Deed of Gift [Australia]

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When to use this Deed of Gift?

Use this Deed of Gift to voluntarily and without compensation transfer ownership of any property (cash, real estate or personal property) in Australia from one person to another or to a Charity.

This Deed of Gift includes a drop-down list of popular Charities.

This Deed of Gift is designed for use in Australia and creates an absolute and irrevocable gift.

If stamp duty or a similar transfer duty is payable on the transfer of the property, that duty will be borne by the donor, along with the costs of preparing and entering into this deed.

The deed will not become binding unless and until the recipient also executes it to accept the gift.

A Gift to a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) is Tax Deductible in Australia

A Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) is an organisation or fund that registers to receive tax deductible gifts or donations.

Not all charities are DGRs.

For example, in recent times crowdfunding campaigns have become a popular way to raise money for charitable causes.
However, many of these crowdfunding websites are not run by DGRs.
Donations to these campaigns and platforms aren't deductible.

You can download a list of current DGR entities or check the DGR status of an organisation at ABN Look-up: Deductible gift recipients

When is a gift or donation tax deductible?

To claim a tax deduction, you must be the person that gives the gift or donation; and

The following 4 conditions must be met:

1️⃣ It must be made to a DGR;

2️⃣ It must truly be a gift or donation – that is, you are voluntarily transferring money or property without receiving, or expecting to receive, any material benefit or advantage in return. A material benefit is an item that has a monetary value;

3️⃣ It must be of money or property – this can include financial assets such as shares;

4️⃣ It must comply with any relevant gift conditions – for some DGRs, the income tax law adds extra conditions affecting types of deductible gifts they can receive.

What can you claim as a tax deduction?

Any money contribution over two dollars is tax deductible.

The amount you can claim for non-monetary gifts as a deduction depends on the type of gift:

✅ Gifts of property or shares – see Gift types, requirements and valuation rules;

✅ Gifts under the Heritage and Cultural programs – there are special circumstances where donations can also be deductible.

You can claim the tax deduction for your gift for the income year in which the gift was given.

In certain circumstances, you can elect to spread the tax deduction over a period of up to 5 income years – see, When can I claim?

Popular Charities Listed

You can specify your nominated Gift Recipient or Charity or select from the following list of Charities from a drop-down list within this document:

Able Australia (ABN 83 024 339 234)

Australia for UNHCR (ABN 35 092 843 322)

Australian Red Cross (ABN 50 169 561 394)

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) (ABN 12 000 637 267)

Baird Institute (ABN 38 096 746 806)

Berry Street (ABN 24 719 196 762)

Botanic Gardens of South Australia (ABN 27 967 437 460)

Breast Cancer Trials (ABN 64 051 369 496)

Brightwater Care Group (ABN 23 445 460 050)

Brotherhood of St Laurence (ABN 24 603 467 024)

Burnet Institute (ABN 49 007 349 984)

Bush Heritage Australia (ABN 78 053 693 115)

Cabrini Foundation (ABN 33 370 684 005)

Cancer Council NSW (ABN 51 116 463 846)

Catholic Mission (ABN 52 945 927 066)

Cerebral Palsy Alliance (ABN 45 000 062 288)

Charlies Foundation for Research (ABN 24 165 388 125)

ChildFund Australia (ABN 79 002 885 761)

Children’s Hospital at Westmead (ABN 53 188 579 090)

Children’s Leukaemia & Cancer Research Foundation (Inc) (ABN 42 030 465 053)

Cottage by the Sea (ABN 20 331 227 005)

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (ABN 92 124 762 027)

Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species Ltd (FAME) (ABN 79 154 823 579)

Fred Hollows Foundation (ABN 46 070 556 642)

Garvan Institute of Medical Research (ABN 62 330 391 937)

Gold Coast Hospital Foundation (ABN 95 387 912 125)

Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (ABN 61 354 551 576)

Greenpeace Australia Pacific (ABN 61 002 643 852)

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT (ABN 52 000 399 744)

Guide Dogs Victoria (ABN 68 004 621 461)

Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (ABN 16 823 190 402)

Heart Research Australia (ABN 62 002 839 072)

Heart Research Institute (HRI) (ABN 41 003 209 952)

House with No Steps (ABN 31 001 813 403)

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) (ABN 90 002 655 754)

Karuna Hospice Service (ABN 28 055 211 473)

Legacy (ABN 22 000 048 868)

Leukaemia Foundation of Australia Limited (ABN 57 057 493 017)

Lost Dogs Home (ABN 84 004 789 726)

Lung Foundation Australia (ABN 36 051 131 901)

Mary MacKillop Today (ABN 88 808 531 480 )

Mater Foundation Brisbane (ABN 96 723 184 640)

Melbourne City Mission (ABN 56 161 846 149)

Mission Aviation Fellowship Australia (ABN 26 134 583 887)

MS Research Australia (ABN 34 008 581 431)

Multiple Sclerosis Limited (ABN 66 004 942 287)

National Breast Cancer Foundation (ABN 37 144 841 707)

National Heart Foundation of Australia (ABN 32 008 507 328)

NeuroSurgical Research Foundation (ABN 94 020 017 663)

Northcott (ABN 51 943 541 450)

NSW Police Legacy (ABN 70 051 341 087)

Parkinson’s New South Wales Inc (ABN 93 023 603 545)

Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation (ABN 14 786 237 480)

Plan International Australia (ABN 49 004 815 807)

Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation (ABN 21 109 372 545)

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (ABN 31 521 774 656)

Rebound WA (ABN 64 621 590 101)

Red Nose (ABN 81 462 345 159)

Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia (ABN 26 037 589 412)

Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section) (ABN 86 000 032 422)

Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) (ABN 53 443272 865)

RSPCA ACT (ABN 35 730 738 037)

RSPCA Darwin (ABN 42 603 546 873)

RSPCA NSW (ABN 87 000 001 641)

RSPCA QLD (ABN 74 851 544 037)

RSPCA SA (ABN 60 740 135 753)

RSPCA Tasmania (ABN 71 723 781 546)

RSPCA Victoria (ABN 56 749 449 191)

RSPCA WA (ABN 77 620 418 137)

Salvation Army  - NSW (ABN 57 507 607 457)

Salvation Army - ACT (ABN 57 507 607 457)

Salvation Army - NT (ABN 65 906 613 779)

Salvation Army - QLD (ABN 32 234 126 186)

Salvation Army - SA (ABN 13 320 346 330)

Salvation Army - TAS (ABN 94 917 169 560)

Salvation Army - VIC (ABN 64 472 238 844)

Salvation Army - WA (ABN 25 878 329 270)

Save the Children (ABN 99 008 610 035)

Share (ABN 33 279 399 483)

Smith Family (ABN 28 000 030 179)

Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (ABN 93 001 263 734)

Starlight Children’s Foundation (ABN 80 931 522 157)

Stroke Foundation (ABN 42 006 173 379)

Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation (ABN 72 003 073 185)

Taronga Conservation Society Australia (ABN 41 733 619 876)

UNICEF (ABN 35 060 581 437)

Villa Maria Catholic Homes (ABN 32 004 364 103)

Vision Australia (ABN 67 108 847 329)

Wesley Mission (ABN 42 164 655 145)

World Vision Australia (ABN 28 004 778 081)

Further Reading:

For a summary of the ATO page on Gifts and Donation is PDF poster format, see Gifts and Donations (PDF, 548KB)

Download DGR listings:

Use the links below to download the complete list of the current DGR entities and funds from ABN Lookup:

DGR endorsed entities (5.5MB txt)

DGR funds, authorities and institutions (5.2MB txt)

Social Media Sharing Image: Courtesy of Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

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The majority of online Australian Legal Document providers are not law firms!

Whilst it is acknowledged that the legal document templates provided by the majority of [non law-firm] Australian legal document providers will generally have been prepared by lawyers and that the templates they sell are updated from time to time as required by legislative changes.

This does not change the fact that you are not dealing directly with a law firm.

In order to understand what this means from a practical perspective you need to ask the following questions …

What happens?

🧩 If and when you have a legal question?

🧩 If the other party wants to negotiate amendments to the legal document?

🧩 If the legal document does not meet all of the requirements of your specific facts and circumstances?

🧩 If there is a mistake in the legal document?

Lastly, what happens if you are not directly involved in the creation of the legal document?

🧩 What if your accountant, tax agent or financial advisor uses a [non-law firm] online legal document service on your behalf?

To help you answer this question, please read our FAQ: If I create a legal document for my client on your law firm’s website am I giving legal advice or am I a "mere scribe"?

General Answer

A general answer is that online [non-law firm] Australian Legal Document providers are unable to assist clients directly, as they are unable to provide legal advice.

Certain [non-law firm] providers have adopted a business model whereby they earn a substantial ongoing 12 months+ plus referral fee for directing a client to a large directory of law firms who can assist.

This referral fee is charged to the law firm, who may decide to expense it as a marketing cost.

We submit that one way or another, it is ultimately the client who pays for the cost of the referral fee as it increases the cost of doing business for the law firm providing the service to them.

Feedback obtained directly from businesses who have used certain [non-law firm] online services

The valuable feedback we have  obtained is that:

❌ The quality of the online legal documents are basic, non-adaptive templates; such that

❌ The client is more often than not, required to seek assistance from a law firm in order to ensure their legal requirements are met.

As lawyers are required to undertake client interviews and make manual amendments to the legal documents, the final cost ends up much higher than the client could have anticipated, especially when the original online legal document was given away for free or at a nominal cost.

These kinds of business models may not rise to the level of bait & switch, however they may be found to constitute misleading and deceptive conduct.

In our submission, clients appear to be lead to believe that in the majority of cases they will be able to use the standard online documents without the need to engage a law firm to assist, when in actual fact this is not the case.

What are the benefits of purchasing legal documents directly from Blue Ocean Law Group?

When you purchase online legal documents directly from us, we have every incentive to ensure the quality of the online legal documents provided are as high as possible, and that you have all your questions answered.

List of Benefits:

✅ Our law firm already has a copy of your online responses so we can assist quickly and cost effectively.

✅ 1-stop shop. There is no need to wade through a directory of different law firms each time.

✅ Professional Indemnity Insurance (when you engage us for legal advice);

✅ Higher quality automatically tailored legal documents using Embedded Lawyer-Logic;

✅ Deal directly with a law firm, no need for middlemen;

✅ No referral fees built into the business model;

✅ Lower overall legal costs;

✅ Legal document delivered directly from our .law web domain so you know we created the legal document;

✅ Legal Professional Privilege; and

✅ Enhanced Confidentiality.

✅ Blue Ocean Law Group (as far as we are aware) are currently the only Australian law firm providing you with the option to create more than 140+ Personal & Business Legal Documents online using our ⚖️ [Self-Service] and/or [Lawyer-Assisted] services.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

What is a Free Legal Health Check?

What is a Free Legal Health Check? ✅

Our Legal Health Check is a process that helps you identify + prioritise your individual + business (if relevant) legal needs.

How does it work?

1️⃣ Complete our Intelligent Questionnaire:

You will be asked to provide information about your personal and/or business circumstances;

2️⃣ Automated Report:

The process uses inbuilt Embedded Lawyer-Logic™ to help you identify key legal risks + concerns and prioritise solutions.

A customised (jargon-free) report is generated in plain english with actionable recommendations.

3️⃣ Deliver Solutions:

You can then consider the information in your own time, and when convenient, select the most appropriate self-service legal documents from our online 24/7 portal or reach out to our legal team to discuss your options in more detail.

What does it cover?

🧩 Estate planning;

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🧩 Tax structuring;

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🧩 Business financing;

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🧩 Managing staff;

🧩 Commercial terms;

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🧩 Regulatory compliance.

Why go through this process?

This is an amazing way to quickly + proactively identify legal risks + opportunities to get your legal affairs in order!

Achieve Zen-like “peace of mind” knowing your legal affairs are in order

Our Buccaneer Package is designed for individuals + includes our constantly expanding library of [Self-Service] personal legal documents.

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You could save thousands $$$ on your legal bills!

Our Yachtsman Package designed for business owners includes our constantly expanding library of [Self-Service] personal + business legal documents.

It is compelling value with pricing at circa $3.50 per day [equivalent to the price of a cup of tea or coffee!] which entitles you to access heavily discounted [members only] prices.

You could save thousands $$$ on your personal + business legal spend!

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

What is Embedded Lawyer-Logic + how does it work?

What is Embedded Lawyer-Logic™?

Think of Embedded Lawyer-Logic as your way of gaining 24/7/365 access to the best legal minds in the relevant area of law to guide you to instantly generate high quality legal documents, or an initial draft for review by our legal team.

More than 1000+ Australian lawyers use this industry leading automated legal document generation solution.

Step 1️⃣: Information Gathering

Our intelligent online questionnaire adapts to your answers and only asks relevant questions.

Simply follow the guidance and enter the requested information about your matter.

Step 2️⃣: Document Assembly

The information is then sent to our back-end legal document generation engine, which follows a matrix of algorithms to make decisions about what should be in your legal document, just as an expert human lawyer would do.

The engine then draws from an enormous body of content to assemble a top-tier quality legal document that’s tailored to your situation + requirements.

Our Embedded Lawyer-Logic™ technology includes numerous quality control checks + automatic error-correction, massively reducing the risk of human error.

Step 3️⃣: Document Delivery

The finished document is then emailed to you in PDF format, ready to print and sign.

Optional: Lawyer Review/Assistance

Your answers to the online questionnaire and a copy of the finished document in both Word + PDF formats are automatically forwarded to our legal team.

If we notice anything out of-the-ordinary we will contact you to discuss.

If you are a subscribed member or opt for paid Lawyer-Assistance, we will use the allocated time to assist to clarify and resolve any questions you may have.

Optional: Full Service

If your matter is complex, high risk or you have never been involved in legal matters before, we highly recommend you opt for our Full Service.

Our legal team will contact you and assist you throughout the entire process.

If you are a subscribed member the cost for the time spent by our legal team to assist you is heavily discounted.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

When should I reach out to speak to your legal team?

Our [Self-Service] legal documents are designed to be completed "without the intervention of a lawyer".

This approach will be appropriate for the majority of routine legal matters, where you are experienced and have learnt what needs to be considered and have gained experience in using our 24/7 online document portal to generate your legal documents instantly.

Some routine matters maybe totally new to you (meaning that you will have questions and we recommend you select our [Lawyer-Assisted] service).

Other matters maybe unusually complex, or of such high-value or risk that involving our legal team is the prudent course to take.

For these matters we recommend you select our [Full Service] option.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

What does the Lawyer-Assisted service include?

Your upgrade to our [Lawyer-Assisted] Service includes …

⚖️ Professional Indemnity (Limited Liability) by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation;

⚖️ Access to Professional Fee Funding* / Disbursement Fee Funding / Family Law Funding (subject to approval by QuickFee our external legal finance provider);

✅ Allocated Time included to understand your circumstances + objectives, answer your queries + provide legal advice & make recommendations regarding alternative/additional options; and

✅ Create your standardised Legal Document based on your instructions.

Plus [+] Where Appropriate (at no additional charge)

⚖️ Use of proprietary fonts to maximise fraud prevention;

⚖️ Use of our Law Firm Letterhead;

➲  Send your Legal Document for electronic signature/s; and/or

🔒 Application of Trax Print Legal Document Security Technology for Fraud + Litigation Prevention.

* More Information about Professional Fee Funding:

Our firm has partnered with QuickFee and Splitit to provide you with an interest free payment option. While we remain your service provider, the payment method is provided by QuickFee, a specialist payments provider for professional firms.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Is the Legal Documents Portal Secure?

Yes we use the highest grade web-based security available 4096-bit SSL encryption

Our Legal Documents Portal uses 4096-bit SSL encryption.

A Future Proof Security Solution

The following has been extracted from a JScape's website article answering the question: "Should we start using 4096 bit …?"

In case you're curious where we got the idea of 2048-bit encryption keys being safe to use until 2030, check out the NIST Special Publication 800-57 Part1.
In Table 2 of that document, it says 2048-bit RSA keys are roughly equivalent to a Security Strength of 112.
Security strength is simply a number associated with the amount of work required to break a cryptographic algorithm.
Basically, the higher that number, the greater the amount of work required.
A future proof security solution can mitigate the risk of cyber threats.
We know that cyber criminals are always one step ahead of security professionals, so we're not 100% sure 2048-bit keys are going to remain unbreakable before 2030.

How secure is 4096-bit encryption?

It was once said:

It would take the combined processing power of every computer in the world thousands of years to crack 4096-bit encryption.

You could be the weakest link. Be Vigilant!

Hackers will always look for the weakest link, which is usually a person who makes an error which opens up a gap in an otherwise secure system.

In a more general context (outside of encrypted secure website traffic/data) it has also been said:

Data with 4096-bit encryption (only protected by a password) could still be compromised within seconds.
How? Human error.
Easy pass-phrase, written down password, re-used password... etc. basically, always be on the lookout for the weakest link.
Trust the technology, but never trust the weak link - the user!

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Why does Blue Ocean Law Group℠ use a *.law website domain?

What is a *.law web domain?

⚖️ *.law is a top-level-domain (TLD) that aims to:

Promote trust in the professional legal community by creating a:

✅ Verified;

✅ Exclusive; and

✅ Reserved online space in which only accredited lawyers and law firms can establish a comprehensive digital brand.

✅ Website users can have confidence they are dealing with an authorised and licensed lawyer/law firm.

✅ *.law offers effective branding to those in the legal community, with the ability to secure a domain name that clearly communicates who you are + the legal resources you provide.

All about *.law domain names

Source: join.law - Why *.law?

Creating Legal Docs for clients. Is this giving legal advice?

When you create Legal Docs for Clients. Is this considered giving legal advice? or is your role that of a mere scribe?

If your role is merely that of a "scribe or scrivener" as outlined below it is unlikely you would be deemed to be providing legal advice or engaging in the practice of law.

Caution: Some Online Legal Documents have evolved!

Unfortunately this is not as easy as it once was … when online legal document templates were all static "fill in the blanks" one-size-fits-all templates.

Increasingly, the capabilities + complexities of legal document automation have evolved to cater to an ever widening range of facts and conditions.

Using the complex design + incorporation of what we call Embedded-Lawyer Logic it is no longer possible to avoid the automated tailoring of the online legal document to suit the client's circumstances + legal needs.

They are designed to produce a quality bespoke legal document just like a lawyer does.

The use of Embedded-Lawyer-Logic™ in the online process:

✅ Is now very similar to a client being interviewed by a lawyer;

✅ It drills down to ask the same questions and provide the same options a highly experienced + competent lawyer is required to do.

As a result the draft legal document created now has the potential to vary significantly based on the responses provided by the client.

We have now progressed to the point that the new normal online process is designed to cause your role to fall outside of the role of a "scribe or scrivener" alluded to below.

In the leading case on this issue Legal Practice Board v Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd [2007] WASC 184; 35 WAR 59 (Simmonds J) noted at para. [152] that Brinsden J in Barristers Board v Palm Management Pty Ltd [1984] WAR 101 referred to Re Matthews (1938) 79 P 2d 535, apparently with approval, as follows at para. [108]*:

The court went on to say that where an instrument is to be shaped from a mass of facts and conditions, the legal effect of which must be carefully determined by a mind trained in the existing law in order to ensure a specific result and to guard against others, more than the knowledge of the layman is required and a charge for such services brings it definitely within the term 'practice of the law' [emphasis added].

How to limit your role to that of a "scribe or scrivener"?

Therefore, we strongly recommend that you advise your client to either:

✅ Create the draft legal document themselves + ensure independent legal advice is sought from our legal team prior to negotiation and execution; or

✅ Instruct you to create the legal documents using our Lawyer-Assisted option.

Doing this ensures your role is clearly limited to that of a "scribe or scrivener".

Our legal team will then take the responsibility for reviewing your client's individual circumstances together with the draft legal document in order to provide your client with the relevant legal advice, ensure your client understands their legal position and options, and to propose and make any required amendments to the legal document based on your client's instructions.

What is a "mere scribe or scrivener"?

In Legal Practice Board v Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd [supra]*:

… the court held that work of the mere clerical kind, such as filling out of skeletal blanks or drawing instruments of generally recognised and stereotype forms effectuating the conveyance or encumbrance of property, such as a simple deed or mortgage not involving the determination of the legal effect of special facts and conditions, should be generally regarded as the legitimate right of any layman because it involves nothing more or less than the clerical operations of the now almost obsolete scrivener (emphasis added).
(The scrivener was eliminated in England by the 1804 Act.).

The view of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia ... ^

Timely reminder

The 2007 case of the Legal Practice Board v. Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd* serves as a timely reminder to members that there are legislative provisions in each state and territory which prohibit a person who is not a legal practitioner from engaging in legal practice.
This prohibition is mirrored in the Institute’s regulations relating to public practice (regulation 1207).
However, there are differences between the jurisdictions as to how the prohibition is framed.  

Even so, members who use the services of document providers are urged, as a minimum, to:
✅ Use only reputable document providers whose services are backed by competent legal practitioners;
✅ Ensure that they abide by the terms and conditions of the document providers as to the use of the documents and their supply to clients; and
✅ Avoid redrafting of documents to suit the circumstances of individual clients, unless appropriate legal advice is obtained by the relevant parties.

Seek legal advice

The Institute believes that the recent WA case does not require any change to a member's legitimate use of this type of service in accordance with their terms and conditions.
However, if you have any concerns or queries about the use of document providers, you should seek legal advice.

Sources:

* Legal Practice Board v Computer Accounting and Tax Pty Ltd [2007] WASC 184;

^ Extracted from the article: Court case raises issues about preparation of legal documents.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

How to Verify a Trax Print Protected Document?

How do I Verify the Authenticity of a Trax Print Protected Legal Document?

You can use any of the following Trax Print Document Verification Methods

1️⃣ Double-Click to Verify the Details of the Document

Note: You can find the Trax Print QR Code on the bottom of the first, last or every page, depending upon the preference set by the author of the document.

✅ By way of example, Double-Click on the below sample Trax Print QR Code within the PDF document:

You will be taken to the TraxPrint.com website and a message similar to the following will appear:

2️⃣ Email to Verify the Contents of the Document

The ability to email a document for automated verification has never been done before.

The Trax Print Email Verification Process

✅ Send an email with the PDF document attached to check@blueocean.law

The Trax Print system checks the Trax Code and compares the entire document to the one that was originally protected.

Trax Print will detect even a one pixel difference within a 1000 page document.

❌ If the PDF document is not authentic a reply email rejecting the document will be send back to you.

If the PDF document is authentic, you will receive a reply email with the following attached:

✅ Certificate of Authenticity (including our law firm details & the timestamp of when the document was Trax Print Protected); + 

✅ The Original Trax Print Protected document.

Try it Yourself

🌊 Email check@blueocean.law with any random PDF document attached (that is not Trax Print Protected).

🌊 Then send a second separate email to check@blueocean.law with one of our Trax Print Protected PDF's attached.

For example:

🌊 Download our Trax Print Protected Brochure called Business Legal Essentials attach it to your email.

🌊 In both cases you will automatically be emailed the results!

Note: Blue Ocean Law Group are also notified if one of our Trax Print Protected Documents is verified.

This enables us to take appropriate action if the verification was not authorised.

3️⃣ Scan to Verify the Contents of the Document

✅ Download the free Trax Print App from the iOS AppStore or Android GooglePlay

Register + Sign-in to the App then ✅ Scan the Trax Print QR Code to Verify.

4️⃣ Drag n' Drop to Verify the Contents of the Document

✅ Drag n' Drop the PDF Document File into the designated area.

You will receive an instant response regarding the authenticity of the document.

This feature is coming soon and we aim to make it available via a dedicated page on our website.

Further Reading: Are your Legal + Identity Documents Securely Trax Print Protected to Provide Fraud + Litigation Prevention? ➲ It's a no-brainer!

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

Can I create a Legal Document from my phone?

Yes, you can create a Legal Document from your phone

The below iPhone 12 screen shots demonstrate what we mean by "^anywhere (even from your mobile phone, if necessary)".

iPhone 12: Portrait Mode
iPhone 12: Landscape Mode

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

How do I provide for my Pet/s care in my Will?

Long-term Care for your Pet/s …

✅ If your Pet/s live longer than you …

Formal Arrangements

What do you need to understand in terms of your Will?

⚖️ You cannot name your Pet/s as direct beneficiaries in your Will.

⚖️ For clarity, you cannot include statements in you Will such as “I give $X to my cat Toby".

⚖️ Legally a pet is regarded as your property. That is, as one of your possessions.

⚖️ Pet/s are not legally recognised as a ‘person’ under the law.

⚖️ This means they cannot own property, hold a bank account, sue or be sued, or in this case, receive a gift as a beneficiary directly under a Will.

There are different approaches to providing for your Pet/s in your Will

The approach to take will depend on your personal circumstances, what you prefer for your Pet/s, and their needs.  

Gift your Pet/s

Some simple + valid options to consider for the long-term care of your Pet/s under your Will are as follows:  

✅ You can make a gift of your Pet/s to a trusted family member, after you have discussed it with them and they have agreed to take on the responsibility.

✅ Provide for an alternative, Plan B, trusted friend or family member, just in case.

✅ In addition, it would be wise to give a sum of money (legacy) in your Will to the actual recipient of your Pet/s to cover your conservative estimate of your Pet/s lifetime reasonable living, maintenance and anticipated healthcare costs based on your experience.

✅ Alternatively, as a Plan C, you could gift your Pet/s to a registered pet charity, rescue charity or pet shelter such as the RSPCA to be re-homed or adopted by another pet-lover.

✅ Ensure you get the name of the charity or shelter 100% correct, and provide for an alternative charity as a further backup just in case.

✅ If you have more than one Pet, consider whether you want them kept together.

✅ Clearly communicate everything to your Executor/s so they can work quickly to ensure your Pet/s are kept as safe and comfortable as possible at a time which will be difficult for them as well as for all concerned.

Testamentary Pet Trust
[Legal Assistance Highly Recommended]

⚖️ If you already have a Testamentary Trust in your Will, you can expand it's scope to include provision for the care and maintenance of your Pet/s during their lifetime.

⚖️ If you don't already have a Testamentary Trust in your Will, the ability to provide for the lifetime care of your Pet/s is another reason to consider adding one.

⚖️ Where a Testamentary Trust is included in your Will solely for the purpose of providing for the lifetime care of your Pet/s it is called a Testamentary Pet Trust.

⚖️ Under a Testamentary Pet Trust the trustee holds the money for the benefit of the named Pet/s.  

⚖️ When the Pet/s die, the Testamentary Pet Trust is wound up and distributed according to the directions made in the Will, which might be to an animal charity or elsewhere.

⚖️ While using a Testamentary Trust provides increased certainty that your allocated funds will be devoted to the long-term care of your Pet/s, it is also more costly to administer.  

⚖️ Choice of trustee is important.

⚖️ Someone trusted to carry out the terms of your trust, preferably independent and experienced, needs to be appointed in the Will as trustee for this purpose.

Some Pets can live up to 100 years or more …

Certain species of animals like turtles, koi fish + birds (e.g., parrots) can live up to 100 years or more.  

⚖️ In most state and territories of Australia (except South Australia) the life of a Trust is a maximum 80 years.

✅ If your Pet/s could outlive the useful life of the Testamentary Pet Trust, it becomes crucial that you seek legal advice in order to create a specific plan for what is to occur if your Pet/s outlive the Trust established for its long-term care.

Don't give your Pets more than they need!

⚖️ Any gift well in excess of your Pet/s actual needs, opens the door to the possibility that your Will might be challenged by eligible beneficiaries.

What if you make no special arrangements for your Pet/s in your Will?

Your Pets are your property so if you make a Will and don’t make any specific arrangements for them, they will form part of your residuary estate.

Whoever you have designated to inherit the residue of your estate will then be entitled to take ownership of your Pet/s.  

If you have not spoken to your residuary beneficiaries, it may be unclear which beneficiary is to take care of which Pet/s.

⚖️ It is not difficult to foresee the potential for further disputes arising!

Further Reading:

For a more detailed discussion please refer to our blog article “Care Planning for your Furry, Fluffy or Fine-Feathered Pets"  by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

What assets are generally not covered by my Will?

What are Non-Estate Assets under Australian Law?

The following assets will not generally form part of your estate and are therefore not covered by your Will

That is, assets that are:

❌ Held in superannuation accounts, including any self-managed superannuation fund, unless/until those superannuation assets are transferred into your estate upon your passing pursuant to appropriate superannuation death benefit nominations.

Please refer here for binding superannuation death benefit nominations.

❌ Held in any separate family / discretionary trust;

❌ Owned by a company or held in any unit trust; and/or

❌ Held as “joint tenants” with another person (including bank accounts where you are only able to operate the account jointly with another person);

Assets held as Joint Tenants

Any assets held as joint tenants can only be dealt with as part of the estate if the joint tenancy is first severed into a tenancy-in-common.  

Please note: Our Wills generally do not deal with any assets that are held as joint tenants – however, our Wills give the executor/trustee the power to adjust the proportionate distribution of the estate assets, taking into account both the proportionate distribution of such non-estate assets and the overall tax implications.  

See our FAQ: What is the General Power of Adjustment in a Will?

Foreign Assets

Our Wills are drafted so that they only apply to your assets situated in Australia.  

In relation to any assets held in any overseas jurisdictions, it may be necessary to create a separate Will in the relevant overseas jurisdiction, or if the foreign assets are in a country covered by the relevant treaty, an International Will.

Notional Estates in NSW

In NSW, certain non-estate assets can be considered by a Court in making a Family Provision Order.

For more information please read our FAQ: NSW Family Provision Claims and the concept of the Notional Estate.

Business Succession Planning

If you are a co-owner of any business, consideration should be given to whether your estate will retain or dispose of your share in the business, and vice-versa for the co-owners of the business.

It is highly recommended to put in place a buy/sell agreement to allow for the business to successfully continue operations in the event of the passing or incapacity of a co-owner.  

Under a buy/sell agreement:

🧩 Insurance policies are taken out to cover the death or disablement of each co-owner; and

🧩 If a co-owner dies or becomes incapacitated, he/she is deemed to offer his/her stake for sale to the remaining co-owners and the proceeds of the relevant life insurance policy can be used to fund the purchase of that stake by the remaining co-owners.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

Are there any time limits to contest an Australian Will?

Preliminary Note: This FAQ focuses on the applicable time limits [by jurisdiction] when you are considering contesting an Australian Will.

The legal grounds upon which you can contest a Will are a different matter which is only dealt with partially here.

Stay tuned for a fuller discussion on legal grounds for contesting a Will in an upcoming FAQ.

Background ➲ Time Limits Vary

Timing is vital to any legal matter, but it is particularly important that you seek legal advice quickly if you are considering contesting a Will.

In a practical sense, any challenge to a Will is going to be much more difficult where the executor (person carrying out the instructions of a Will) has already started to make distributions from the estate to the beneficiaries named in the Will, after being declared valid by the Court (i.e. probate has been granted).

As such, the relevant time limit to contest a Will depends on whether you are looking to challenge the Will before or after a Grant of Probate.

In general, you can contest a Will on two grounds:

1️⃣ The validity of a Will

➲ The contest should be acted upon quickly, preferably before a Grant of Probate, though Wills can still be contested and rectified after a Grant of Probate.

2️⃣ The contents of a Will

Example: For a failure of family provision or miscarriage of intentions

➲ The contest can be made after a Grant of Probate, though you should try to act as soon as possible, before the executor has started to make distributions from the estate.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to know whether you have legal grounds to challenge a Will when you haven't been provided with the opportunity to examine the Will.

A Will becomes publicly accessible upon Grant of Probate.

As detailed in our FAQ: Who is entitled to be provided with a copy of the Will and Probate Documents? most jurisdictions (except ACT, SA & WA) provide a statutory right to access a Will before a Grant of Probate, if you fall into an eligible class of persons in relation to the testator (the person who made the Will).

For everyone else, you are at the mercy of the executor's discretion; the executor could choose to send you a copy of the Will prior to a Grant of Probate, but they do not have to.

Contests Prior to a Grant of Probate

In one sentence: Check the Online Notices for an Application for Grant of Probate.

Who is this for?

If you do not have access to a copy of the Will or you would like to contest the validity of a Will.

Lack of access to the Will could be a significant problem, especially if you think that a Will may not be valid (for reasons such as a lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence or fraud).

Fortunately, in most states / territories, before an application for probate can be made, the executor must provide public Notice of Intention to Apply for Grant of Probate.

Notices of Intention to Apply for Grant of Probate are published on the sites linked below; please note that public notices are not legally required in South Australia and Western Australia. If, for some reason, you did not know who to contact with regards to asking for a copy of the will, you may find the relevant details from the notices.

Where to Find Notice of Intention to Apply for Probate

State Website Link
ACT Link
NSW Link
NT Link
Qld Link
SA Notice Not Required
Tas Link
Vic Link
WA Notice Not Required

To Caveat or not to Caveat?

Before a Will has been granted probate, it is possible to lodge something called a caveat on the Grant of Probate to prevent the Court from granting a Will to probate.

However, a caveat may not be lodged by just any person, despite what is suggested by legislation (see the table below).

Based solely on the legislation, it appears that in all states except the ACT and Queensland, any person may lodge a caveat.

In reality, this is NOT the case.

There are established cases which provide that anyone applying for a caveat must have both:

1️⃣ An interest in the estate (standing); as well as

2️⃣ Grounds to justify the application.

If you lodge a caveat in the absence of either of the above, you may be liable for Court costs with regards to the matter.

All that said, should you have the relevant standing, and appropriate grounds for contest, lodging a caveat represents the earliest time from which you might contest a Will.

By acting before the Grant of Probate, you minimise the risk of the executor having distributed some part of the estate already.

If you think you may be in a position to lodge a caveat on a Grant of Probate, we strongly advise you to contact us in regards to the matter, so that you do not run the risk of being liable for unnecessary costs.

Who can lodge a caveat? (Misleading)

State Legislation Provision Who? Link
ACT Court Procedure Rules 2006 r 3066 "a person claiming to have an interest in an estate" Link
NSW Probate and Administration Act 1898 s 144 "any person" Link
NT Administration and Probate Act 1969 s 44 "a person" Link
Qld Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999 r 624 "a person claiming to have an interest in an estate" Link
SA Administration and Probate Act 1919 s 26 No Qualification Link
Tas Probate Rules 2017 r 78 "a person" Link
Vic Administration and Probate Act 1958 s 58 "any person" Link
WA Administration Act 1903 s 63 "any person" Link

Contests After a Grant of Probate

In one sentence: The time limit applicable to you will depend on your legal ground for challenge.

Family Provision Obligations

A Will may be contested for a failure to provide for the "proper maintenance, education or advancement in life" of an eligible family member.

(More details will be provided in the separate FAQ on Grounds for Contest, but for now, think either spouse, de facto partner, children or other dependants only).

This is a challenge to the content of the Will (not the validity of the Will), therefore you do not have to try to contest the Will before a Grant of Probate, though you should nonetheless move quickly to minimise the chance that you are frustrated by distributions of the estate.

The time limits for a family provision contest are listed by state / territory below.

Note: In New South Wales and Queensland, the clock starts ticking upon the death of the testator, and not upon Grant of Probate as in every other jurisdiction.

Family Provision Time Limits by Jurisdiction

State Legislation Provision Time Limit Link
ACT Family Provision Act 1969 s 9 Within 6 Months of Grant of Probate Link
NSW Succession Act 2006 s 58 Within 12 Months of Death of Testator Link
NT Family Provision Act 1970 s 9 Within 12 Months of Grant of Probate Link
Qld Succession Act 1981 s 41(8) Within 9 Months of Death of Testator Link
SA Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972 s 8 Within 6 Months of Grant of Probate Link
Tas Testator's Family Maintenance Act 1912 s 11 Within 3 Months of Grant of Probate Link
Vic Administration and Probate Act 1958 s 99 Within 6 Months of Grant of Probate Link
WA Family Provision Act 1972 s 7(2) Within 6 Months of Grant of Probate Link

In each state/territory, the Court, in its discretion, may extend the time in which a family provision contest can be brought, though the applicant for an extension of time must show good reasons for why a Court should do so.

Misinterpretation of Testator's Intentions and Rectification

In each state/territory, the Court has discretion to rectify a Will, where the Will does not carry out the testator's intentions.

In all jurisdictions except the ACT and SA, the Court may only exercise its discretion where the Will does not carry out the testator's intentions because either:

❌ A clerical error was made; or

❌ The words of the Will misinterpret the intentions of the testator.

In the ACT and SA, the discretion of the Court may be exercised in any situation in which the Will fails to carry out the intentions of the testator.

Further in regards to the ACT, if the executor for the estate is the state Public Trustee and Guardian, the limitation period to rectify a Will starts from when the Public Trustee and Guardian gives public notice (that is, before a Grant of Probate has been made).

Otherwise, the time limit starts from the Grant of Probate.

Rectification Time Limits by Jurisdiction

State Legislation Provision Time Limit Link
ACT Wills Act 1968 s 12A Within 6 Months of Grant of Probate / (for Public Trustee and Guardian) Notice by Public Trustee Link
NSW Succession Act 2006 s 27 Within 12 Months of Death of Testator Link
NT Wills Act 2000 s 27 Within 6 Months of Death of Testator Link
Qld Succession Act 1981 s 33 Within 6 Months of Death of Testator Link
SA Wills Act 1936 s 25AA Within 6 Months of Grant of Probate Link
Tas Wills Act 2008 s 42 Within 3 Months of Death of Testator Link
Vic Wills Act 1997 s 31 Within 6 Months of Grant of Probate Link
WA Wills Act 1970 s 50 Within 6 Months of Death of Testator Link

As with Family Provision contests above, the Court may, in its discretion, allow challenges past the time limits specified above, though again, the party applying for the extension must make a good case as to why an extension should be granted.

In this situation, it is highly relevant whether the executor has started to distribute the estate, as the Court may take this into account in considering whether to grant an extension.

Credits:

This FAQ was prepared by Suk Jae Chung | Practical Legal Training (PLT) Placement, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

What might be a valid reason to exclude someone from your Will?

Who is an eligible person?

Broadly speaking, an eligible person may include anyone to whom the testator has a responsibility, potentially including a current or former spouse or de facto partner, children, grandchildren, other dependants and persons living in the testator's household.

If you exclude an eligible person there is potential for a Court to make a Family Provision Order

When the testator dies, any "eligible person"may make an application to the court for a family provision order if they believe that there has been inadequate provision for them under the Will.  

If an order is made, interests under the Will may be adjusted and the applicant may be able to obtain part of the estate contrary to the express provision of the Will.

No Guarantee that any reasons given will be accepted by a Court

There is no guarantee that any particular reasons for excluding an eligible person will be acceptable.  

Whilst the likelihood of a successful family provision orders may be reduced by expressly excluding people who may be eligible persons in the Will and providing clear reasons why they have been excluded.

A Court will take into account all of the facts and circumstances.

What are some potentially valid reasons to exclude an eligible person?

The following are some examples of reasons that may potentially be considered valid:

🧩 Sufficient provision was made for the excluded person during the testator's lifetime such that further gifts would be unfair to the included beneficiaries;

🧩 The testator and the excluded person have had no contact for a long time and no relationship of love/affection exists between them;

🧩 The testator has not had any responsibility for the welfare of the excluded person for many years;

🧩 The financial circumstances of the excluded person are much better than those of the included beneficiaries and the excluded person is being excluded in order to try to achieve a balance of financial welfare amongst all potentially interested parties; and/or

🧩 The excluded person has received, or is likely to receive, significant assets from the estate of another person (eg, a former spouse of the testator, a former spouse of the testator's spouse, etc).

Please note: The Will becomes a public document pursuant to the Court Probate process, consequently any reasons articulated for excluding an eligible person will ultimately be made discoverable by the public.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

We separated. Wait or can we reach financial settlement now?

A: No.

A Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) can be entered into before or after the separation of a couple, including before, during, or after marriage or a de facto relationship.

Court Orders can only be applied for and made after the separation of a couple.

There is no prescribed waiting time or need to wait to be officially divorced.

Credits:

This FAQ was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

What does the court consider before making Family Provision Orders?

The court may consider the following factors

⚖️ The relationship between the applicant and the deceased person;

⚖️ Any obligations or responsibilities owed by the deceased person to the applicant;

⚖️ The value and location of the deceased person's estate;

⚖️ The financial circumstances of the applicant, including their current and future financial needs;

⚖️ Whether the applicant is financially supported by another person;

⚖️ Whether the applicant has any physical, intellectual or mental disabilities;

⚖️ The applicant's age;

⚖️ Any contribution made by the applicant to increase the value of the estate;

⚖️ Whether the deceased person has already provided for the applicant during their lifetime or from the estate;

⚖️ Whether the deceased person provided maintenance, support or assistance to the applicant;

⚖️ Whether any other person is responsible to support the applicant;

⚖️ The applicant's character;

⚖️ Any applicable customary law if the deceased was Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander;

⚖️ Any other claims on the estate; and

⚖️ Any other matter the court may consider as relevant.

Credits:

This FAQ was prepared by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.