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Your Personal Affairs

CONVEYANCING

We at Cass Legal pride ourselves on the level of assistance and personal service we give our clients when providing our conveyancing services.  Our Gold Coast professionals will provide you with a cost effective service and keep you informed at all time as to the progress of your matter. You will be speaking to real people and not an online or telephone automated service.

Cass Legal have been advising and acting for clients on the Gold Coast since 1998 in relation to the buying and selling of all types of residential and commercial properties including established homes, off the plan purchases, subdivisions and leases. Buying a property is probably the most expensive and bewildering experience most of us will undertake in our lifetime, and this firm has the staff who are trained and experienced to manage the complexities of your particular matter as well as to guide you, clarify and answer your queries and be available to offer the personal attention that you deserve and require.

As your legal professionals we are more than happy to assist you before and after entering into a contract.  We will provide advice to you by perusing the contract document, explain the obligations that arise when you sign a contract, and the processes and procedures that then must be considered and managed. We keep you on track with the strict timelines of a contract, ensuring that you are aware of the various dates for finance and inspections, and other conditions as may be included.  Our experienced staff will assist you with organising the payment of deposit moneys, attending to your mortgagee’s requirements and completing a range of necessary and informative government searches requisite to the completion of your property settlement. At Cass Legal we assist you from the beginning of your journey through to settlement and keep you fully informed all the way. 
AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Buying and Selling of your Home/Land
Buying and Selling of your Investment property, including Units.


TESTAMENTARY TRUST

A Testamentary Trust is effectively a Trust created by a Will.  A Testamentary Trust can take various forms, however, the most commonly used is what would usually be described as a Discretionary or Family Testamentary Trust.  At Cass Legal, we can advise you about the benefits which can be obtained by creating a Testamentary Trust under a Will. Our Gold Coast practice can advise you in this regard and help you understand the two main benefits of a Testamentary Trust, being asset protection and taxation benefits.

By creating a Testamentary Trust pursuant to your Will, the assets are placed in the Testamentary Trust and not directly into a Beneficiary’s name.  This provides a level of asset protection with respect to those assets which can, depending on how the Testamentary Trust is administered, result in those assets being protected against claims that may arise from bankruptcy or family breakdowns for example. 

We at Cass Legal see many clients who wish to ensure that the assets which they have amassed and worked hard for during their lives are properly protected and a Testamentary Trust is an extremely good vehicle for meeting those requirements. 

A Testamentary Trust can also have significant taxation benefits as any income earned by the Testamentary Trust from investments, can be split amongst the Beneficiaries (which will usually include children and grandchildren) which can sometimes result in significant tax savings.

At Cass Legal we believe that a Testamentary Trust is an excellent tool that clients can use to achieve their wishes and we are more than happy to discuss with our clients their use and effectiveness. 

Contact Murray Cass should you wish to obtain in depth advice in relation to Testamentary Trusts or Wills.  Speak to our friendly staff at Cass Legal who can assist you with making an appointment today.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Preparation of Wills;
Preparation of Memorandum of Wishes;
Testamentary Trusts
Assisting Testators to administer Estates
Obtaining Probate or Letters of Administration    
Enduring Power of Attorney 
Advance Health Directive


WILLS AND ESTATE LAWYERS

Cass Legal have been in business for over twenty years, and you can be sure we have the experience to provide you with high-quality legal advice and exceptional documentation that we draw which is specific only to you, and as you require.  We are the Wills and Estate Lawyers you can trust.

Managing Your Estate Affairs

Why do we need a Will?

Do you have a family? Own property and other assets? Want to protect your loved ones? Do you have a current valid Will?

It would be wise from time to time to review your estate planning needs, including updating or preparing a new and valid Will. A Will is a legal document which, as far as possible, ensures your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die. Your Will may cover all the assets held in your own name such as your house, land, car, shares and bank accounts. It does not cover life insurance or superannuation. In the drawing of many Wills over the years, I am gratified that one great living benefit that my clients take away from the exercise is that they experience the immediate comfort of ‘peace of mind’.

Preparing your Will

The process of preparing a Will allows you to nominate how and to whom your assets are to be distributed, and who will manage the estate on your behalf. A Will is a complex legal document encompassing a number of legal requirements which must be followed to ensure that it is effective and valid. When discussing your Will a solicitor will seek to record your thoughts and express wishes such as:
  • who to appoint as your Executor or Executors and what are to be their powers?
  • who are to be your beneficiaries?
  • what are your current assets and liabilities?
  • who should receive your assets and in what proportion?
  • who to appoint guardian of your children and how you would like to provide for your children’s future?
  • What are your preferred funeral arrangements?
While you can legally prepare your own Will and Enduring Power of Attorney, you should be mindful of the pitfalls in doing so which generally arise at the time of your death when the document is most needed. In the absence of a valid and clear Will the laws of intestacy may apply where the Court will interpret your Will and make decisions as to distribution of your assets. This may encompass a variation of your wishes, and add further costs and emotional burden on your loved ones.

Managing the Estate of a deceased family member can be harrowing. Cass Legal Wills & Estate Lawyers can assist in the prompt and careful distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. We have extensive experience in managing Estates including obtaining Probate or Letters of Administration, distributing assets and finalising affairs.


ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY

At Cass Legal our lawyers know it is important that you have an Enduring Power of Attorney. An enduring power of attorney provides you with the ability to give a trusted person the authority to make decisions on your behalf about financial and/or health matters. An enduring power of attorney is very effective in the event that you are not able to manage your own affairs (for example if you have a stroke or are in hospital or you are overseas and need to sell property). It will be necessary to appoint an Attorney to do this for you, this is done by making an enduring power of attorney.

In Queensland an Enduring Power of Attorney is a legally binding document governed by legislation which provides protection for you on terms that you decide.  It is single document that provides wide protection for your personal and health matters, as well as relative to your matters of a financial nature. You can appoint a trusted friend and/or a relative to act on your behalf to handle your affairs, and this person or persons are known as your Attorney. You can particularize in this type of document how you wish your attorney (or attorneys if more than one), carry out their obligations on your behalf.

The financial matters component of your Enduring Power of Attorney can come into effect either immediately, upon you losing capacity, or on a specific date or even upon the occurrence of a specific event. The power that you nominate to your attorney may enable your attorney to help you, for example, by assisting you with your banking requirements, or to support you when visiting with your medical practitioner, or with your pharmaceutical purchases; as well as a host of other matters that you might reasonably require.

You may grant your attorney the right to handle your affairs on your behalf, or otherwise (subject to your level of capacity), in accord with your then directions.  In the event that you do lose capacity either through illness or accident or otherwise, then it is under the power of this document that your nominated attorney can continue to act on your behalf and in your best interests.  Clearly nominating your attorney is an important decision. However you may take comfort to know that the legislation governing enduring powers of attorney in Queensland offers the greatest protection against conflict transactions relative to your financial matters, and further imposes a duty and obligation on your attorney to act in your best interests, to consider your wishes and your continued well-being. 

We at Cass legal are always willing to discuss with our clients how you can limit the powers you give to your attorney and how your attorney is to manage your affairs on your behalf. You can nominate when you would like for your Enduring Power of Attorney to commence for example immediately or upon you loosing capacity. At Cass Legal we understand that making an enduring power of attorney before you need it, will avoid significant difficulties when your family are required to make decisions about your assets and medical care if you are unable to make the decisions on your own behalf. If something should happen to you and you do not have an enduring power of attorney your family members will not have the legal ability to make the necessary decisions regarding your welfare without having to apply to a Tribunal for an order appointing them as Attorney/Guardian.

Your Will does not cover circumstances that may arise if you become incapacitated and need assistance. Your will only applies when you die. Your Attorney is different to the  Executor mentioned in your Will, however you can appoint the same person for both positions if you wish. An enduring power of attorney is only effective whilst you are alive and your Will is only effective once you have died. At Cass Legal our experienced Gold Coast Lawyers can help guide you through the legalities of an Enduring Power of Attorney and assist you in making the right choices.

Contact our experienced Office now to organise an appointment on 07 5655 2206


ADVANCE HEALTH DIRECTIVE

An Advance Health Directive allows you to communicate your wishes about what medical treatment you may or may not want in the event you are unable to make the decisions for yourself, i.e whether or not you wish to be resuscitated, have blood transfusions, be put on life support (mechanical ventilation), involuntary feeing and antibiotics.  It takes the burden off your family or close friends to make these decisions without knowing your wishes. Advance Health Directives should be made in addition to your Enduring Power of Attorney as the Advance Health Directive details your specific wishes in relation to health matters.  Powers given, under a Power of Attorney for health matters are limited and do not allow for decisions to be made to either continue or withhold life sustaining treatment.


ESTATES AND ESTATE DISPUTES

At Cass Legal, we understand the stress and uncertainty that the passing of a loved one can bring to a family. It can be a trying time for all involved, that's why it is essential to seek quality legal advice before administering the estate.

This is especially important if you have been appointed as Executor of the deceased’s Will. If you have been appointed an Executor of an Estate you are responsible for the management and administration of the Estate, which must be administered in a prudent manner serving the best interests of the beneficiaries. If the deceased died without leaving a Will (or a completed or valid Will), the deceased is said to have died Intestate. In this event the rules of Intestacy will then apply to the distribution of the Estate. Our extensive experience in managing valid-Will Estates or Intestate Estates including the prompt collection of all assets, the careful distribution of assets to the beneficiaries pursuant to the Will (or in accordance with the rules of Intestacy) and finalising the affairs of the Estate.

Our staff are interested in your legal welfare and are eager to help and assist you to address the obligations and particular perils of your matter, as well as to answer your queries as they might arise relating to your Estate matter. Depending upon the size and nature of the Estate assets it may be necessary to apply to the Supreme Court for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (the latter, if the deceased died without a Will or valid Will). As the requirements for obtaining either a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration can be quite complex and technical, our experience will be of great assistance to you in making the necessary applications to the Supreme Court. At Cass Legal we can take you through this process smoothly, efficiently and cost effectively. It is highly recommended that you seek legal assistance to administer an Estate.

Our office has through the experience of time and practical involvement over many years, developed enviable procedures that enable us to cost-effectively and efficiently streamline the Court Application process for you. You will no doubt appreciate that many of our bureaucratic systems including those governed by our Courts, have their own forms of reviews and requisitions which can slow down your application. As practitioners and law practices, we are not able to guarantee a fast and requisition free application when dealing with the Court process, but we can offer the expertise to deal with the many complexities and requirements along the way. We at Cass Legal can proudly say that our systems and procedures (incorporating best practice guidelines) will ensure that the correct procedures are adhered to, in view of the ultimate goal of administering the Estate to completion with the minimum of delays and expense.

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