Cowra Conveyancing & Law and the “Get it in black & white” Campaign

That is the name of the NSW Attorney General’s Australian-first campaign, urging individuals and families to pre-plan for incapacity later in life. The campaign is being promoted by Cowra Conveyancing & Law.

In launching the campaign jointly with the Minister for Ageing and Disability Services the Attorney General said, “Only five per cent of adults clearly understand the three essential documents – Wills, Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship – that are available to plan ahead in case they can no longer manage their financial affairs or make decisions about their health and Lifestyle. (The campaign) … is designed to get people to become informed, take control and plan ahead for themselves and their ageing parents”.

The Minister took this a step further, stating, “Research shows Australians are not prepared for the possibility that something adverse could happen to themselves or their loved ones. We like to believe things only happen to other people and that somehow we’re invincible, but the truth is we are not and we should all prepare for the future. Planning for later life is like having an insurance policy in place – except it covers your health and financial requirements, and ensures your loved ones are looked after …”.

The public interest also has a stake in the campaign, as the Attorney General explained: “With an ageing population, the demand on our courts and tribunals to make an order for the management of a person’s financial affairs and health and lifestyle decisions are sure to escalate,” he said. “It’s not right, it costs money, it causes a lot of trouble in families with a lot of friction sometimes. These should be decisions for the individuals themselves, not the courts.”

To help local families and individuals begin to address these decisions, and so to spare themselves the prospect of having courts and tribunals intervene in their most personal matters, Cowra Conveyancing & Law / Western Rivers Legal is able to provide clients with the necessary documentation. As a first step, feel free to ask us regarding any questions you may have – and also to receive written materials provided by the Law Society, without charge. You will also be able to learn about new, free resources now available to help you plan ahead for both yourself and your family.

Western Rivers Legal’s 2022 Specialist Accreditation

For the current year Western Rivers Legal’s Principal once again holds specialist accreditation (property law) under –

the Law Society of New South Wales’ Specialist Accreditation Scheme.

The firm’s Principal is presently the only property law specialist accredited by the Society in the Far West (NSW) region.

The Law Society operates the Specialist Accreditation Scheme to help members of the public & potential clients to identify solicitors who have demonstrated proficiency in a particular area of law.

Before gaining accreditation, under the requirements of the Scheme, a solicitor must have:

  • practised full-time for at least five years;
  • worked in their area of speciality for at least three years; and
  • passed rigorous assessments in communication, problem solving, client relations and, of course, the law.

A solicitor who is an Accredited Specialist must renew that accreditation each year by undertaking additional continuing legal education in the field of specialization.

Clients dealing with the firm can do so with confidence.



Conveyancing: ‘Getting it right first time’

A salutary decision by our Supreme Court regarding a conveyancing transaction which unfortunately headed off the rails was published on 6 April 2022.

In the case of Santangelo, Justice Slattery awarded to the vendor not only an Order that the property sale and purchase agreement be completed by the purchaser but also that the costs of the proceedings – which involved four barristers (including 2 silks) and two sets of solicitors – were to be paid by the unsuccessful, defending purchaser: a very substantial, additional cost which the purchaser in entering the conveyancing transaction may never have budgeted for.

Amongst the issues at dispute between the parties was the nature and timing of documentation for the existing tenancies of the property to be handed over.

This suggests an important lesson to parties entering into a real estate sale and purchase agreements when it comes to the terms of the contract being negotiated and prepared by their respective representatives for the particular sale and purchase.

Had the ‘tenancies’ subject being more adequately covered by a special condition placed into the contract by the purchaser’s representative when the contract was entered into, there would undoubtably have been less room for the costly dispute to have developed in the first place.

This may well have resulted in the disagreement between the parties being resolved and settled before ending up in Court.

One ‘take-away’ from the case is to highlight the importance of communications between solicitor and client at the time that a contract is formed. These communications will if adequate care is taken produce good & protective clauses being developed and inserted into the agreement before contracts are exchanged.

There is much less chance of a misunderstanding or dispute developing when you “get it in black and white”.