Charitable Gifts in Wills

By Mitchell Evelyn

Leaving a gift to a charity in your Will can be a great way to provide generous support which might ordinarily be outside your financial means. As with any other gift in your Will, it is important to make sure that any charitable gift is clear, well considered and carefully drafted to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you have died.

Here are some of the key issues that you may wish to consider:

Elringtons Lawyers are big believers in giving back to our local community, so if you are considering leaving a gift to a charity in your Will, call elringtons experienced Estate Planning team on (02) 6206 1300 and make an appointment today. For information about elringtons’ partner charities, see our community page.

For more information or to make an appointment in either our Canberra or Queanbeyan office please do not hesitate to contact Mitchell Evelyn or Kerin Cotchett:

+61 2 6206 1300 | e:

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What to know before you buy a business!

When you buy a business, you are often doing much more than purchasing some business stock or equipment. You are placing yourself in the heart of a complicated network of business and legal relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, and many more.

Buying a business means not just transferring business assets, but ensuring that you are buying what you believe is required to continue the running of the business. This means that a comprehensive due diligence process is an absolute must before you commit to anything.

Some of the considerations to take into account in any purchase of a business include:

If you are buying a business, it is very important to only do so with quality professional advice from both your lawyer and your accountant. Elringtons’ Commercial Law team have assisted in the purchase of countless businesses ranging from small family-owned businesses right up to large commercial enterprises in both the ACT and NSW. Different complications and considerations arise apply to the various types of businesses. We can help guide you through this complicated legal process.

You may also be interested in our article – What to know before you sell a business.

For more information or to make an appointment in either our Canberra or Queanbeyan office please do not hesitate to contact Shalini Sree or Mitchell Evelyn:

+61 2 6206 1300 | e:

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What you need to know about selling your business!

Selling a business can be a very complicated affair. You are doing much more than simply selling an asset – you could be severing or transferring a multitude of contracts to the buyer, transferring both tangible property (for instance, stock or equipment) and intangible property (such as Intellectual Property, goodwill, or even social media accounts), and extricating yourself from the complex network of promises, personal guarantees, and personal business relationships.

Selling a business – and doing it properly – involves taking each of the small components which together make your business run, and transferring them to someone new. Most of these will not follow the business automatically. Some of the most common considerations which need to be taken into account in any sale of business are listed below:

You may also be interested in our article – What to know before you buy a business.

For more information or to make an appointment in either our Canberra or Queanbeyan office please do not hesitate to contact Shalini Sree or Mitchell Evelyn:

+61 2 6206 1300 | e:

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Top Tips for Estate Planning

By Mitch Evelyn

Our team helps hundreds of people each year put together their plans for death or incapacity. Our role is to understand what your wishes are and ensure these are reflected in your Will. We often see well planned sensible Wills – however, we are also often instructed to prepare Wills (against our advice) which miss the mark and create headaches for friends and family after death.

Here are some of our top tips for making a good Will.

We encourage you to think carefully over your Will and, if appropriate, discuss it with your family. When you are satisfied that you know what your Will should look like, call elringtons and ask to speak to one of our experienced Estate Planning lawyers at either our Canberra or Queanbeyan office.

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Why your bank is making you see a lawyer!

By Mitch Evelyn

The banks are under increasing scrutiny and stringent regulations these days to ensure that they practice responsible lending. To meet these obligations, and to comply with the National Credit Code, your bank will often require you to have loan or guarantee documents reviewed by a lawyer, and insist that your lawyer provide a certificate confirming that they have given this advice. This means that a bank can lend to you, or accept a personal guarantee, confident that you understand exactly what your obligations are.

What will my lawyer do?

We often get enquiries from people saying that they just need a lawyer “to witness something” or “to sign off on some forms”. A lot of people are annoyed or upset when they show up at their lawyer’s office, documents in hand, to find that their lawyer is refusing to sign them – at least right away.

It is important to bear in mind that your lawyer is not just witnessing your signature on these documents – they are certifying that they have given you legal advice. This means that your lawyer needs to:

  • Read the documents
  • Understand the documents in context – who is borrowing, who is guaranteeing, and why
  • Understand the key players – for instance, is the borrower a family member, a family trust, or a company?
  • Understand the protections afforded to you by law and how these might affect the documents you are signing
  • Review the security being provided and what could happen to you or to your family if that security is called upon
  • Comply with the additional regulations placed on lawyers when providing this specific service
  • Meet with you in person to explain the documents and their effect to you

What can I do to speed up the process?

Chances are that you – or someone you care about – are in the middle of a large, exciting, or time sensitive transaction when you need one of these certificates signed.

Here is what you can do to help your lawyer give you fast, and accurate legal advice:

·         Get the documents to your lawyer as quickly as possible so that they can review them. Keep in mind that these are often long, and complicated documents – they may take a few hours to review, especially if you are not using a bank whose standard forms your lawyer is familiar with.  Often your lawyer will also need to prepare additional documents which we are legally required to retain on file.

·         Make an appointment – do not walk in and expect a lawyer to drop what they are doing. Remember, they are not only witnessing your signature, they are certifying that they have given you legal advice. You should allow your lawyer at least two or three days to review everything.

·         Provide all relevant background and related documents as soon as you can. Often, the bundle of documents your bank provides will have all related documents in it, such as copies of trust deeds, or registered mortgage terms. If they do not, then your lawyer may ask to see these.

·         Make sure your lawyer knows who they are advising. If there are multiple guarantors, make sure your lawyer knows whether they are advising only you, or whether they are also advising other guarantors. This is very important, as your lawyer needs to ensure they comply with additional regulations that may apply when asked to advise multiple guarantors at the same time.

·         Make sure that you have everything your bank asks for. Some smaller banks will have very onerous identification requirements – make sure that you bring copies of all relevant ID, and check that none of the documents have expired.

What does it cost?

Legal costs will vary depending on the complexity of the documents, the number of people involved, and the banks requirements. You should send a copy of your documents through to your lawyer so that they can ascertain how much time will be involved, and provide you with an estimate of what their fees will be.

If you need someone to provide independent advice on documents provided by your bank, contact us at either our Canberra or Queanbeyan office and ask to speak to one of our experienced commercial or property lawyers. Please bear in mind that your lawyer will need to meet with you in person at least once in order to provide you with this advice.

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