Conveyancing is the transfer of property from one person to another. A typical conveyancing transaction has two major stages often referred to as exchange of contracts and completion.
Buying and selling property is often one of the biggest decisions you will make in life – that is why it is so important to receive professional legal advice from experienced solicitors before you do so.
Our team of solicitors and conveyancers are highly skilled in residential and commercial property transactions. We will provide you with clear, practical and cost effective advice.
Our objective is to provide you with confidence and peace of mind when you decide to buy or sell a property.
Buying a property
Whether you are buying your first home or adding to your investment portfolio our team will guide you through the process and advise you on associated risks along the way.
Our comprehensive service provides you with assistance at every stage of your purchase including:
Contract advice and attending to exchange of contracts;
Advising and assisting you with applications for grants and/or concessions you may be eligible for;
Completing post exchange enquiries; and
Completing your settlement.
Our conveyancing team settle hundreds of purchase matters every year locally and more broadly across NSW and ACT, so you can be assured McPherson Park Lawyers will provide the experience and skills needed to complete your matter.
Selling a property
Our conveyancing team endeavour to make the sale of your property a stress free process.
It is a legal requirement that a contract for marketing purposes be prepared and made available to potential purchasers prior to your property being advertised for sale. Our team will order the required documents for inclusion in the contract and then prepare the contract to be forwarded to your nominated listing agent.
Once you find a purchaser for your property, we then navigate you through every stage to settlement, including:
assisting with pre-exchange negotiations;
exchanging contracts (this is when the contract becomes legally binding on both parties);
discharge of any mortgage on the property;
attending to adjustments for rates, water and strata levies where applicable;
Our conveyancing team have the knowledge and experience to ensure your sale is settled as smoothly as possible.
Our expertise extends to the following additional types of conveyancing transactions:
Buying and selling off the plan;
Transfers of land between family members;
Strata and Community titling – including by laws;
Mortgages and leasing;
Intergeneration transfers; and
Updating title particulars such as change of name.
Please do not hesitate to contact our conveyancing team if you have any questions in relation to our above areas of expertise.
At BHM Lawyers we aim to provide our clients with holistic legal advice to their estate planning documents.
Our objective is to provide our clients with tailored, reliable and comprehensive advice, so you can have control of your personal and financial wellbeing, even in the event that you lose mental capacity. We understand it can be an emotional and sometimes confronting process. Accordingly, we will ensure that the process is as stress-free and streamlined as possible.
Our solicitors can provide comprehensive legal advice including but not limited to:
Wills and Testamentary Trusts;
Enduring Powers of Attorney;
Advanced Care Directive;
Death Benefit Nominations for your superannuation (including self-managed super funds).
Having a clear, legally valid and up-to-date Will is the best way to help ensure that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes upon your death.
We can assist you in preparing a simple Will or if required a complex Will to appropriately allow for distributions involving blended families, vulnerable beneficiaries or dealing with assets like trusts, self-managed superfunds or other business assets. We will also provide advice in relation to how to minimise possible family provision claims and to reduce the potential for any dispute.
We also provide our clients with the option to store your original Will in our safe for safe keeping purposes. There is no charge for this service
We can also discuss with you any other unique circumstances including:
Superannuation and death benefits
Capital Gains Tax
Enduring Power of Attorney
The purpose of an Enduring Power of Attorney is to appoint someone (or more than one person) of your choice to be able to assist with your property and financial affairs should that be necessary.
You are also able to structure the document so that if you lose the capacity to manage your own affairs for any reason, including due to advanced age, an injury or other medical event, the attorney can continue to manage your property and financial affairs on your behalf.
You can elect to have your attorney act for you immediately or only in the event that you lose capacity and impose conditions or limitations on the attorney as you see fit.
If you lose capacity and have not appointed an Enduring Power of Attorney to make important property and financial decisions, an application will need to be lodged to the Guardianship Division, NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal to have a financial manager appointed to manage your financial affaird. This can often be a complicated and stressful process for your loved ones during a difficult time, and can only be avoided by having the documents prepared and signed while you still have capacity.
This type of appointment is similar to a power of attorney, however it involves authorising someone (or more than one person) to give appropriate directions to your doctors and care givers if that becomes necessary as a result of your loss of capacity to do so yourself.
Under legislation your guardian(s) may exercise the following functions:-
deciding the place you live (such as a specific nursing home, or your own home);
deciding the health care that you receive;
deciding the other kinds of personal services that you receive;
giving consent to the carrying out of medical or dental treatment;
any other function relating to your person that is specified in the instrument.
Enduring Guardianship appointments only come into effect if or when you lose capacity and will only be effective during the period of incapacity. For some people, this may never be required, however if you do lose capacity and have not signed an Enduring Guardianship appointment, an application will need to be lodged by your loved ones to the Guardianship Division, NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal to have a guardian appointed for you.
Accordingly, appointing an Enduring Guardian may give you a sense of security knowing that if anything happens and you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself, the person who you have appointed is someone you trust and who knows and understands your wishes in relation to medical treatment, where you want to live and receive care and other important decisions.
Advanced Care Directive
An advance care directive is an important part of your end-of-life care. An advance care directive formalises your advance care plan should you be unable to make decisions for your care and communicate those properly to family, caregivers and medical professionals.
In a crisis, your loved ones may find it difficult to decide what treatment is best for you. An advance care directive will help remove some of the uncertainty and also the burden on loved ones in making those important decisions.
An advance care directive is usually much more detailed than an Enduring Guardianship appointment and contains specific instructions as to what medical treatment and end-of-life care you want to receive. This can be discussed with your doctor as well as our lawyers should you wish to put one in place.
Many people do not realise that superannuation does not automatically form part of their estate when they pass away and as a result will not always be dealt with in accordance with their Will.
Unless you have a valid Binding Death Benefits Nomination signed and held by your superannuation fund, the trustees of the fund can exercise a relatively broad discretion as to who will receive your superannuation. It will not automatically be paid to the beneficiaries as stated in your Will.
In addition, how you structure your Will and superannuation can have very different tax consequences. For example, the tax consequences of leaving your superannuation to your spouse as opposed to an adult child may be vastly different.
Our lawyers can assist you in structuring your Will and superannuation (including self-managed super) to take into account the above issues to ensure your superannuation (and as much of it as possible) goes to your intended beneficiaries.
WILLS + ESTATE PLANNING
DECEASED ESTATES & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
McPherson Park Lawyers provide professional and compassionate legal advice when it comes to the process of administering a loved one’s Estate.
In most instances it will be necessary to obtain consent from the Supreme Court before the assets of an Estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries. The legal processes for obtaining consent from the Supreme Court are referred to as either Probate or Letters of Administration.
Probate is the legal process of obtaining the Supreme Court’s endorsement that the Will submitted to the Court is the Last Will and Testament of the deceased.
Once the Supreme Court issues the Grant of Probate the nominated executor/s can begin the process of administrating the Estate including attending to payment of any Estate liabilities and distributing the remainder of the Estate in accordance with the legacies and bequests provided in the Will.
Letters of Administration
If the deceased did not have a Will or the Will is defective in some way, the Estate is referred to as intestate.
In these circumstances it is often necessary to apply to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Letters of Administration or Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed before the Estate can be administered. A potential administrator will be required as part of this process to satisfy the Court that they are the appropriate person to be appointed as the administrator, what the assets and liabilities of the Estate are and who are the appropriate beneficiaries.
The legal process of applying for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration can be complex. In certain circumstances an executor or administrator can also be held personally liable to the beneficiaries for losses suffered by an Estate. It is therefore recommended that an executor or an administrator obtain legal advice prior to distributing the Estate.
McPherson Park Lawyers have an experienced and understanding legal team who will advise you through the required process to ensure that as an executor or administrator you can administer the Estate in an appropriate and timely manner.
We understand the impact a family relationship breakdown can have on all family members whether in a married or de facto situation.
It is often very hard to know where to start when working through matters relating to care of the children, domestic violence issues or how to divide the assets of the relationship in a just and equitable manner.
We can provide a steadying hand during this emotional time, while providing accurate practical legal advice to ensure you regain control of your life and can make decisions for your future that are informed and measured.
Our approach is based on the view that Court is the last resort. However we understand that sometimes there is no other option and we will work with you throughout the Court process to achieve the best possible outcome in those circumstances.
McPherson Park Lawyers can assist you in relation to:
Parenting arrangements including:
where the children will live,
how much time the children spend with each parent,
what if the arrangements are not working,
what if you have concerns about your children’s welfare,
How children’s expenses are divided,
Dividing property and superannuation and accounting for debts of the relationship
Assistance with financial help for your children and yourself,
Formalising and documenting agreed arrangements for the children or property/financial settlement that could include:
Consent Orders filed with the Court
Binding Financial agreements before, during or after a relationship breakdown
Child Support agreements.
Assisting you to access appropriate services including:
Post separation counselling,
Mediation services where qualified practitioners assist parties to resolve issues without the intervention of the Court,
Family Dispute Resolution.
BUSINESS & COMMERCIAL LAW
Our commercial lawyers are highly experienced and can assist you with transactional matters (buying and selling businesses), ongoing business advice and assistance with setting up business structures including companies, trusts, partnerships and joint ventures.
Our lawyers are also experienced in specialised areas such as franchising, employment law, licencing and business disputes and litigation.
Buying and Selling a Business
Buying or selling a business requires careful planning to ensure the terms and conditions are properly negotiated and documented in a formal contract. It is important that the contract also accurately details each party’s rights and obligations, deal with the issue of GST and set out processes to manage various contingencies.
Your contract and incidental agreements such as associated commercial lease or hire agreements should also be properly reviewed by a solicitor prior to any settlement. This process will hopefully avoid any disputes or disagreements both during the transaction and after the sale/purchase has been completed.
Franchises are governed by a Franchising Code of Conduct, which sets out the rights and responsibilities that apply to franchisors and franchisees. It is important for the parties to be aware of these obligations when entering into or terminating a franchise agreement.
Deciding on a business structure is an important consideration for all commercial ventures. The structure through which you operate your business should be chosen having regard to your personal and financial circumstances and involves a balancing between personal risk and associated on-going costs.
BHM Lawyers can advise you in relation to the following structures:
Corporate Trustee and trusts.
Other types of Agreements
In certain circumstances, other types of agreements may also be fundamental to the success of your business these include supply / service agreements, partnership / shareholder agreements, licence agreements, employment contracts and loan agreements.
Commercial and Retail Leases
Commercial and retail leases set out the legal terms and conditions through which the business may occupy premises to run the enterprise. Whether you are a lessor or lessee, a lease agreement should be formally prepared and reviewed by an experienced lawyer to ensure a balance of rights between the parties. Many lease disputes can be avoided with careful drafting to ensure all terms and conditions are clear and complete.
There are various ways to pursue an unpaid debt including serving a letter of demand or a statutory demand under the Corporations Act 200,1 or as a last resort commencing formal debt recovery court proceedings. BHM Lawyers will provide you with professional and cost effective advise in relation to your debt recovery matter.
Insolvency arises when a company cannot pay its debts as they become due. Directors of companies facing cashflow problems should immediately obtain legal advice to ensure the best possible outcome for the company and to mitigate the potential risk of personal liability for insolvent trading.
These are just some of the matters you might encounter as a business owner or company director.
We appreciate how important your business is to you. At BHM Lawyers our objective is to understand how you and your business operate so that we can work alongside you and provide professional, reliable and timely advice during the life of your business.
Our experienced solicitors can provide you with advice in relation to the following:
Sale and Purchase of Business;
General Commercial/Business Law advice;
Corporate Trustee and Family Trust Structures;
Commercial & Retail Leasing; and
Litigation including Debt Recovery & Contractual Disputes
Land development refers to the process of acquiring land for development purposes with the objective of increasing the value of the land.
It is for this reason that land development is a lucrative area of law for a developer. However, it is also an area of law which requires an understanding of complex state and local laws and regulations.
BHM Lawyers has a highly experienced and skilled property law team. Our objective is to work alongside our clients to ensure they remain compliant with the various state and local laws and regulations.
Obtaining legal advice prior to commencing your land development project is advisable to ensure that you are aware of any issues affecting the land, and your legal obligations as a land developer.
Whether your land development is large or small, commercial or residential BHM Lawyers’ are able to assist you. Our expertise extends to the following areas of land development:
Selling off-the plan;
Subdivisions including the preparation of 88b instruments;
Transfers of land between family members including intergenerational transfers;
Strata and Community titling – including by laws;
Mortgages and leasing.
CONTESTING A WILL - FAMILY PROVISION CLAIMS
If you believe you have not received adequate provision or have been excluded from a loved one’s Will you may be eligible to apply for further provision or provision from the Estate.
In New South Wales these types of claims are governed by Parts 3.2 and 3.3 of The Succession Act 2006 and are often referred to as “Family Provision Claims’.
In order to successfully apply for provision from an Estate you must be deemed an eligible person and be able to convince the Supreme Court there is sufficient need to warrant varying the terms of the Will.
In summary Section 57 of The Succession Act 2006 defines eligible persons as:
a spouse including a former spouse of the deceased;
a person who was living in a close personal relationship with a deceased at the time of the deceased’s death;
a child (including adopted children); or
a person who was, at any particular time, wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person, and who is a grandchild of the deceased person or was, at that particular time or at any other time, a member of the household of which the deceased person was a member.
If you believe you satisfy one or more of the above eligibility criteria the next step is to establish a genuine need for greater provision. This is often the more complex component of any claim.
You will need satisfy the Court that there is a sufficient need to justify altering the terms of the Will and that it is appropriate to do so in the circumstances. This process requires the Court to consider a range of factors including:
the relationship between the applicant and the deceased person;
any obligations or responsibilities owed by the deceased person to the applicant;
the value and location of the deceased person's estate;
the financial circumstances of the applicant, including their current and future financial needs;
whether the applicant is financially supported by another person;
whether the applicant has any physical, intellectual or mental disabilities;
the applicant's age;
any contribution made by the applicant to increase the value of the estate;
any other matter the court may consider as relevant.
The solicitors at McPherson Park Lawyers have extensive experience in the area of Family Provision Claims and will provide you with professional, reliable and practical advice in relation to whether you are an eligible person and if so, your prospects of success.
Please note that in NSW, Family Provision Claims are required to be filed within 12 months from the date of death.
CIVIL DISPUTES & LITIGATION
What is a Civil Dispute?
A civil dispute refers to a dispute between two or more persons/corporations which is not criminal in nature.
What is Civil Litigation?
Civil litigation is the court process of resolving a civil dispute.
How we can help?
If you believe you have been wronged and have suffered a loss as a result you may be able entitled to apply to the Court for a remedy such as compensation.
McPherson Park Lawyers are mindful that civil litigation is often a stressful, protracted, expensive and often an uncertain process. Accordingly, we will first provide you with advice in relation to possible alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation and/or arbitration.
Should litigation become necessary, however, the solicitors at McPherson Park Lawyers have extensive experience representing clients at the Local, District and Supreme Courts of New South Wales, Federal Court of Australia and High Court of Australia.
It is important to understand that time limitations are imposed for most types of civil disputes and that you should seek legal advice as soon as reasonably possible.
CRIMINAL & TRAFFIC LAW
McPherson Park Lawyers understands that being charged with a criminal or traffic offence can be a confronting and often daunting process.
Our solicitors will take the time to ensure you understand the charges and evidence against you, the Court process and likely outcomes. We will also advise you of what steps you should take to mitigate the outcome.
If you have been charged with a criminal or traffic offence or if your licence has been lost or is at risk we recommend you obtain legal advice as soon as practically possible.
McPherson Park Lawyers can advise as to the most appropriate action in your situation, or directly assist with experienced practitioners to guide you through the process.