Mental Capacity and Wills

A person must have the proper mental capacity to make or update a will — this is called “testamentary capacity” and is one of the key elements of a valid will. The question of testamentary capacity is an important consideration in will-making and can be a contentious issue.  How often do we hear family members […]

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Witnessing Documents in the COVID-19 Environment

On 11 August 2020, the COVID-19 Response and Economic Recovery Omnibus Bill 2020 was introduced in the Parliament of Western Australia. The aim of the Bill is to deliver measures that will facilitate business continuity in the COVID-19 environment, and to enable aspects of the economic recovery from the current crisis. One of the problems […]

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Deceased estates – Executor’s duties

After a person dies, someone has to take responsibility for their assets and pay their debts. Where a person is appointed by a will, that person is called an “executor”. If there is no will, or the will does not name an executor, or the named executor doesn’t want to be the executor, then the […]

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A Rough Guide to the Litigation Process

If you are a small business owner, there is a good chance that at some point you will consider suing someone, perhaps to recover a debt, or seek damages for a breach of contract, or to resolve an employment dispute. If you are considering commencing legal action, it is important to understand the basic procedures […]

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Business Sales – What About Employee Entitlements?

There is a lot to consider when buying or selling a business. One important consideration that is often overlooked is what happens to employee entitlements when the business changes hands? It is important for the parties to a transfer of a business to understand their legal rights and responsibilities regarding the existing employees and the […]

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Unfair dismissal at the end of a fixed term contract. Wait, what…?

Fixed-term employment contracts (such as where a person is employed for, say 6 months) are common in many workplaces. Understandably, most employers consider they would be protected from an unfair dismissal claim once the term ends. However, in the case of Saeid Khayam v Navitas English Pty Ltd t/a Navitas English [2017] FWCFB 5162 the […]

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De facto relationships and will contests

All jurisdictions in Australia provide statutory rights for eligible persons to contest a will if they can show that they have been left without adequate provision. In Western Australia, an eligible person includes: a spouse or de facto partner; a person receiving or entitled to receive maintenance from the deceased as a former spouse or […]

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COVID-19 Commercial Leasing Code of Conduct (WA)

The Commercial Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) came into effect on 29 May 2020. The Regulations contain (at Schedule 1) the much-anticipated commercial leasing code of conduct (the Code) relating to rent-relief negotiations for small businesses affected by COVID-19 closures and restrictions. The WA Code is based on the National Code, which we […]

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Business Structures 101 – Trusts

When commencing a business venture, you will need to consider the most appropriate type of business structure to put in place to operate your business. Different business structures have different advantages and disadvantages. This article looks at trusts – what they are, how to set up a trust and the advantages and disadvantages of the […]

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