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Beware of Online Scammers

“ Property transactions are of particular risk as hackers become more sophisticated in their methods and target this area. What can you do to protect your money? Read More

Keyboard Warrior?

“ While many people choose to vent their frustrations through the assumed anonymity of the internet, the reality is that your review may be sourced back to you and carry a risk of defamation proceedings being commenced against you.  So, it may be prudent to re-think before posting that review or comment. Read More

COVID -19 Lease Legislation Summary

“ RETAIL SHOP LEASES AND OTHER COMMERCIAL LEASES (COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE) REGULATION 2020 (QLD)2020 - SUMMARY OF LEGISLATION Initial Comments On 28 May 2020, the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 (Qld) (“the Regulation”) was introduced into Queensland law. Taking a few weeks longer than anticipated, the Regulation went beyond what was expected, or at least what was noted by the Mandatory Code of Conduct. The Regulation has a very tenant favoured basis, and grants some significant powers, even going as far to provide avenues for landlords and tenants to be ordered to pay compensation by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (“QCAT”) if their conduct during the COVID-19 pandemic in negotiating rent is deemed unconscionable or is not in good faith. Read More

APPLY TODAY!– QLD Government Small Business COVID -19 Adaption Grants

“ The recently announced QLD government initiative of providing grants of up to $10,000 to small to medium businesses is very welcome.  I urge any of you who are eligible to apply and act today.  The grants will be processed on a first come first serve basis and as of Friday 22 May 8am, 5947 grants had been applied for already utilising 60% of the $100 million package! Read More

Ten Foot Tall and Bullet Proof

“ Of course dying is not something young and healthy people want to think about and many of them believe they are “bullet proof” and have all the time in the world.  As such estate planning may not be a priority for the under 30’s.  We disagree. Estate planning is critical for anyone aged 18 and over and here are a few reasons why; Read More

Update for Landlords - 23 April 2020

“ Information for landlords regarding tenancies in Queensland during COVID - 19. Read More

Commercial Rent Waiver Provisions - 14 April 2020

“ 14 April 2020 - the Federal Government has proposed a mandatory Code of Conduct governing rent relief for commercial tenants. Read More

SPM Law - Return to Offices FAQ's

“ We look forward to welcoming the team back to the Cooroy and Noosa offices from Monday 8 June 2020. What you need to know... Read More

A Power of Attorney is an Important tool to have – especially now.

“ Your Business Checklist… are you ready? Power of Attorney is an Important tool to have – especially now. We are all anxious about the future. The challenges that coronavirus will bring are unprecedented, ever changing and daunting.  However, there is something you can do now that could help you and your business if you end up needing to self-isolate or quarantine. Read More

Notice to our clients in regard to Coronavirus

“ SPM Law offices are open with the appropriate safety measures in place including no face to face meetings. Read More

E-Conveyancing - An update

“ With 12 months under our belts we can say that the shift to e-conveyancing has been a positive one.  It has provided a simplified, safer and efficient process that has reduced many of the stresses clients experience when buying or selling property. Read More

No more paper Certificates of Title

“ In an effort to push towards an electronic conveyancing system, from 1 October 2019 the law in Queensland will change where hard copy CT’s will be redundant and longer have any legal effect. Read More

Enduring Power of Attorney - Don't wait - Do it now

“ An Enduring Power of Attorney is one of the most important documents you will sign in your life - make sure you have one and don't wait. Read More

Why do you need home insurance when you don’t own the property?

“ Many people don’t realise that under a standard REIQ Contract, which is the main form of contract for residential house sales in Queensland, the property is at the risk of the buyer from 5pm on the first business day after the contract date. This risk is not only for property damage but also personal injury. Read More

Superannuation - Did you Know....?

“ …..that upon your death your superannuation benefits don’t automatically form part of your estate. Read More

Retirement Living

“ According to the Property Council of Australia, in 2014, there were more than 2300 retirement villages in Australia and around 184,000 seniors living in retirement villages. However that figure is expected to double with some predicting as many as 382,000 people will be living in retirement villages by 2025. Read More

Family Law & Social Media

“ Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Linkedin etc allow users to instantaneously publish their activities, thoughts and beliefs at the click of a button. As a result, it has become increasingly common for these posts to end up being used as evidence in court proceedings. #liveyourbestlife may ultimately become #thejudgeisnotanidiot Read More

Harsher Laws for Unpaid Super

“ The Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No.4) Bill 2018 received Royal Assent on March 1 2019. These new laws give the ATO the power to enforce harsher penalties i.e. up to 12 months jail or large fines to directors of companies that do not pay their employee’s superannuation entitlements. Read More

Building & Pest Inspections - what are they really?

“ A building and pest inspection should be considered an essential part of the home buying process and in Queensland it is standard for contracts of sale to include a building and pest condition. However, it is critical to note that these clauses do not automatically give you a right to terminate or renegotiate the price. Read More

“It’s an emergency – get me out of here!!”

“ This isn’t exactly a legal issue, but I had reason to investigate emergency contact arrangements for a client recently.  And it seems Smartphones aren’t that smart when it comes to 000.  And so I learned something quite surprising, an important detail many of us have probably never considered. Read More

Beware of the Hidden Costs

“ Ever heard the saying “you get what you pay for” – well in our experience that saying is very true when it comes to cheap conveyance quotes. Read More

Elder Law

“ With an ageing population, legal services dealing particularly with matters specific to elder law have become increasingly common. Read More

E-conveyancing - a digital shift

“ Property settlements are shifting from traditional paper based methods to an electronic process. Read More

Who can look at my Will?

“ We are often approached by people asking for a copy of another person’s Will. This can happen both during the other person’s lifetime and after they have passed away. Most of the time it is because the person who made the Will has lost capacity for a reason such as dementia; or because the person who made the Will is terminally ill and their families want to make sure that their affairs are in order. Sometimes however; the request can come simply out of curiosity. Read More

Changes to Contract - GST Withholding Legislation from 1/7/18

“ Changes to GST legislation have resulted in sale contracts needing to be amended for the new “GST withholding” regime. The reason behind the legislation is that some developers were avoiding their GST obligations on conclusion of developments and it was costing the government significant tax dollars each year (in the billions apparently). Read More

Proving the Will - Probate in Queensland

“ We are often asked about the process of what happens to a person’s estate after they die and how long it can take to have access to an inheritance. Probate can often be an important part of the process that many people may be unaware of. Read More

Owning Property with Others

“ Joint Tenancy vs Tenants in Common – What is the difference? Why is it important? Read More

Auction Action

“ Auctions have become an increasingly popular way to sell property in Queensland. Purchasing a property at auction is on very different conditions to the more common private treaty contract process, so it’s extremely important to understand your obligations before the auction. Read More

Someone owes me money

“ Are you owed money for goods and services? Debt Recovery can be a time consuming and stressful task. That's where SPM law come in. Read More

Do you have an Enduring Power of Attorney?

“ What would happen if you were incapable of looking after your own affairs? The Enduring Power of Attorney is a much underestimated document but just as essential, if not more important, as having a will. Read More

Where Do You Stand?

“ Unfortunately, for many couples and families, the start to the New Year brings with it chaos, heartache, and vulnerability regarding their future. Preparing oneself for separation and/or divorce seems counter-intuitive, but it is exactly what one needs to do. You need to know where you are actually standing so that you can take the right step forward. Read More

Two Happy Households

“ The Family Law Courts send a circular out to legal practitioners in November each year stating that only urgent children’s applications will be listed in December. Why is this? Because the School “Christmas” Holidays are a time where emotions heat up and separated parents often fall back into conflict when trying to negotiate time with their children over Christmas. Read More

Back To School: Who Pays Those Extra Expenses?

“ As the end of the summer school holidays arrives, parents often face the financial challenges the new school year brings. Australian Law requires that parents have a primary duty to support their children. But what does that really mean? Read More

Protecting Elderly Residents

“ On 25 October 2017 new legislation was passed in Queensland parliament that will provide better protection to Queensland’s elderly living in retirement villages. Read More

Estate Planning - The Best Friend of Same-Sex couples

“ Prudent estate planning remains a same-sex couples’ best friend to ensure that their loved ones are provided for in the event of one passing or otherwise, so that their loved one can provide them with immediate care and assistance in the event that they lose capacity. Read More

How do I get someone to pay me?

“ DEBT RECOVERY PROCESSES – QUEENSLAND (DEBTS UNDER $25,000) Any business owner knows that cashflow is integral to the successful running of your business. Cashflow allows a small business to purchase inventory, pay employees and expenses and improve the business itself. Very simply, a small business can’t stay open if there is no cash for inventory, and if there’s no inventory, then there’s nothing to sell and therefore no business. So what to do when people owe you money? Read More

Have your say on body corporate issues

“ Queenslanders are invited to have their say on body corporate procedural issues, with the release an independent report that is now available for consultation. Read More

Are you bringing your divorce to work?

“ Divorce is a life altering event. It brings waves of overwhelming emotions like fear, anger and loneliness. The effect divorce has on workplace productivity is well-documented throughout the world. Recent research shows that divorce costs the Australian economy over 14 Billion per year Read More

Volunteering – It Can End In Tears (but please still do it…the right way)

“ There is nothing nobler than giving up your time to assist a local club, association or body corporate committee. The common perception that Committee roles on these committees are low risk is not completely correct. Read More

Helping your business survive a divorce

“ The emotional and financial turmoil of a divorce can take its toll on any couple, particularly when children are involved. Add to the mix a relationship in which your spouse is also your business partner, and things can get quite convoluted. Read More

Misuse of Enduring Power of Attorney

“ The increase of the misuse of enduring powers of attorneys for older Queenslanders highlights the importance of education and awareness when it comes to wills, estates and powers of attorney. Read More

40% of us don't have one - Are you one of them?

“ We all know that a Will is one of the most important documents we’ll ever need so why is it that only 59% of us have one? And if you do have one, why do a number of people acknowledge that it hasn’t been updated in many years and doesn’t really reflect their current situation? Read More

Purchasing Property?

“ Whether you are a first time buyer or already own property, there are always issues that can arise in a property purchase. So what are some of the common issues to be on the lookout for? Read More

Spring into Optimism

“ It's not all doom and gloom. Dr Shane Oliver, Chief Economist from AMP Capital explains why.... Read More

Do you have the correct smoke alarm?

“ Changes to Queensland’s smoke alarm laws in residential properties were introduced on 1 September 2016. 150 people have died in house fires in Queensland since 2004. Read More

Sex and Your Money – think with you head and not your…

“ How much do you tell your parents about the person (or people) you’re sleeping with? Read More

What do Pablo Picasso, Prince & Stieg Larsson have in common?

“ Apart from the fact that they were all very famous, they also all died without leaving a will. Why? Well, that's the $64 million question everyone has been asking, especially after the recent death of Prince! Read More

Revenge Porn and Domestic Violence

“ Social media has become an everyday occurrence for most Australians. However social media is increasingly appearing as the means with which domestic violence or other harassment has been perpetrated. Read More

Sale of Prestige Property

“ Sale of prestige property may get more complicated from 1 July this year. Specifically, if: the sale price of land is over $2m; and the seller is a foreign resident; Read More

Extreme Parenting

“ In part of our series of Courtroom follies, we bring you the story of Kent and Jill Easter; two former lawyers who were jailed in what seems to be a case of helicopter parenting going too far. Read More

International Women's Day

“ SPM Law - Sykes Pearson Miller Supports International Women's Day Read More

Parenting Plan vs Consent Order

“ Upon the breakdown of a marriage or defacto relationship, when parents decide that separation or divorce is the only viable option for their family, one of the most important considerations the parents must address is managing their children’s best interests Read More

Social Media - Will Justice be done?

“ Jarryd Hayne and Trent Robinson happen to be at the same bar at the same time. So too is former Australian soccer player Robbie Slater. All of a sudden "word" gets out that the Hayne-Plane is leaving the NFL and joining the Roosters. Hayne's response "This is all time (no doubt an American saying). You say hello to a coach and media make a story out of it". Read More

Changes to Australia's Foreign Investment Framework

“ From 1 December the Government introduced major changes to FIRB ( Foreign Investment Review Board) applications Read More

Changes to PPSA – 90 Day lease rule for serial numbered goods

“ Important changes to the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) came into effect on 1 October 2015. Read More

Minimising your Litigation Risk

“ As a young lady choosing what to wear, when it came to exposing flesh, I was always told by my mother that “less is more.” (That and my life wouldn't be worth living if my father ever saw me wearing that in public). Read More

Let it Go

“ While many have reached the end of their tether with the Disney’s film “Frozen” and the Director has personally apologised to parents of Elsa and Ana-obsessed children no one can deny it was a monstrous hit. However, New Jersey resident, Isabella Tanikumi, also known as L.Amy Gonzalez would rather you never saw it again. Read More

The Team Approach

“ Divorce creates two families when there once was one. Sometimes this transition is relatively easy; other times it can be thwart with tension and conflict. Parents, however, hope any negative impact on their children will be minimal. Because school is such an important part of the child's life, working with your child's teacher to lessen any negative impacts from this transition is especially important. Read More

Courtroom Follies

“ Coffee Too Hot? Go to McDonald's.... Read More

Unfairly left out of a will?

“ In a society where people are now living longer and more likely to be part of blended families, Family Provision Application (FPA) claims are becoming increasingly common. Read More

It could only happen in America.... or could it?

“ We recently came across a story that sounded too crazy to be true but it is and should be a warning to us all when purchasing our dream home!! Read More

Owning property with others - what happens if the relationship goes sour?

“ Often people purchase property with family and friends not expecting that their relationship will change for the worse. So what happens if there is a dispute and one owner wants to sell but the other co-owner(s) don't want to sell and can't (or won’t) buy the other out? Read More

Is your Superannuation yours?

“ An often overlooked aspect in Family Law matters is the Court’s treatment of superannuation..... Read More

What Happens when the Good Die Young?

“ So you're young (or young-ish). You don't have many assets. You don't think you need Will. What can go wrong? Consider this.... Read More

HELP – An Owner in my Unit Complex doesn’t Follow the Rules!

“ We’ve all heard the stories where one unit owner decides he/she owns the complex and can do as he/she likes and paints the front of their unit a hideous shade of pink that clashes with the colour scheme entirely, or they take to ‘pruning the palm trees’ leaving nothing but a stick out of the ground! What can you do as an owner of an adjacent unit? Read More

What do I own? Buying Duplexes & Units

“ When you are looking at buying a duplex or unit you are looking at buying a part of a Community Titles Scheme. These schemes are comprised of individually owned lots or units and common property which is shared by the owners. Read More

“Where there is a will, there is a relative. Where there isn’t a will there is chaos” (Anonymous)

“ It is very common for business of all types to take advantage of internal leases. Text book asset protection advice usually recommends holding all assets in one entity (a “holding entity”) and leasing those assets to another entity (an “operating” entity) for use in a business. Is this how you operate? Does your business otherwise allow assets to be placed into the possession of others (through leases, licenses or just be giving those assets to others to use) If so, you should probably read on… Read More

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Beware of Online Scammers

Property transactions are of particular risk as hackers become more sophisticated in their methods and target this area. What can you do to protect your money?

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