• SMSF death benefit payment reversed by Court

    A self-managed superannuation fund trustee has had her decision to distribute a death benefit to herself reversed by the Supreme Court of Victoria, in the recent case of Re Marsella; Marsella v Wareham (No 2).[1]

  • Collective bargaining class exemptions in the works for eligible businesses

    As consultation wrapped up last week, a change may be on the way as the ACCC considers introducing a class exemption for collective bargaining for selected businesses, agribusinesses and franchisees.

    Collective bargaining under the ACCC

    Collective bargaining is where two or more competitors come together to negotiate with a supplier or a customer over terms, conditions and prices.

  • Proposed Reforms To The Federal Courts

    On Wednesday 30 May 2018, the Attorney General’s Department announced reforms to the Federal Courts in an attempt to speed up Court wait times for family law matters.

  • Same sex marriage – issues for estate planning

    Although the recent same-sex marriage reform creates significant legal benefits for same-sex couples, those who were already married overseas or looking to get married in Australia should be aware of certain estate planning issues.

    The recent legislative amendments mean same-sex couples who have married overseas in accordance with the marriage laws of those countries will now have their marriages recognised as valid under Australian Law from 9 December 2017.

  • Proposed changes to the Guardianship and Administration Act

    The government has introduced a new Bill, the Guardianship and Administration Bill 2018 into the lower house of parliament. The Bill is intended to replace the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 with new laws that will provide a contemporary legislative framework for the appointment of guardians and administrators by the Victorian Civil and Administrat

  • Who makes the decisions?

    Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016

    Changes to Medical Treatment Planning come in to operation in Victoria on 12 March 2018.

    One of the most important questions we deal with when discussing a person’s medical affairs is “who makes the decisions?” The short answer is, you do! But what happens when you cannot make the decision for yourself?

  • GST changes for new residential properties

    The Commonwealth Treasury has released an Exposure Draft of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Measures No. 9) Bill which proposes a new goods and services tax (GST) withholding regime for new residential premises or new subdivisions of potential residential land as announced in the 2017-2018 Federal Budget.

  • Duty to act in the best interest of the client

    The Federal Court has ordered that financial advice firm Golden Financial Group (formerly NSG Services) (“NSG”) pay a civil penalty of $1 million after it failed to act in the best interest of its clients and provide appropriate client specific advice.  This was an ASIC test case and its outcome indicates that significant penalties are likely to flow from breaches of this duty.

  • Court finds unsent text message to be a Will

    Re Nichol; Nichol v Nichol & Anor [2017] QSC 220

    In a judgment delivered on 9 October 2017, the Supreme Court of Queensland has held that an unsent text message be admitted to probate as the deceased’s final Will.

  • Changes to Intestacy, Ademption and Executors’ Commission in Victoria

    The Administration and Probate and Other Acts Amendment (Succession and Related Matters) Act 2017 will come into force on 1 November 2017 which amends the Administration and Probate Act 1958 (Vic) dealing primarily with intestacy, ademption and executors’ commission.

    Some of the major amendments are discussed below.