick interviews Dr Satchin Panda on 'biological clocks' and the circadian rhythm. This material has day-to-day application for all of us - how to sleep better, eat better and generally optimise things with nothing more than a better understanding of how important our body clocks are to our general overall health.
In this interview Kevin Rose talks with Robin Deeke, an FBI counterintelligence agent, who has written a book called the Code of Trust
If you have a discretionary family trust, then chances are your accountant has mentioned ‘unpaid present entitlements’ or ‘UPEs’. No doubt you have just nodded wisely, but deep down, do you really know what this means?
Most people who advise on testamentary trusts talk about the ‘tax benefits’. This emphasis is plain wrong. Why? Because, a simple Will (without a testamentary trust) is more likely to do harm, and to lead to family disharmony, than one with a testamentary trust.
A gift of property that is no longer in your estate when you die automatically ‘fails’ (or ‘adeems’). This rule can lead to unfairness and unintended consequences.
Doctors earn their money by ‘doing things’. Performing surgery, diagnosing an illness. This is great from a ‘personal fulfilment’ perspective, but not so great from a ‘personal tax’ perspective.
People who say this are just demonstrating their ignorance. Here’s why. The ability to use a trust as a ‘tax loophole’ was pretty much closed out in the 1970-80s. To suggest that trusts somehow make tax disappear for the ‘wealthy’ is plain silly.
Like any business, hotels have several moving ‘parts’ that need to work together so that the machine runs smoothly. If you are thinking of buying a hotel or similar hospitality business, make sure you are familiar with these unique features before you sign on the dotted line.
A key benefit of having your super in a SMSF is that you can choose who ultimately benefits from particular assets within your fund when you die.
We are often asked what rights an employer has to require their employees to undergo a medical assessment or provide their medical records. The answer is usually not straightforward, as there are some serious personal and privacy issues to consider. The question comes down to striking a balance.
Have you been approached by a telecommunications carrier that is interested in putting a tower or other structure on your land? How do you know if the deal you are being offered is fair?
An 'Ancillary Fund' is a special type of trust that can be used to collect and distribute donations for charitable purposes. The Fund can be set up through a trust deed while you are alive, or through your Will. Importantly, the Fund does not undertake charitable work itself, but can be used as a collection point to pool donations and then distribute them to charities and causes, as decided by the trustees.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has won its first case against an accountant being ‘knowingly involved’ in the workplace breaches of his client. The accountant could now face up to $357,000 in penalties, as though he committed the breaches himself. Find out what you can do to avoid this problem.
As most people now know, from 1 July 2017 the amount a super fund member can have in a pension account will be capped at $1.6 million. There has been a lot of general commentary on these changes, but little deeper analysis of the details.
Deciding to purchase property with another person is likely to be one of the most significant financial decision you may make in your lifetime. Unfortunately, things do not always go to plan and it may be the case that one of you wants ‘out’.
How do you calculate the extent of any 'discount' when an interest under an employee share scheme is granted to an employee?
How do you qualify to defer any tax otherwise payable on shares and options acquired under an employee share scheme? When does the deferral come to an end?
If you want to do charitable work or raise funds to help people living overseas, you should carefully consider your options to make sure your aid is targeted to where it's most needed.
There are over 700 laws that can impose personal liability on directors. While it is common for companies to provide directors with an 'indemnity' or 'insurance cover' for these liabilities, there are limitations and restrictions on how far this indemnity and cover can extend.
People are more aware – and wary – than ever of family law issues in relation to their assets. More and more couples seek binding financial agreements to protect their assets, or put off living together or marrying to minimise their financial exposure.
What is, and what is not, in your personal estate? This may sound like a academic question not worthy of a lot of thought. However, if you are in estate planning mode, it is critical that you answer this question correctly.
Most people realise the importance of protecting their Intellectual Property. But ‘ideas’ and ‘concepts’ aren't a form of IP, as there is no 'property' capable of being protected. Don't despair, there are ways to protect and exploit your interests.
Losing an employee, whether by dismissal or resignation, is never easy. But it’s even harder when the employee walks out the door with a head (and possibly a briefcase or USB) full of your confidential information.
One of the big benefits of being a not-for-profit organisation (NFP) is the availability of tax concessions. But are you making the most of the concessions available to your organisation?
We are commonly asked what's the best structure to use when setting up a new charity or other 'not-for-profit' (NFP) organisation. While incorporated associations and public companies limited by guarantee are often suitable, they are not the only options, and there is no easy 'one size fits all' answer.
Take-it or leave-it (or perhaps ‘void-it’)? Some things to consider in your Website Development Agreements
Website developers understand very clearly the notion of the ‘information architecture’ of a website, yet not all of them get it when it comes to the architecture of the service agreement they enter with their clients
Just because you and your partner make 'mirror Wills' does not mean that your partner cannot change their Will (either before or after you die). Furthermore, your partner does not have an obligation to inform you if they do change their Will. Find out how to deal with these issues.
You signed a contract, but things aren't working out. It happens. In this article we explore some ways you might be able to get yourself out of the deal.
So you've just come up with a great business concept, given it a test-drive among your family and friends, and now want to go to the next stage. What do you do? You need to put together the 'playing field' for your venture. In other words, you need a 'business structure'.
Your relationship is over, and you want out. But you aren’t sure what you need to organise before you leave. Hopefully this doesn't sound familiar - but if it does, we recommend you read-on... In this article we set out our 7 steps to leaving, which we hope will help you through this difficult transition. These steps will also help someone assisting a relative, friend or client through this process.
Your super doesn't form part of your estate, and is not subject to the terms of your Will. It's therefore critical to have in place appropriate arrangements to make sure your super ends up where you intend.
When you are separating for your spouse or partner, it's easy to get bogged down in negotiations about your kids and dividing up your property. But don't forget your estate planning - otherwise you may just end up leaving your former partner the biggest gift of them all.
When we hear the word 'company', we all think we know what the person is talking about. We deal with companies every day. Most of us work for a company, and we certainly buy things from them. But companies are actually a strange thing. Let's start with a bit of a history lesson.
Divorce is the legal process that formally ends a marriage. In practical terms, it is often the easiest part of a separation - but perhaps one of the more emotionally charged. Read on for a brief overview of the divorce procedure.
Kasia works with high net-worth individuals to achieve their estate planning and business succession goals. She also gets involved in complex property transactions and estate administration.
Is your commercial lease compliant with the PPSR regime? You need to know the answer to this question. Everyone has heard about the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), which came online on 30 January 2012. The implications of the new registration system are still not widely known. For many people the need for registration is only discovered after it is too late.
What would happen if you lost mental capacity or died? While your physical life may be well provided for, chances are your digital life is seriously at risk.
Well drafted 'pre-emption' clauses in a Shareholders Agreement or Constitution provide you with important protections. But there are a number of potential traps that you need to be aware of.
Unlike divorce, marriage separation does not have an effect on your Will. For this reason, the period of separation that occurs prior to divorce is possibly one of the most important times to ensure your Will reflects your changed circumstances.
In this article, we will discuss some of the critical clauses that are often missing from basic employment documents. We will cover what each critical clause does and why it is important, and the potential consequences of not including the clause in your employment documents.
When you are entrusted to deal with the estate of a deceased loved one, it can feel overwhelming. We are here to guide you through this time with compassion, clarity and certainty.
Our gift to you is our Work Communications Policy, which is designed to be a set of fundamental rules for an SME to adopt internally to ensure that the quality of its communications is regulated. Click on the link to download a copy of the Policy to adopt in your workplace today.
In Australia, there are 3 main types of employment contracts: permanent (full-time or part-time), casual, and fixed term (whether full-time or part-time). This article focuses on fixed term contracts.
The concept of a 'bucket company' is used to describe a company into which distributions from a discretionary trust are made to cap the tax rate on the trust's income to the flat company rate of 30%.
The short answer is that it depends on whether the trustee first falls within the class of potential beneficiaries, and then whether the trustee is specifically excluded from benefiting.
When you give an outright gift to someone under your Will, the beneficiary receives the gift from your executor, with no strings attached. The beneficiary can do what they like with it. If you impose any rules on the gift, then you have effectively created a 'testamentary trust', and things get a little more complicated.
Dealing with employees and their entitlements as part of a business sale or acquisition is not straight-forward. There are plenty of traps and tricks for the uninitiated. Find out what you need to know.
Do you have the right to determine who inherits your farm? The short answer is 'not necessarily', but there are things you can do to increase the chances of your wishes being upheld.
Sexual harassment can cost a business dearly in terms of lost productivity, staff turnover, recruitment costs, legal fees and court awarded damages. Two recent court cases have shown us that courts are now prepared to make increasingly large awards to compensate victims of sexual harassment. Here we give you the tools to identify sexual harassment in the workplace, and provide the steps you need to take to prevent it.
When you first read these clauses it isn’t always clear what they are trying to achieve, and why you would include them in your Shareholders Agreement (or Constitution).
Everyone is playing a winner-takes-all game – at your cost. Microsoft, Google and Apple are trying to own you, and keep you from being ‘part-owned’ by the other guys, and they have been playing this game for years.
Will all business owners be required to return profits from their businesses as personal services income if they are involved in the business? Will they be required to earn a ‘market wage” (whatever that is)?
Sometimes people look to their super fund as a means of funding life insurance for a business buy-sell arrangement. This is possible, but there are some tricks and traps to be aware of...
By now, everyone has heard about the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), which came online on 30 January 2012, (well, we hope so!). However, the implications of the new registration system are still not widely known.
LinkedIn and other social media networking sites have their uses, and can be good for ‘profile’ building. But the question is – can you afford to lose control of your business contacts and spend time building value for another business, the social media site?
A Special Disability Trust (SDT) is a special type of trust that allows parents and immediate family members to plan for current and future needs of a person with severe disability. The trust can pay for reasonable care, accommodation and other discretionary needs of the beneficiary during their lifetime.