Tag Archives: Madison Sloan

Are you getting ready to sell in spring?

SPRING IS usually a busy time in Melbourne for those thinking of buying or selling real estate.
To make the process as smooth as possible, here are some things you can do to get ready to sell your property in spring.
Make your house picture perfect First impressions count, so start packing and decluttering as soon as possible.
You want your house to look as attractive as possible for prospective buyers.
Cluttered houses often look smaller than they are, so decluttering creates an illusion of space, making your home feel larger.
If this seems too overwhelming, ask for help. There are many service providers that can assist with getting your house prepared for sale.
Property stylists, packing and decluttering services, landscape gardeners, and real estate agents can provide tips that may be beneficial in preparing your house for sale.
It is also an opportune time to have a working bee with family and friends, and perhaps even a garage sale to get rid of unwanted clutter.

Choose your real estate agent

If you have been looking to sell for some time, you may already have developed a relationship with a real estate agent who you will use to sell your property.
If not, start researching or asking around for some referrals. Ask friends or trusted colleagues about their experience and who they would recommend.
When selling your property, you are likely trusting your real estate agent with your biggest asset.
So, it is important to get this decision right and select someone you are completely comfortable with who can guide you through the process.

Have your Contract of Sale and Section 32 Vendor Statement ready

Instructing your conveyancer or property lawyer at least 2–3 weeks before putting your home on the market is ideal.
That way, the Contract of Sale and Section 32 Vendor Statement will be ready for your first open inspection.
Things that your conveyancer or property lawyer may need from you to complete a Section 32, Vendor Statement include:

  • Details of any structural or non-structural works completed on the property over the last seven years.
  • There may be further requirements in this respect, and your Conveyancer or Property Lawyer will be able to guide you; If your home was built less than seven years ago, there are additional requirements around providing Domestic Building Insurance, Occupancy Permit and Building Permits.
  • Now is a good time to locate each of those so that they are ready to provide.
  • Copy of pool/spa registration and pool/spa barrier compliance.
  • Any easements or covenants on the property and checking to ensure that there has been no non-compliance.
  • Lists what services are or are not connected.

What you need to know about Section 27 Deposit Release

If you are relying on the release of the deposit from the sale of your home to purchase your new property, you need to ensure that you are aware of how the Section 27 Deposit Release process works — so that there are no surprises that leave you in an unfortunate financial predicament.
A number of requirements must be met if you wish to apply for the early release of your deposit. You should discuss with your conveyancer or property lawyer when instructing them that you would like to access the deposit before settlement so that they can walk you through the process and discuss whether you meet the appropriate criteria.
There is a common assumption that your deposit can just be released once the Contract of Sale is unconditional; however, this is only sometimes the case and, in most circumstances, not that common.

Before you purchase

Before you sign the Contract of Sale, it is extremely important to have the Contract of Sale and Section 32, Vendor Statement looked over by a property lawyer or conveyancer.
They will review and advise you of any matters that may be detrimental or that you may need to look into further before purchasing the property.
This will give you a comprehensive understanding of the property and help you decide whether this is the right property for you.
Selling your property is a big moment in your life, so preparation is the key, and surround yourself with a team that can support you in getting your desired result.
And don’t forget to take a moment to stop and smell the roses.

Louise Aitken, Conveyancing Manager at Madison Sloan Lawyers in Park Orchards.

Triggers that it is time to update your estate plan

MOST OF US put our estate planning in place and tick it off as done.
However, we need to be mindful that our life changes, and so do our circumstances.
So, it is important that we also review our estate planning documents regularly to ensure that they are still relevant to your circumstances and reflect your current wishes.
Some triggers that it is time to update your estate planning documents are:

You marry or separate

If you have married since you put your current Will in place, it is time to update it as the very act of marriage revokes any Will you have in place unless that Will was put in place in contemplation of your marriage.
Many people are caught out by this little fact and are unaware that their Will is no longer valid.
If you have entered a de facto relationship since putting your Will in place, reviewing whether you wish to make any amendments to your Will and Power of Attorney documents is a good idea.
In instances where you have separated or divorced, it is highly unlikely that you wish for your former spouse to receive your assets or undertake the role of your executor, so it would be prudent to undertake a review and update your estate planning documents.

You have children

Having children should be an immediate trigger to update your Will.
However, I am often surprised by clients who have not updated their Will for 15 or 20 years, and their Will does not make any provision for their children as it was put in place before their birth.

Has someone passed away or become incapacitated?

If the person you listed as your executor or the guardian or your children have died or become incapacitated, it is imperative that you review your Will so that you can list someone else to undertake one of these important roles.
Likewise, if a beneficiary passes away, you should review your Will to ensure that you have made provision for what will happen to their share of your estate.
Prospectively, you may wish to change who will receive the share of your estate they would have received.

A beneficiary can no longer manage their own affairs

The circumstances of a beneficiary you may have listed in your Will may have changed.
They may no longer be able to manage their own affairs, whether through incapacity, addiction, or other personal challenges.
In such instances, it is ideal to review your Will to ascertain how best to make provision for this beneficiary.
It may mean creating a particular vehicle in your Will whereby their inheritance is held in a trust for their benefit and prospectively controlled by your executor or another trusted person.

Have you commenced a new business, established a company, Trust or other structure?

Often, we hold significant assets in businesses, company structures or Trusts.
It is imperative that if you make any changes to these structures or establish any new structures, you review your estate planning.
Implementing or changing one of these structures without looking at your estate planning holistically may leave you exposed and create problems when you are no longer here.

Your Superannuation or Life Insurance arrangements have changed

If you change your superannuation arrangements, it is important to make sure that you have in place a current and valid Binding Death Nomination that provides a direction to the Trustee of your Superannuation Fund as to where you would like your superannuation to be paid at the time of your death.
You should also regularly review your life insurance arrangements to ensure that you are adequately insured and have the appropriate beneficiary on any life insurance policy.

Have you acquired significant assets that you wish to make provision for?

If you have recently acquired assets that you wish to leave to a specific person at the time of your death, you need to make provision for this in your Will.
Additionally, if you have recently sold a particular asset that you had bequeathed to someone in your Will, it is a good idea to update your Will to take account of this asset no longer being part of your asset pool and perhaps making provision of an alternate asset to that specific beneficiary.
By regularly reviewing your estate planning documents, you can easily identify any amendments that may be required and action these so that they are up to date and reflective of your current wishes.

Melisa Sloan is an Estate Planning and Property Lawyer based in Park Orchards. For more information, go to: madisonsloanlawyers.com.au.