estate-planning

5 Estate Planning Steps to Consider Before Seeing the Lawyer

If you are considering estate planning to take care of your assets and divide them properly between your loved ones, a good family lawyer will tell you to write down the information they need before you make an appointment with them. In this way they will have all the information to hand and can get on with the job, saving you both time and money.

So to that end, here is a list of steps you need to take to ensure you have everything covered.

  • Physical assets – these are house, car or any other vehicle you may own and any other asset worth over $100. This can include electronic devices, home theatre, camera, artwork, jewellery, ornaments and expensive even clothing such as a fur coat or wedding dress.

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initiate-divorce-proceeding

How to Initiate Divorce Proceedings

No matter which Australian state you live in, before you can start divorce proceedings you have to live apart from your spouse or partner for 12 months and one day. An experienced divorce lawyer will tell you that it is possible to live in the same house and still be living apart. This sometimes happens if living in another house or other accommodation would be difficult financially.

However, you must prove that you are living apart in the home and that there is no likelihood of reconciliation. For instance, there must be two bedrooms in the house so it is obvious you and your partner are not sharing the same bed.

Attending court for a divorce

If there are no children from your marriage and you apply for a divorce, you don’t have to attend the court hearing. In some cases a couple may have made a joint application for a divorce. In this case, if there are children from the marriage under 18, neither you nor your spouse have to attend the court hearing.

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intestate

Are You Intestate?

Not a lot of people think about making a legal Will, drawn up by family lawyers; they may just tell their spouse or children that anything they have should be divided equally between them.  Unless one of their children is a favourite, in which case they may want that person to get everything. But unless they make a legal Will, this is unlikely to happen.

If you don’t have a Will, when you pass away you will be declared intestate, which simply means without a Will. Any assets you have will not be distributed to your family, at least not immediately. First, the matter will have to go through legal proceedings to ascertain exactly what you have in assets and how much it is all worth.

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benefits-of-estate-planning

7 Benefits of Estate Planning

Estate planning is about much more than just creating a Will so your assets will be divided the way you want them to be. Any estate planning lawyers will tell you that by planning your estate you are making the best decisions about your future and your family’s future in many ways. Here are several benefits of estate planning.

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How a Court Decides on Property Settlement after Divorce

While no one marries with the idea of divorcing, top family lawyers can attest to the fact that unfortunately, divorce still happens to a good percentage of couples. When it does, one of the main areas that has to be settled fairly is the distribution of assets. Even if there are not many assets, it is still important that both partners are treated fairly when it comes to asset division.

In fact, the court will also decide on the fair division of debt as well as assets, so that one person is not left with the kind of debt that they cannot possibly manage and the other person gets assets and no debt.  So how can a court possibly decide what is fair and what is not fair? Certainly it would be easier to make such a decision in a case where there are no children, both work and have equal income. However, this is rarely the case.

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Disadvantages of a Binding Financial Agreement

6 Disadvantages of a Binding Financial Agreement

When two people are about to enter into a relationship, one of them may decide that a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) should be drawn up to protect them from financial loss should the relationship fail.  Family lawyers are needed to give advice to both parties involved and explain exactly what the terms of the agreement mean.

While such an agreement can be entered into at any time – before, during or after the relationship, it is best to do it beforehand or even during the relationship while both parties are happy. To be fair, there should be input from both parties, although this often does not happen. While there are advantages to having a BFA, there are also a few disadvantages.

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