We’ve been told that for a good life, a good lawyer to manage your affairs is as essential as a good dentist and a good accountant. We couldn’t agree more.
With personal or financial wealth comes not only a responsibility to protect these assets during the challenges of life, but also a duty to plan ahead so your beneficiaries are able to act as honourable stewards of the legacy you entrust to them.
Our range of services are directed at providing advice in the areas of family and business succession, estate planning and, especially, the protection of personal assets.
It is an honour to help preserve a life’s legacy, and we will work hard to ensure your own life’s hard-work is preserved, protected and distributed according to your wishes.
Protecting Business Owners
New South Wales is one of the most litigious jurisdictions in the world, which is only good for lawyers. The commercial reality of joint and several liability, cross financing and guarantees is so prevalent that we may all be exposed to the consequences of the mistakes or actions of others.
To help protect business owners in this environment, we recommend advising all partners, new and existing, on how to manage and protect assets in a joint and several landscape.
We offer tailored advice to small and large organisations, especially fellow lawyers – as we know as well as anyone that the lawyer who acts for himself has a fool for a client.
We will listen to your specific concerns and work with you to design protection and guidance that fits your unique business and family dynamics.
For an obligation-free chat on protecting your assets click here.
For more details on our approach to estate planning, click here.
We take a pragmatic approach to estate planning. Our experience has shown it is essential to have a clear plan in place BEFORE the time comes to pass on your legacy.
This plan can protect your estate against unforeseen taxes and helps anticipate any conflict. A pragmatic plan will protect your legacy against unintended outcomes.
Please click here and spend a few seconds conducting an eye-opening self-assessment test on how well prepared your current plan really is.
We are more than happy to have a no-obligation chat to discuss the results of this preparedness test . You might like to discuss:
- How you can protect beneficiaries who are inexperienced in financial matters; and
- How you can help beneficiaries of any age avoid losing assets and inheritances through family breakups, over exposure to property or failed businesses.
We will quickly identify any weaknesses in your succession arrangements and show you how to protect the assets in your family tree.
We do prefer to have family meetings to avoid any future surprises.
Family Business Succession
Businesses take out insurance but not everything is insurable. Who is authorised to sign cheques and act as a director of each of your companies if you are not available? Did you know that your personal Power of Attorney cannot sign as a director or a trustee for you?
As a business owner – being prepared for an unforeseen transfer of control (temporary or permanent) is as, if not more, important than getting the business ready for sale.
Your exit strategy may involve testing, planning and recalibrating the skills of new leaders on a regular basis. You may have training guidelines and promotion pathways in place, and a thorough exit plan ensuring your shares are transferred to the right people at the right price at the right time. But, have your substitute decision-makers got a brief as what “right” means to you?
Other consequences of the unexpected absence of a business leader include:
- the business suffering and losing direction, giving rise to expensive disputes;
- your family needing someone to represent their interests; and
- without leadership, your business can quickly fall apart or descend into confusion and confrontation, reducing its value to your beneficiaries.
For family businesses, we recommend a Family Agreement to clarify your wishes. This engagement process with your family ensures everyone has been heard and any potential disputes are managed or avoided altogether.
The Family Agreement is another pragmatic planning approach to preserve your legacy and avoid future family conflict.
For an obligation-free discussion on any of these issues, please contact us here.
Some of our clients need extra support due to their age or vulnerability. As relationships change, others may not be available to support them. Conflicts of interest can cause stress and distrust.
Our advice and strategies will help such clients best manage these conflicts.
Our clients inspire us. They are generous, charitable givers and it is an honour for us to share their life-changing stories. We hope you will be as inspired by their experience as we are.
We have great contacts in the philanthropic area so please contact us if you would like to set up an obligation free meeting with people who can assist you or your business to formulate a tax effective philanthropic program.
While we specialise in asset protection, estate planning and business succession, we are also experienced in commercial law, family law, employment law and property law.
We have substantial experience in cross-border and international issues and are able to call on a global network of trusted legal professionals when required.
For some clients, we act as their in-house Counsel and sit on boards of advice. For other clients, we brief and manage lawyers when they are too busy. We are also very happy to recommend reliable professional colleagues if you require other legal services.
We are in business too so we expect to receive a fair return for our efforts. We prefer not to charge for every 6 minutes “or part thereof” (as many other lawyers say – not us). As you will see, we are different to most other lawyers so we offer you these charging options – you are in control:
- Retainer – this is the best value for clients who wish to gain preferred access to our services. When advice is required urgently, retainer clients expect – and receive – priority access. We hold quarterly review meetings for all clients on our rolling 12 month retainers to make sure we can plan for any legal house-cleaning the client may need over the year.
- Fixed Fee – We understand some clients like to know the fees they need to pay in order to evaluate the cost/benefit analysis of getting advice in the first place. For these clients, once we receive instructions, we either offer a fixed fee estimate or, if there are some unknown factors such as negotiating with another lawyer or other meetings, a likely range of fees. We are then comfortable sending an invoice “in the agreed amount” when the work is done. Our clients can then see value for money – and, above all, receive ‘no surprises’.
- Classic – it is usual practice for lawyers to charge hourly rates for work they do. We prefer not to charge this way but if the amount of work is unknown or neither of the models above is preferred, we will charge this way and our competitive hourly rates will be advised upon request.