Legal Services

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We provide quality and cost-effective law and litigation services to both businesses and individuals.

Established in 2007, AustAsia Legal Services provides quality and cost-effective law and litigation services to both businesses and individuals. Our highly skilled and knowledgeable team can assist you in the following areas:

Commercial Law

  • Business advice and structuring
  • Corporate advisory
  • Contracts
  • Property and leasing
  • Insolvency
  • Individual and Business Disputes
  • Business Due Diligence
  • Deeds
  • Discretionary Trust, Unit Trust and Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Trusts
  • Partnerships
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Settlements
  • Contracts and Leases

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

  • Corporate and business
  • Trusts & Estates
  • Debt Recovery
  • Contractual claims
  • Commercial Disputes
  • Inheritance and Contested Estates
  • Bankruptcy
  • Liquidation

Wills and Estate

  • Wills
  • Probate & Letter of Administration
  • Succession Planning
  • Testamentary Trusts
  • Administering Estates
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Enduring Powers of Guardianship
  • Estate planning
  • Estate Disputes

Family Law

  • Family Court
  • Property Settlements
  • Financial Agreements

Contracts are legally binding instruments once you sign them. Whether you want to prepare a contract or you would like an existing contract to be reviewed, it is important to seek legal advice to make sure that the contract covers both the business and the legal side and to understand your rights, obligations and potential risk.

Do you need contract advice?

The short answer is probably yes. The right advice can be the difference between missing a key clause and fully understanding your rights and obligations and negotiating to protect your interests.

Contracts are often complicated, with many terms and conditions that legally bind you once you sign. Whether you want to prepare a contract or reviewing an existing contract, it is important to speak with a lawyer and get contract advice.

The information that a contract lawyer provides to you in the early stages of putting together a contract can be vital to protect you in the future.

Please take advantage of our extensive experience in preparing and reviewing contracts, both for individuals and businesses. AustAsia Legal Services will put together a strong contract that correctly sets out the deal between the parties and protects your interests if anything goes wrong.

Give us a call and speak to one of our consultants, who would be keen to assist you in your requirements.

Dispute resolution involves the people who are in dispute talking about the problem and coming to an agreement about how to solve it. You may work out a solution by yourselves or seek help from an impartial person (someone who is not involved in the dispute), such as a mediator.

Dispute Resolution Services

Dispute resolution is usually quicker and cheaper than going to court. Dispute resolution refers to all processes that are used to address disputes. It includes all dispute resolution methods and approaches from early resolution through to formal tribunal or court processes.

Please contact us so that we can advise on your particular situation. We aim to resolve disputes without the need for litigation. However, if a dispute cannot be avoided, we offer practical and cost-effective legal advice.

Separations can be confronting, emotional, and difficult. At AustAsia Legal Services, we are here to help you navigate this challenging time.

If the matter has not been resolved reasonably or is heading to Court, you will need an experienced family lawyer to represent your interests. We understand that separations are emotionally stressful and challenging for both parties. If you have separated or are about to separate and are unaware of your entitlements, we recommend seeking family law advice.

The term family trust refers to a discretionary trust set up to hold a family’s assets or to conduct a family business. Generally, they are established for asset protection or tax purposes. As an inter-vivos discretionary trust, it is established by someone during their lifetime to manage investments or certain assets to protect them for beneficiaries such as family members.

Family trust advantages

Asset protection

Family trusts provide a structure for protecting assets from business failure or bankruptcy. Since the assets belong to the trustee and not the individual beneficiaries, they typically can not be used to pay creditors of the individual beneficiary. Family trusts also serve for protecting family assets from future marriage breakdowns. During a family law property settlement, assets held in a family trust usually have a higher likelihood of being excluded from a property settlement than assets held directly by an individual. Holding assets in a family trust assists in avoiding challenges to a Will because family trust assets do not form part of a deceased estate. Retaining assets within a family group is a good reason for holding assets in a trust, for example, a family farm.

Protecting vulnerable family members

Family trusts help to protect vulnerable beneficiaries who may make unwise spending decisions if they controlled assets in their own name. A spendthrift child or someone with a gambling addiction can have access to income, but no access to the large capital sum that could quickly be spent.

Tax benefits

Family trusts can provide tax benefits to enable the family group to manage the tax of the family unit. This is especially helpful in supporting adult children who are studying or older parents who are retired as they are likely to be in a low tax bracket.

Contact us so we can advise if setting up a Family Trust can be beneficial to you.

A partnership is a group or association of people who carry on a business and distribute income and losses between themselves. A written partnership agreement is recommended as it outlines how income and losses will be distributed to the partners and how the business will be controlled.

A partnership agreement can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes about what each partner brings in to the partnership and what they are entitled to receive from the business’s income.

We create custom-designed solutions to suit each client’s position, objectives and preferences, including arranging any tax advice.

Business relationships can be tricky.

Like any personal relationships, business relationships constantly need to be acknowledged and nurtured if they are to grow. Planning for the unexpected is essential to avoid stress, unnecessary expenses and risk.
A well-drafted partnership agreement ensures transparency, organisation and discipline in your business. Clearly, setting out roles and day-to-day responsibilities that combine with good old-fashioned hard work can deliver the success, growth, and rewards we all seek.

The agreement should include:

  • Obligations, duties, responsibilities
  • Profit-sharing and how partners will be remunerated
  • How to manage disagreements and conflicts
  • Changes such as death, divorce, disability, and succession.
  • And more…

Family, Friends and Business Partnerships

When going into business together with family or friends, there is often an implied understanding of how the business will function, but limited formal documents setting out of how the business is going to evolve or grow over time.

As a result of this, every day, there are painful examples of friends and family having to resort to the courts to resolve disputes over their business relationships.
This could be reduced or avoided completely by drafting a partnership agreement professionally in the first place.

Going into business involves risk. In a partnership, you can be liable for all sorts of risks, both known and unknown. Ensure your partnership agreement covers the business’s ownership and assets and clearly separates them from your private assets to protect yourself and your assets from external creditors.

It’s impossible to eliminate all risks and issues associated with a partnership, but careful planning and transparency helps to set you on the right rewarding path.

Contact the Legal team to discuss your business structure on (08) 9227 6300 or email legal@austasiagroup.com, so we can help you to avoid the pitfalls and allow you to focus on your success.

A Power of Attorney is essentially an authority conferred on an agent to manage the financial affairs of another person. A Power of Attorney refers to the ‘unilateral grant of authority’ by a person for someone else to act on their behalf.

Types of Power of Attorney

The two main types of Power of attorney are ‘general’ and ‘enduring’.

A General Power of Attorney is used where the authority is granted for a particular period of time or a particular purpose and expires on a prescribed date, or the Donor revokes the attorney.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal agreement that enables a person to appoint a trusted person or persons to make financial and/or property decisions on their behalf. The benefit of an enduring power of attorney is that it will continue to operate even if the donor loses full legal capacity, unlike an ordinary power of attorney.

Estate Planning Services — Having the Last Word

Our Estate Plan Package includes:

  • an Enduring Power of Attorney (so someone can make financial and personal decisions on your behalf if you can’t);
  • an Enduring Power of Guardianship (so someone can make medical and lifestyle decisions on your behalf if you can’t)
  • an Advance Care Directive (giving instructions about the future medical treatment you consent to or refuse, and documenting your preferences for medical treatment)
  • advice on how to complete your Binding Death Benefit Nomination (to make sure your superannuation or self-managed superannuation goes to who you want).
  • and a Will.

If a person passes away leaving a Will, then the executor of the Will administers the estate and handles the disposal of their assets and debts. In most cases, to get authority to do this, an executor typically needs to obtain a ‘Grant of Probate‘ from the Court.

If a person passes away without making a Will, the assets in their estate are handled by obtaining a similar document known as ‘Letters of Administration‘ from the Court.

Court Application Services

For the Court to grant either Probate or Letters of Administration, the correct documents and forms need to be submitted. While sometimes this can be simple, it is desirable to get the application right the first time and avoid delays that can be costly to the estate.

Contact us so that we can look over your situation and advice you on the best way forward.

When we prepare an application for either Probate or Letters of Administration and file it at the Supreme Court of Western Australia, we will:

  • Collect information from you and prepare your application and any consent forms (if required);
  • Arrange for you to sign the application; and
  • File the application with the Court and give you the Grant once received.

The decision to manage your own Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is a significant responsibility and must be undertaken after first obtaining legal and financial advice about running an SMSF. There are rules and regulations that set out what the funds in an SMSF can be used for and how the funds can be withdrawn.

Our experienced team of lawyers and consultant tax practitioners regularly advise clients about SMSFs.

The Shareholders Agreement covers the funding, structure, management and direction of the business. It outlines the responsibilities and obligations of the business owners. It is designed to deal with the issues that may arise during the life of a business by determining in advance how such issues should be dealt with. The process of developing a Shareholders Agreement and the content included will differ between each entity after discussion and input involving all the relevant shareholders and their relevant advisers.

 

Key Clauses of The Shareholders Agreement

Some of the key issues that should be covered in The Shareholder Agreement include:

  • Define the decision Making Process
  • Directors structure and Voting Rights
  • Conditions for issuance of New shares
  • Rules governing the selling Shares
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Employee vesting or leaver clauses
  • Employee share scheme
  • When are dividends payable

It is highly recommended for all companies, particularly smaller, privately held companies where there might be a close relationship between the owners (shareholders) and management, that a shareholder agreement should be professionally prepared as it needs to be tailored to the particular needs of the shareholders and company.

A Testamentary Discretionary Trust (TDT) is a trust established in someone’s will. While similar in nature to a Family Trust, TDT’s only comes into existence when the person dies. A Lineal Descendant TDT is a trust established in someone’s will for the benefit of their lineal descendants.

Purpose of a Testamentary Discretionary Trust

TDTs can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • To protect inheritances from a beneficiary’s relationship breakdown;
  • To protect inheritances from a beneficiary’s bankruptcy creditors;
  • To minimise tax – both income tax and capital gains tax;
  • To protect a beneficiary’s government-sourced pension or other benefits;
  • To care for children and people with special needs; and
  • To protect spendthrift beneficiaries from themselves.

Testamentary Trust Services

A properly drafted TDT provides several significant benefits for the family left behind after a person dies. Normally, anyone aiming to build wealth during their lifetime and provide for their family after their death should consider putting in place a TDT (or lineal descendant TDT) under their will. A properly drafted TDT can generally create a ‘set and forget’ structure that provides peace of mind now, while still accommodating the needs of evolving family dynamics in the future.

Contact us, and we can answer any questions to determine if a Testamentary Trust is right for you.

A Unit Trust is established for (usually) unrelated parties with a payment of an amount, called “initial sum” by the initial unitholders to the trustee to be held in trust in accordance with the deed for the benefit of the unitholders.

A Unit Trust is a trust where the rights of the beneficiaries (unit holders) to income and capital are fixed and not subject to any discretions on the part of a trustee. The rights are divided amongst the beneficiaries based on how many units have been issued to each of them.

A Unit Trust is where the unitholders, who are all predominantly unrelated members of two or more separate families, hold an asset together (usually a large property or shareholding) or run a business together. The trustee has no discretion on which unit holder gets which distribution portion of income or capital of the trust. All income and capital is distributed according to unit holding.

The trustee owns the property of the trust and distributes each year; income of the trust to various unit holders with a common purpose. This common purpose includes minimising the total income tax, capital gain tax and asset protection.

A unitholders’ agreement is generally recommended where there is more than one unitholder in the same unit trust, even if the other unitholder is a related party. This agreement confirms the terms and conditions of the relationship between unitholders and covers matters that may not adequately or appropriately be addressed in the Unit Trust Deed, especially to minimise any future uncertainty or dispute should there be a difference of opinion between the parties in respect to how the unit trust should be operated or how a unitholder can transfer their units, etc.

 

The key aspects to be covered in a unitholders’ agreement:

  • The core purpose and objectives of the unit trust (for example – how to acquire and hold a property for the long term).
  • What happens when a unitholder wants to transfer or dispose of units he/she/it holds in the trust to a related party or a third party.
  • What restrictions or limits apply to the unit trust’s activities when an SMSF invests in units to minimise any SMSF trustee contravening superannuation law (for example, a unitholders agreement may seek to preclude a unitholder using their units as security for any loan similar to the restrictions imposed on a unit trust).

A proper estate plan in place can determine matters such as control of your personal and financial affairs if you lose capacity and who should benefit from your estate upon your death.

  • A significant proportion of Australians do not have a Will.
  • Estate planning is not just about money and assets
  • Nominating Guardianships, choosing Executors or clarifying funeral arrangements, are important too.
  • Even if you or a family member has a Will, does it reflect current intentions or circumstances?
  • Has your Will been updated to include your Digital Life/Assets?

Estate Planning Services — Having the Last Word

Our Estate Plan Package includes:

  • a Will
  • an Enduring Power of Attorney (so someone can make financial and personal decisions on your behalf if you can’t);
  • an Enduring Power of Guardianship (so someone can make medical and lifestyle decisions on your behalf if you can’t)
  • an Advance Care Directive (giving instructions about the future medical treatment you consent to or refuse, and documenting your preferences for medical treatment)
  • advice on how to complete your Binding Death Benefit Nomination (to make sure your superannuation or self-managed superannuation goes to who you want).

Why should I Draft a Will?

If you have a Will

  • You can make provision for your choice of funeral rites, organ donation, and who will look after your children when you die.
  • You can also make provision for who will receive specific assets from your estate.

If you already have a Will, you have recently separated, you have remarried, or your family circumstances have changed, you should consider updating your Will.

 

If you don’t have a Will

  • Your assets are divided according to the Administration Act 1903 (WA).
  • If the family home is in your name only, your spouse will not automatically inherit the family home.
  • If you are separated from your spouse, they can benefit from your estate.
  • Your de-facto spouse, stepchildren and same-sex partners are likely to be excluded from benefiting from your estate.
  • You have no choice of executor.
  • You have no say in what happens to your hard-earned assets.
  • It is likely to cause hardship for those you leave behind.

If you don’t have a Will, contact the Legal team to discuss your ‘personal’ circumstances on (08) 9227 6300 or email legal@austasiagroup.com and get an estimate of the costs. We do not charge any fees for providing our estimate of costs.

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.
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Kara Lucas

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.
UX Designer

Kara Lucas

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.