Homemade Wills are a curse” – This was the opening remark in a recent judgment of an Australian Will dispute case…

At Southern Waters Legal we agree! Unfortunately we see first hand the expensive mess left behind when people attempt a DIY Will. Homemade Wills often cause significant delays in beneficiaries receiving their inheritance, drawn out expensive litigation and family disputes.

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Debt disputes arise in both personal and business relationships and can cause a great deal of stress. Here are some simple steps you can take to recover your money:

1. Check the details

The first step is to review all the information you need to start the debt recovery process.

You should confirm who the invoice is made out to, and who issued the invoice. This will allow you to determine who you need to chase for the debt (the debtor) and who the money is actually owed to (the creditor).

You should then establish exactly what goods or services you provided to the debtor and how much the debtor owes you for these goods and services.

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The end of the financial year is upon us and it is a good time to consider these 5 handy tax tips…

1. Superannuation

Do you have any employees whom you are paying superannuation? Superannuation is not tax deductible until it has been paid, accordingly you must pay before 1 July 2015 to be able to claim your superannuation tax expenses and be able to reduce your income tax bill.

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Following separation, you may be entitled to child support, you may have to pay child support or otherwise come to your own tailored arrangement, whereby you share costs of the children. People are often confused by this process, and why wouldn’t you be, separation involves a lot of “firsts”

Broadly speaking there are three ways to address child support:

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1. Look after your future self

Superannuation is a way to save for your retirement. When you are a Contractor or Self-Employed, Superannuation is essentially your own obligation. There is no employer squirrelling away your 9.5% for you every pay run. Treat yourself as an employee and put Super away each year to ensure you can live comfortably in retirement.

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Are you currently living with your partner in a relationship without the accompanying “ball and chain” of marriage?  Are you in a committed relationship but maintain separate residences?  Do you sleep at each other’s house each week but have not “officially” moved in together?

Under Australian Law, de facto couples have substantially the same rights and liabilities as married couples, with regard to property settlements during separations. This includes claims for spousal maintenance and superannuation “splits”.

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We’ve all heard the statistics about children living with their parents into their thirties, but while crippling house prices may be to blame, some parents are taking a more pro-active approach and shuffling their children out the door and into their very own first home.

Even the most kind-hearted parents however must think about how this may affect them and their children moving forward. Is the help going to be a one-time offer or ongoing, what sort of exposure will you face and does the reward outweigh the risk?

The more common approaches to helping your children buy property are:

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