From conveyancing, to criminal law, family law to wills, choose a topic below for common questions and answers.
We’re all probably had buyer remorse at one time or another and when it comes to buying property cooling off periods are in place to cover you should you change your mind and wish to terminate a contract.
In Victoria, a real estate purchaser is entitled to a cooling off period of three days after signing a contract subject to specific conditions.
It’s important to note that this does not apply for auctions, if the purchaser is a real estate agent of a body corporate and if the parties have entered into a contract for the same property previously in similar circumstances.
Yes, you can however it’s always best to get finance approval before you go ahead and sign any contract.
If you do your homework and find out what you can borrow it will help you in the long run and ensure you are only signing a contract for a property you can afford.
Take the time to speak with a financial planner or a mortgage broker and find out what is your cut off point to ensure you’re not signing a contract for a property that is out of your realm of possibility; otherwise, you will need to break the contract due to your finance application being denied.
Stamp duty changes from state to state and your conveyancing solicitor will be able to calculate stamp duty for you to ensure you’re aware of what you need to pay for your property.
The amount of stamp duty you pay is based on a variety of factors including whether it is your principal place of residence, your first home, an investment property or land. You can access a wide range of calculators or the Victorian State Revenue Office for the most up to date information.
It’s a good idea to obtain insurance on the date of contract to protect you from a legal point of view from the start. The law states that from the date of the contract you are legally responsible for any damage of the seller, so you should be sure to cover yourself in case of any issues that may arise.
Protecting your fixtures and fittings from the date of contract is a must and you should ensure that you have a certificate of insurance to cover the property before any finance is released to you. If you have any questions about insurance for your property it’s best to speak with your insurance provider to ensure you are adequately covered.
You never know what condition the property might have been left in prior to the handover or settlement, particularly if it was previously tenanted or rented out so you should arrange a prior inspection, at least the day before settlement to ensure the property is as expected before you settle.
A Standard Contract usually only allows for one inspection, and you will need to arrange this through the real estate agent in advance so be sure to arrange this prior inspection to ensure you’re happy with the condition of the property.
Yes, it is important to get a building and pest inspection so that should any structural faults or defects be detected you are aware of these and you can terminate the contract if required or incorporate these defects into your price negotiation.
While a visual inspection might show up a range of defects to the eye, a detailed and thorough building and pest inspection covers a broad range of areas and will allow an experienced expert to comb the property and outline any issues to be aware of.
Building and pest inspectors are licenced and will provide a detailed report that can be shown to all parties involved in the potential sale as reference.
A criminal lawyer can provide a wide range of services in the area of criminal law including advising you of your rights and any charges against you, explaining options and possible penalties, attending police interviews, making bail applications and representing you in court.
If you’re arrested, you should call our office to get advice about whether we should attend your police interview to ensure you’re adequately represented and your legal rights are protected.
You are only ever obligated to answer questions relating to your identity including name, address and date of birth, everything else you can refuse to answer.
Be aware that while arrested you can also refuse to be involved in an ID line up, however, if you have any questions or concerns you should always request legal representation before speaking with police.
No, unless you give your permission your employer cannot gain access to your criminal record.
Your employer will need to ask your consent before requesting this from the police or a public body.
You will be charged with a criminal offence in the event that you breach an intervention order.
Breaching an intervention order can have a maximum penalty of imprisonment so it is important for you to take your intervention order seriously and abide by all the conditions set out.
Ask us for more information if you are not sure about what your rights or obligations are for an intervention order.
Your legal representative can ask that your conviction is not noted due to a clean criminal record or a minor offence. The Courts have the final say, however, if you are looking for a favourable response you should clearly outline how a conviction will affect your ability to be employed to ensure the Court can assess the likelihood of a favourable response to your request.
I’ve been approached by Police to answer some questions however I have not been charged yet – what do I do?
First and foremost ask for a lawyer and don’t feel obligated to say anything until you have spoken with your legal representative.
If the police would like to speak with you and yet they have not charged you it is important to have legal representation present due to the fact that anything you say can be used in court and what you say in the transcript is vitally important.
Feel free to call our office, for urgent legal advice, even if it is after-hours and leave a message clearly stating your name, your location, and a number that we can reach you on.
In many cases when individuals are sick or injured power of attorney is required for another person to make decisions on your behalf.
When you are incapacitated and cannot make decisions you can allow someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. Being a power of attorney is a very big responsibility and one that is legally binding.
Should you wish to allow someone to make decisions on your behalf, you will need to ask your lawyer to prepare an Enduring Power of Attorney.
These things happen, and if your Will is high risk there may be family members or beneficiaries who challenge a Will.
Be sure to prepare adequate documentation in your Will as part of your estate planning, any documentation or supporting information can help if a claim is brought forward and will ensure your Will is carried out in line with your wishes.
If a dispute does arise, your executor will play a role in managing it.
If you are concerned about beneficiaries or individuals disputing your Will is it important to reduce the likelihood of a challenge by restructuring your assets or leaving a small gift to an individual who is likely to contest your Will.
Yes, you can nominate your solicitor to be an executor under your Will.
A solicitor will act on behalf of an individual and will have the necessary skills to carry out all of the necessary tasks.
If you’re not sure about any element of drafting up a Will it is essential you speak with your solicitor and avoid DIY kits, as they can often be legally inadequate for your estate and assets.
In the event of your death if you don’t have a Will this means your assets are not necessarily left to the people you wish.
If you have specific wishes for your possessions and assets to be distributed specifically to spouse or children however your Will does not state this your estate may be distributed in a way that is not to your wishes.
Your Will must have witnesses over the age of eighteen who are not a beneficiary and are not related. You also need an executor to carry out your wishes laid out within your Will.
The short answer is yes. A de facto relationship is between two persons who are not legally married of the same or opposite sex that have been living together on a genuine domestic basis.
With this in mind, should you have children through a de facto relationship and the relationship ends and you are looking for family law advice you do have rights and it is important to seek the support of a legal professional to help you through the legal process.
Yes, there are time frames for family law matters as outlined below:
- De facto relationships – The limitation period for filing an application for property settlement or maintenance arising from a de facto relationship is two (2) years from the date of separation.
- Divorce– There is no time limit by which an Application for Divorce must be brought, however, no Application for Divorce can be brought unless there has been a period of 12 months of separation between the parties. That period of separation may be under one (1) roof.
- Property settlement – The limitation period for bringing an application for property settlement for couples that have been married is 12 months from the date of divorce, however, an application can be brought at any time prior to this date and after separation.
- Spouse maintenance – The limitation period for bringing an application for spouse maintenance is identical to that for property settlement for married couples. Any application should be brought within 12 months of divorce, but maybe brought at any time prior to that date and after separation.
- Appeals – The limitation period for bringing an appeal of any Order of the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court may vary depending upon the type of Order to be appealed or reviewed. Some Orders require an appeal or review to be lodged within seven (7) days and others within twenty-eight (28) days of the making of the Order. If you require further information in relation to appeals or reviews, please contact us to discuss your situation.
In the event of a family breakdown, divorce or a family law issue it is important to seek the expertise of a knowledgeable family lawyer to help you wade through the many legal sides of family law.
While some situations might be simple to work through, when it comes to family law it is important to engage an experienced legal professional to provide formal legal advice and support to ensure all areas of the law are attended to correctly.
If there are children involved, issues with violence, or a division of property or assets a family lawyer is well worth the investment. As well as this, if a partner is looking to move interstate or overseas, a family lawyer can draft up a suitable arrangement that works for all involved parties, both parents and children.
Statistics show that up to 85% of family law matters are resolved without needing to head to Court. This means that individuals have agreed to the outcome of their dispute and have simply used the Court services to formalise the agreement without having a long drawn out process dragged through the courts.
Involving a judge in family law matters can be trying and by settling a case through the mediation process reduces the amount of Court involvement and allows for a smoother process for all.
In many situations, family law disputes only involve Court to provide formality to the final agreement as a matter of legality and other than this the case is managed out of court.