Business & Commercial
In an ever-changing commercial world accurate legal advice at the right time is vital.
Whether you are considering buying or selling a business, starting a business, joining a partnership, buying or creating a franchise, or contemplating any other commercial transaction, Lukaitis Lawyers can provide professional and cost effective advice.
Lukaitis Lawyers advises and assists business people in a wide range of matters, including:
- Business structures
- Commercial agreements
- Corporate Advice
- Business Sale and Transfer
- Shareholders’ Agreements
- Intellectual property
- Property and financing
- Strategy and planning
Conveyancing & Property
Whether you are buying or selling a home, investment property or commercial property, property transactions can be complex especially when unexpected problems arise. The right advice at the right time is critical.
This is where the Lukaitis Lawyers Property team can provide you with peace of mind. Our experienced property team, headed by Joseph Lukaitis and Julie Lukaitis, has an excellent knowledge of the relevant legislation and common law principles, and has many years of conveyancing and general property practice.
We are electronic conveyancing experts under the new PEXA regime introduced in 2018. Three of our team members are PEXA experts and now have completed hundreds of PEXA settlements. It is essential you use PEXA experts in your conveyancing matters.
Our property team is able to provide assistance and advice in all areas of property, including:
- Residential Conveyancing – sales and purchases
- Auction Sale Contracts
- Off-the-Plan purchases
- Acquisition of property by trusts and superannuation funds
- Commercial and industrial property sales and purchases
- Commercial leases
- Compulsory acquisitions
- Preparation of contracts and vendor statements for private sale and auction
- Subdivisions, easements and covenants
- Mortgage loans
- Lost title applications
- Owners Corporation issues
Conveyancing – Why use a Lawyer?
The complexity of conveyancing requires skill and expertise. A thorough knowledge and understanding of relevant legislation is critical to properly protecting a person’s rights. Given these complexities and the high value of the property involved, why go to a conveyancer when they generally do not have a law degree and may be unqualified and unregulated? They may be a little cheaper but remember: “you get what you pay for”.
At Lukaitis Lawyers you can rest assured that you will receive quality legal work supervised by qualified lawyers at a reasonable price.
A death in the family or the loss of a loved one can be one of the most stressful times in one’s life. Regardless of the Executor’s needs our approach is always to ensure we are relieving, rather than adding to the burden.
We are able to advise and assist on a range of matters that arise after the death of a loved one.
We advise on important matters such as:
- Probate and administration of estates
- Applications for Executor’s commission
- Superannuation and insurance entitlements
- The type of probate applications to be made
- Dealing with creditors
- Transferring properties
- Interpreting Wills
- Locating missing beneficiaries
- Claims made against the estate, including ‘Testators Family Maintenance Claims’*
- Allegations of undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity.
*Relationships today are becoming extremely complex which can give rise to rights in respect of a person’s deceased estate which may be contrary to what is set out in a Will. Such claims are called ‘Testator’s Family Maintenance Claims’.
We have considerable experience and expertise in advising and acting for executors, beneficiaries of Wills and claimants to estates who have been excluded from Wills.
Lukaitis Lawyers has the knowledge, skill and expertise to advise business clients on this vitally important but often overlooked area.
We can advise on:
- The registration of trademarks
- Licensing, distribution, transfer, franchising and other related agreements which deal with intellectual property rights
- The protection of copyright
- Taking appropriate action to prevent your trademark being infringed or your copyright being breached
- Employment agreements containing trade secrets, confidential information and restraint of trade clauses
- Refer to specialists for patents and designs.
Why do you need protection?
Intellectual property is one of the key assets of any business. It is essential that it be protected as it forms a vital part of the business’ goodwill and its ability to distinguish its goods and services from others in the market. Intellectual property is not just a business name or the incorporation of a company. It is much more. It encompasses the protection of the business name or names and get-up of its products or its services (i.e. trademarks), protection of creation or inventions (i.e. copyright, designs and patents), and its processes and method (i.e. trade secrets and confidential information). Failure to identify and adequately protect this integral part of a business can have dire consequences.
Whether you have a leasing problem or an opportunity to lease, we provide practical commercial advice and assistance for all personal, commercial, retail and industrial leasing issues.
We provide the following services:
- Advising landlords and tenants on Retail and Commercial Leases and negotiating terms
- Drafting and negotiating Commercial Leases
- Drafting Disclosure Statements
- Assisting landlords and tenants with due diligence
Commercial and retail leases are regulated by complex legislation and common law principles. The Lukaitis Lawyers team has many years of experience and extensive knowledge in all aspects relating to commercial leases.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Lukaitis Lawyers can advise you on how to resolve disputes quickly, effectively and in a cost effective manner.
We have considerable experience in conducting cases in all Victorian and Commonwealth courts, tribunals and boards.
Disputes and their resolution can place a heavy burden on a business and place great emotional and financial strain on an individual. Dispute resolution often requires financial expenditure, the diversion of valuable time, and the unprofitable use of business resources. The effective management of disputes, whether large or small, is a hallmark of an efficient business.
We specialise in:
- Debt recovery
- Deceased estates
- Intellectual property disputes
- Planning and Zoning and VCAT applications
- Professional negligence
Do not allow a problem or dispute to fester. The earlier it is dealt with the sooner it will be resolved and you will be able to refocus on positive income creating and business building activities.
Lukaitis Lawyers can assist you in all areas requiring notarial services.
Joseph Lukaitis is a senior notary and the current President of the Australia and New Zealand College of Notaries and Chairman of its Board of Governors.
He is a leading Australian expert in Notarial services, able to deal with ANY Notarial matters.
Joseph is a Past president of the Society of Notaries of Victoria and currently lectures in notarial studies both in Australia and internationally.
It is necessary to make an appointment if you need notarial services. You must bring photographic identification with you.
Please contact Melanie Welsh to make an appointment.
Notarial fees vary according to the number and type of documents required. The base fee is $140.00 plus GST. Kindly note fees are payable on the day of service.
Do you have an Australian document which you need to use in another country? Or, an overseas document to be signed in Australia? Whether it is powers of attorney, business contracts, medical documents, a transfer of land, estate documents, court documents or simply providing certified copies of documents such as certificates of birth, death or marriage you will need the services of a Notary Public.
What is a Notary?
Notaries Public are senior lawyers with a special post-graduate qualification who prepare, authenticate, attest, witness and certify original and copy legal documents for use overseas. They verify the validity of documents and the identity of a person signing a document under Australian laws. This is a very important function as it enables the document to be recognised by a foreign government and validly used in another country.
The Hague Convention
Under the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents of 1961, the office and seal of a notary is internationally recognised. Joseph Lukaitis of Lukaitis Lawyers was appointed a Notary Public in 1992 and can provide this important service as he is a duly appointed Notary Public for the State of Victoria. He will advise you about the type of certification required and whether any other documents are needed.
The role of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Even after a document has been notarised it may still need to be legalised with an Apostille stamp or authentication stamp affixed to it by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (“DFAT”) before being sent overseas. An Apostille is a stamp DFAT affixes to the notarised document confirming the validity of the Notary. We are able to advise you which countries require which type of legalisation.
It is essential that photographic identification by way of passport or driver’s licence is provided by you before documents can be notarised. As not all countries are signatories to the Hague Convention we are able to advise you of the likely requirements of any particular country. You will need to provide evidence of your current address.
Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation
Personal injuries sustained during employment
If you have sustained an injury during your employment we can assist you to see if you are eligible for any compensation under Victorian Workers’ Compensation Scheme.
Compensation may include:
- weekly payments to subsidise reduced working hours
- payments and reimbursements of medical and like expenses
- lump sum payments for injuries deemed to be significant and resulting in permanent impairment.
Personal injuries sustained outside of employment
We can also assist you with personal injuries sustained outside of employment and as a result of another’s negligence.
Compensation may include:
- medical costs (including future medical expenses)
- lost income
- pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment of life
- home help and attendant care
- general damages for those who meet the required threshold.
It is important to note that you have three years from the date of discoverability of your personal injury by which to issue Court Proceedings for compensation. Accordingly, it is vital that you seek legal advice as soon as your discover your injury.
Contact: Olivia Kennedy
At Lukaitis Lawyers we have specialist resources to help you with superannuation and financial planning.
As government funded pensions continue to dwindle in real terms, people are increasingly looking to funding their own retirements. For most, this will mean saving and investing in superannuation funds. Whether you are a member of a larger fund or involved in a Do-It-Yourself Fund – you will need guidance and advice.
We work closely with our clients’ accountants and financial planners to advise on:
- Self managed super funds
- Transition to retirement pensions
- Acquisition of property by super funds
- Property custody trusts
- Superannuation structuring
- Compliance requirements
- Establishment and variation of superannuation deeds
- Binding Death Benefit Nominations
- Permitted investments by superannuation trustees
We are experienced in trust law and matters arising out of trust administration and trust deed operation.
Lukaitis Lawyers is able to provide the following services:
- Preparing a wide variety of trust deeds including testamentary trusts in Wills
- Reviewing trust deeds and advising on the rights and obligations of parties pursuant to the Trust Deed
- Amending Trust Deeds (e.g. to change the beneficiaries or to insert additional trustee powers)
- Preparing documentation required for the retirement of a trustee and appointment of a new trustee and transferring property and other assets to the new trustee
- Splitting trusts (splitting an existing trust into two or more new trusts)
What is a trust?
A trust is a well accepted legal arrangement where a person (known as the “trustee”) legally holds property for the benefit of another person (known as the “beneficiary”). The trustee has the legal responsibility to manage the property for the benefit of the beneficiary. The person who sets up the trust is known as the “settlor”.
Trusts may be divided into two groups. They are – “inter vivos” trusts and “testamentary trusts”. Inter vivos trusts are created and start operating during one’s lifetime, whereas testamentary trusts are attached to a will and do not operate until after the death of the person making the Will.
The two most common trusts that are used in Victoria are family discretionary trusts and unit trusts.
Why have a trust?
There are many reasons why people create trusts. The two most common reasons are:
To protect assets
Once an asset is transferred to a trust (or purchased by a trust) it becomes the property of the trust. The asset is not owned by the settlor, trustee or beneficiaries. This means that if any of these people fall into financial difficulty or are involved in Family Court or other legal proceedings the assets of the trust are generally protected (subject to some exceptions).
For tax reasons
For some people, there are tax advantages to transferring assets into a trust as opposed to keeping the assets themselves.
Trusts can be convenient and cost effective vehicles for protecting valuable assets, sharing income with family members and legally reducing any tax which may otherwise be payable. If you would like more information about trusts please contact us.
Wills & Estate Planning
Our private clients are at the heart of our practice. We are committed to ensuring our client’s wealth and personal and family assets are protected and that loved ones are provided for. We make sure our clients’ minds are at ease by assisting them with sensible forward planning and we provide our clients with expert advice on these often sensitive family issues. We are experienced in working with clients’ accountants to ensure all superannuation aspects are considered when undertaking Will making.
We provide the following services:
- Estate and succession planning
- Preparation of Wills and all types of Powers of Attorney
- Family discretionary trusts
- Charitable trusts
- Asset protection
- Succession agreements
- Testamentary trusts
- Disability trusts to protect disabled beneficiaries
- Guardianship applications
Why make a will?
Many people believe that the preparation of a Will or a Power of Attorney is nothing more than completing a form and having it signed. This is in fact far from the truth. There are many factors which must be considered before a legally valid Will or Power of Attorney should, or even can, be prepared and executed. It involves determining who can be trusted to look after one’s affairs, will that person know what their responsibilities are, how will they cope with difficult emotional issues and unco-operative family members?
In addition to the statutory formalities, which must be complied with, careful thought should also be given to issues such as:
- Does the person making the Will or Power of Attorney have the necessary mental capacity or has any person applied undue influence or duress?
- Have all the persons who have a claim on a will maker’s estate been included or considered? If not, what will be the consequences?
- What is the likelihood of a claim against the estate after the will maker’s death?
- What type of Power of Attorney do I need? There are General Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Attorney (Financial), Enduring Powers of Attorney (Medical Treatment) and Enduring Powers of Guardianship
- The creation of testamentary trusts which can be of great financial benefit to the beneficiaries’ children
- The guardianship of any under age children
- The need for a guardian or administrator to be appointed
- Medical evidence of mental capacity.
Please call our office to request an official checklist to assist with Will making.