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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

What is a subpoena?

What is a subpoena?

A subpoena is a legal document issued by the Court at the request of a party to a case. A subpoena compels a person to produce documents or give evidence at a hearing or trial.

There are three types of subpoena:

  • a subpoena for production
  • a subpoena to give evidence, and
  • a subpoena for production and to give evidence.

A party to a case can request a subpoena if a person refuses or is unable, of their own free will, to give evidence in the case or to provide documents to the Court that are relevant to the case. However, the party should make attempts to get the required document or evidence by, for example, asking the person to provide it before requesting the Court to issue a subpoena.

A subpoena for production and to give evidence should not be sought if production of the document/s and/or thing/s alone would be sufficient.

What do I do if I receive a subpoena?

When served with a subpoena, you must comply with it. If you do not comply with a subpoena, a court may issue a warrant for your arrest, and order you to pay any costs caused by your non-compliance.

A court may also find you guilty of contempt of court.
M: 0481 287 528
E: info@gandblawyers.com.au
W: www.gandblawyers.com.au
GPO Box 1849, Sydney, NSW 2001


Thursday, 17 April 2014

When is a prenuptial agreement appropriate?

When is a prenuptial agreement appropriate?

Prenuptial agreements may be appropriate where:

1.     one person has much more property than the other when the relationship began

2.     one person is, or may later become, entitled to an inheritance or gift

3.     you are moving into a second or subsequent relationship where children from former relationships might need to be protected financially, or

4.     you both simply want to make sure the terms of any property division are agreed up front and will not end up in court.

What about de facto relationships?

Since 2009, virtually the same rules apply to de facto relationships as they do to marriages.
Your relationship can be defined as de facto when you are living together on a genuine domestic basis yet are not married to each other or related by family.
Whether or not your relationship is de facto will be determined according to such matters as the length of the relationship, whether you live together, whether you have combined your finances and you have children together.
For further advice contact the team at G&B Lawyers.
M: 0481 287 528
E: info@gandblawyers.com.au
W: www.gandblawyers.com.au
GPO Box 1849, Sydney, NSW 2001

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Protect yourself ... getting a pre-nup done will pay in the end!

What is a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements set out how your property will be divided if your relationship breaks down. 
They can be made before, during or after the relationship - whether it’s a marriage or a de facto relationship. And the property that you can protect includes not only cash and real estate but also assets such as a family business, a trust, investments, an entitlement to an inheritance, superannuation or even a pension entitlement.
The idea of property also includes debts and liabilities of the relationship such as an obligation under a contract.
When you and your partner (or partner-to-be or ex-partner) agree how your property is to be divided, it is important to do it legally.
With a prenup your assets and liabilities will be divided according to the terms of the agreement and prevents the Family Courts from becoming involved if your relationship does not work out.
The agreement must comply with strict legal requirements and you must have a certificate from a lawyer stating that you have received proper advice.
If the agreement is not done legally it will not be upheld and you may have to fight things out in court anyway. 
For assistance on preparing a pre-nup, contact us at G&B Lawyers.

M: 0481 287 528

E: info@gandblawyers.com.au

W: www.gandblawyers.com.au

GPO Box 1849, Sydney, NSW 2001

Monday, 14 April 2014

Setting up a Trust with G&B Lawyers

Trusts can be used as a tax minimisation strategy; as a means of providing shared income for family members; to minimise the risk of creditors making a claim against your assets; and to place valuable assets out of the direct control of individuals at risk of making poor decisions that may affect a number of stakeholders involved. 

One type of discretionary trust is a family trust.

A trustee (frequently one of the family members) is elected to hold assets in their name for the benefit of a group of beneficiaries.

Although one or more person can be elected as trustee, so to can a company. This is beneficial in terms of avoiding difficulty experienced in situations such as the death of a trustee, or in circumstances where a trustee is declared bankrupt. 
G&B Lawyers can assist you with:

  • Drafting trusts
  • Reviewing trusts to ensure they comply with financial and trust-related legal requirements
  • Advice for your accountant to make suitable arrangements
  • Advice for structuring your trust in ways to minimise the chance of claims being made under family law or debt recovery proceedings.

M: 0481 287 528

E: info@gandblawyers.com.au

W: www.gandblawyers.com.au

GPO Box 1849, Sydney, NSW 2001


Sunday, 13 April 2014

The importance of making a will

What is a will?

A will is a legal document which sets out who’ll receive your property and possessions when you die.
When you have a valid will, you give yourself the best chance of making sure your assets go where you want them to. So you should always make a will if you have a family or if other people are financially dependent on you.

What makes a will valid?
A will generally needs three things to be valid:
  • It must be in writing (whether handwritten, typed or printed)
  • It must be signed, and
  • Your signature must be witnessed by two other people who also need to sign the will.
But even where you’ve met these three requirements, your assets can’t be distributed immediately. Sometimes, a court needs to grant probate first.

What happens if you die without a will?
If you die without a valid will (known legally as ‘dying intestate’), a standard formula is used to distribute your property and possessions. Usually, this means all your assets will pass to your spouse or children.
But the situation becomes much more complex if you have a legal spouse and a de facto spouse (ie you’ve separated and have a new unmarried partner), if you have children from different relationships, or if you die with no spouse and no children.
The court’s formula usually also only lets your family members inherit from you. So having a valid will is vital if you want to leave gifts to friends or charities.

Who makes sure your wishes are carried out?
When you make a will you’ll need to appoint an executor and trustee, who will handle your affairs when you die. People usually choose one person to perform both roles, but you can name different people as executor and trustee, and you can name as many executors as you like (although appointing more than two can complicate things).
An executor’s role is to obtain probate, pay your debts, and distribute your assets in line with your will.
Generally, a trustee administers any trusts set up in the will.
This usually happens where you leave assets to people under the age of 18. Before you nominate someone as an executor or trustee, you should make sure they’re comfortable taking on the responsibility you’re giving them. It’s often a good idea to appoint someone younger than you, or to nominate reserve beneficiaries, in case the ones you’ve appointed die before you do.
Because of their expertise in administering wills, people often choose to appoint their solicitor as executor.

Can you change your will?
You’re free to change your will whenever you like. And you should always change your will when your circumstances change – for instance, if you divorce or remarry, or if one of your beneficiaries dies.
But you can’t just change your will by crossing something out and writing something different.
Instead, where you want to make a minor change, you’ll need to make a codicil – which is effectively an authorised amendment to the will. As with a will, a codicil needs to be in writing and signed and witnessed by two people.
Where you want to make a major change, you’re usually best off making a whole new will.

What happens if you marry or divorce?
Generally, getting married cancels the terms of any will you’ve previously drawn up. But there are exceptions, which your solicitor can explain to you.
If you divorce, it cancels any gift you made to your former spouse under your will. It also cancels their appointment as trustee, executor or guardian under your will, except as trustee for property left to any children.
You should always make a new will if you marry, divorce, or if you’ve been separated for a long time.

Who can you leave your assets to?
You can leave your assets to whoever you like, but you have a general obligation to provide adequately for your spouse or de facto partner, your children, and any other dependents. If you don’t they can bring a claim against your estate.

Where should you keep your will?
You should always keep your will in a safe place and let your executor know where you’ve put it. That’s because, if you misplace your will and no one can find it, it won’t be effective. Your solicitor can store your will for you (usually free of charge) and give you a copy for your own records.
Some people also choose to give their executor a letter of instructions separate to their will, letting them know their intentions in more detail.
If you need assistance in preparing a will, speak to G&B Lawyers.

M: 0481 287 528

E: info@gandblawyers.com.au

W: www.gandblawyers.com.au

GPO Box 1849, Sydney, NSW 2001


Monday, 7 April 2014

Introducing G&B Lawyers

Kim Glassborow - Principal Lawyer

Kim has built a strong reputation providing strategic advice to corporations, consultants and organisations across a wide range of property, environmental and planning matters, and is an accomplished and experienced litigator.

Kim has 10 years’ experience in planning and environmental law, compliance and governance in both small and large top tier law firms and in-house.
She has worked at small boutique, mid-tier and top tier firms in Sydney and is regarded as one of the up and coming planning and environmental lawyers in Sydney.

Kim was the former elected Chair of the NSW Law Society / Young Lawyers Planning & Environmental Law Committee (with a membership of 300 lawyers), and she is a published author of Lexis Nexis publication on ‘Annotations to the Land and Environment Court Act & Rules’ under the guidance of Justice Pepper of the Land and Environment Court.
Kim has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) / Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.

Kim’s expertise includes:

·         All aspects of planning & environmental law

·         Property development (commercial, residential & industrial)

·         Land contamination

·         Tenders and review of contracts

·         Waste management

·         Work, health & safety

·         Employment law

·         Building & construction

·         Mediations & conciliations

·         All litigation

·         Property law & Conveyancing
M: 0481 287 528
E: info@gandblawyers.com.au
W: www.gandblawyers.com.au
GPO Box 1849, Sydney, NSW 2001