The Law Society of New South Wales member services guide

OUR PROFESSION

SERVICESGUIDE2014/15

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SERVICES GUIDE 2014/15

TheLawSociety ofNewSouthWales

CONTENTS

3 INTRODUCTION

5 CAREER-LONGLEARNING

7 KNOWLEDGEANDRESOURCES

9 INFLUENCINGPUBLICDEBATE

10 MEMBERCONNEXIONSANDPRACTICECONNEXIONS

11 SPECIAL INTERESTEVENTS

13 REINFORCINGTHEROLEOFLAWYERS

15 MANAGINGYOURPRACTICE

19 HEALTHANDWELLBEING

20 PROFESSIONALADVICEANDASSISTANCE

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OUR PROFESSION

Usethisguidetodiscoverhowwe’rehelpingtosupportourprofession.

Disclaimer: Thispublicationprovidesgeneral informationofan introductorynatureand isnot intendedandshouldnotberelieduponasasubstitute for legalorother professionaladvice.Whileeverycarehasbeentaken intheproductionofthispublication,no legal responsibilityor liability isaccepted,warrantedor impliedbythe authorsortheLawSocietyofNewSouthWalesandany liability isherebyexpresslydisclaimed.CurrentasatApril2014. ©2014TheLawSocietyofNewSouthWales,ACN000000699,ABN98696304966.ExceptaspermittedundertheCopyrightAct1968 (Cth),nopartofthispublicationmay bereproducedwithoutthespecificwrittenpermissionoftheLawSocietyofNewSouthWales.

A UNITED PROFESSION

OURPROFESSION

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Inmembership year 2014/15 , theLawSocietyof NSW salutes our profession and the values that uniteus: the sacrifice, thededication and the satisfaction that a career as a lawyer canbring.

LAWYERING ISMORE THANAJOB. IT’SAPROFESSION.

We’vehelped fight for the rights of the underprivileged and those without a voice.We’ve been at the forefront of change; andwe’ve fought against changewhere it wouldn’t work. Inmembership year 2014/15, theLawSociety ofNSW salutes our profession: the sacrifice, the dedication and the satisfaction that a career as a lawyer canbring. Use this guide todiscover how the LawSociety is helping to support our profession.

Becoming a successful lawyer requires great skill and application, a great deal of time and energy, and a commitment to career-long learning. Becausewe carry aweight of responsibilityway beyondwhat most other peoplehave tobear, our profession canbring longhours and onerous conditions. It can leave us stressed andwornout. After all, whenother people are spending time with their friends and family, we’re often still at the desk striving to get something just right soour clients can sleeppeacefully at night. But in the end, it’sworth it because we knowour communitywould be a different placewithout the contributionour profession hasmade.

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A KNOWLEDGEABLE PROFESSION

OURPROFESSION

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CAREER-LONGLEARNING Ourprofession isbuiltonknowledgeandsustainedbyacommitmenttocareer-long learning. That’swhy inmembershipyear2014/15webringyouourmostcomprehensiveeducationprogramyet.

ContinuingProfessional Development (CPD) www.lawsociety.com.au/cpd At the LawSocietywe believe

SpecialistAccreditationScheme T 0299260305 www.lawsociety.com.au/specialists Our SpecialistAccreditation Scheme recognises the expertise of individualmembers, helping lift their profile among our profession and the general public. Specialist Accreditation is basedonpeer assessment of skills andknowledge and, for this reason, the scheme has become a cornerstone of legal professional development inNSW. TheLawSociety offers accreditation exclusively tomembers across 14 practice areas. members. TheNSWYoung Lawyers Mentoring Programunites young andnewly-admitted lawyers seeking guidance and support withmore experiencedpractitioners. The LawSociety ofNSWWomen’s Mentoring Program gives women lawyers at 10-15 years post-admission the opportunity to spenddedicated timewith senior lawyers. E ylmentoring@lawsociety.com.au www.lawsociety.com.au/ylmentoring Women’sMentoring T 0299260206 E womensmentoring@lawsociety.com.au www.lawsociety.com.au/womensmentoring Mentoringprograms The LawSociety offers two mentoring options for our YoungLawyers T 0299260268

HELPINGOURPROFESSION BUILDSUCCESSFULCAREERS We’recommitted tohelpingour membersacquire theprofessional skills theyneed toadaptand thrive, no matterwhat theircareergoalsareor how themarketchanges. Hereare justsomeofourcareer- focused learning resources. CareerHub Ouraward-winningCareerHubhelpsyou faceanycareerchallengebygivingyou the informationyouneed tobuildyour skillsand realiseyourpotential. Readmoreonpage7. eNewsletters Our rangeof segment-specific eNewsletterskeepsyouup todatewith the trends, insightsandopinions that affectcareers inyoursegment. Readmoreonpage7. Mentoring Ourcomprehensivementoring programs fornewlyadmitted lawyers andwomen lawyershelpyouget the rightcareeradvice fromsomeone

professional development shouldn’t just focus on the latest knowledge and thinking; it should also give you concrete tips and techniques that you canuse in everyday practice.Our broadprogram covers substantive law, skills training, practicemanagement, wellbeing and themandatory topics (Solicitors Rule 57 andRegulation176).We alsoorganise specialist seminars throughout the year focusing on specific practice areas such as rural and government. In all, we’ll offer more than250CPD seminars in 2014/15, designed for lawyers at all stages of their careers. This includes face-to-face, webinar andpodcast options for learning. MyCLELibrary www.lawsociety.com.au/eshop SelectedCPD seminars are on offer as videopodcasts throughMy CLELibrary. This enables you to earnCPDunitswhenever you like without leaving your desk.Members receive a discounted rate.

who’sbeen therebefore. Readmoreon thispage.

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A RESOURCEFUL PROFESSION

OURPROFESSION

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KNOWLEDGEANDRESOURCES Ourprofessionhasalways looked forcreativeand inspiredwaystoserveourclients, thecourts andthecommunityat large.Weprovidethe informationandsupporttohelpyoukeepdoingthis.

MondayBriefs E mondaybriefs@lawsociety.com.au www.lawsociety.com.au/mondaybriefs Thisweekly eNewsletter provides solicitorswith valuable updates on important legal news and developments, legislative changes, LawSociety services, upcoming seminars and events.

Segmentedcommunications www.lawsociety.com.au/newsletters Our segment specific eNewsletters givememberspractical adviceonwhat it takes tohave a successful career in today’s changing legalmarketplace. Our suiteof eNewsletters includes ‘TheBigPicture’, ‘Momentum’, ‘Scope’ and ‘In theHouse’, aimed respectively at employed lawyers in large,mid-sized and small firms, as well as corporate counsels. LawSocietyLibrary T 0299260324 Our library holds a comprehensive collectionof precedents, law reports, textbooks and loose-leaf practice books.We alsodispatch loans to suburban and regional areas. Publications for solicitors www.lawsociety.com.au/practitionersguides Both theLawSocietyofNSW and NSWYoungLawyers offer a range of online andhard copy guides and handbooks for lawyers andpractical staff. These include ‘Workingwith Barristers’, theLegalAccounting Handbook and theLegal Secretary’s Handbook, aswell as theYoung Lawyers guides to International Law, CorporateLaw andCriminal Law. Manyof thesepublications are free. Others are available for discounted prices through theLawSociety eShop . E library@lawsociety.com.au www.lawsociety.com.au/library

LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/law-society-of-nsw TheLawSociety LinkedIn group givesmembers the opportunity to connect onlinewith their peers, discussmedia and legal reform issues and contribute to ideas that shape our profession. The groupnowhas more than3,000members and is growing fast. Twitter Followus @LawSocietyNSW and keepup-to-datewith the latest news, policy and advocacy initiatives, launches, seminars and events as they happen. Facebook www.facebook.com/lawsocietyofnsw Our Facebookpage fosters informed dialogue betweenourmembers on the issues thatmattermost to them. ClientNewsletter T 0299260386 www.lawsociety.com.au/clientnewsletter The client newsletter is aprofessional marketing tool tohelp your clients understand the law. It’s available online or inprinted form to suit your practice and client needs. LawSocietyDiary T 0299260386 www.lawsociety.com.au/diary Our popular diary includes a comprehensivedirectory of firms and barristers, alongwith information on stampduty, costs, courts, government agencies andmore.

LawSocietyJournal T 0299260333 www.lawsociety.com.au/lsj

TheLawSociety Journal hasbeena respectedandauthoritativevoiceon developments in the lawand legal practice since1963.Anonlinearchive of Journal issues since1995 is available tomembers.Wewill be launchingan all new journal in June2014.

CareerHub www.lawsociety.com.au/careerhub OurCareerHub is anonline

resource aimed at helpingmembers achieve everything theywant from their careers.CareerHub features practical articleswhichdrawon the insights andopinions of a range of experts and gives solicitors the inside wordonwhat it takes to succeed at

every stage of their careers. It also includes an exclusive

members-only sectiondiscussing core professional skills, aswell as profiles of successful practising lawyers.

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AN ESSENTIAL PROFESSION

OURPROFESSION

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INFLUENCINGPUBLICDEBATE Oursocietywouldbeadifferentplacewithoutourprofession.We’recommittedtocontinuingourprofession’s traditionofbeingarobust,credibleandpositive influenceongovernmentpolicyandthewidercommunity.

HELPINGOURPROFESSION PROMOTEJUSTICE

Policyand representation www.lawsociety.com.au/advocacy

NSWYoungLawyers T 0299260268 E ylgeneral@lawsociety.com.au www.younglawyers.com.au

Weactas thevoice for theprofession inNSWandactivelyseek topromote the ruleof lawandmakesureour communityhasaccess to justice.Here are justsomeof thewayswedo this. Thought leadership We takeanactive role in raising awarenessandchangingbehaviourson issues that impacton thegrowthand progressofourprofession. Readmoreonpage 12. Policysubmissionsandprojects Wedrawon thecollectiveknowledge andexperienceofourmembers to promotepublicdebateon law reform and legal policy issues. Last yearalone wemademore than 120submissions togovernment. LAWASIA FromAugust2013we’vebeen the Australianhostof LAWASIA, directly supporting it in itsefforts toadvance justice, promotehuman rightsand uphold the ruleof law inour region. Readmoreonpage 12.

We aim toharness the collective knowledge of ourmembers so that we can speakwith the authority of thewholeNSW legal profession when it comes to advocating improvements to the law and access to justice. In the last yearwemade more than120policy submissions to government.Over thenext year, key issueswewill be involved in include: •The reviewof 2012workers compensation reforms •Continuing proposals for criminal law reform and sentencing •Reforms toplanning and strata laws •Advanced care planning and end of life issues •The development of anational e-conveyancing system •The implementationof the UniformLaw for legal profession regulation.

NSWYoungLawyers gives new, young and aspiring practitioners the opportunity tomeet andwork together, expand their knowledge and advance their careers.NSW- admitted lawyerswho are 36or under, or lawyers in their first five years of practice, aswell as law students, are automaticallymembers of YoungLawyers. Members are invited to contribute to theworkofNSWYoungLawyers’ committees andparticipate in a range of activities and events.NSW YoungLawyers has 15 committees thatmeet on amonthly basis. By joining one of their committees, members can get involved in a range of fulfilling and rewarding projects. Download theNSWYoungLawyersMobileApp: www.1tap.mobi/nswyl

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TheLawSocietyrunstwomemberbenefitsprogramstoprovideyouwithdiscountsandexclusivebenefitsonabroad rangeof lifestyleandbusinessproductsandservices.MemberConnexions focusesonyouasan individual,whilsttheever expandingPracticeConnexions focusesonbenefitsthatwilladdvalueandsavecosts foryour legalpractice.Withnew partnersbeingaddedeachyearandregularspecialoffers,ourexclusiveschemesprovidevaluablesavings. MEMBERCONNEXIONSANDPRACTICECONNEXIONS

Exampleoffers*available throughMemberConnexionsandPracticeConnexions

OnePath Access special benefitswith OnePath life and income protection insurance products OfficeMax Save an average 40%off the standard catalogueprice on selectedoffice supplies PowerBuy IT Exclusive deals on ITbrands like Dell, Lenovo,HP, Apple andmore QantasClub Save over $300onQantasClub membership rates ThomsonReuters Savings on awide range of Thomson Reuters legal digital andprint products

AmericanExpress Earn rewardpoints plus enjoy savingswithone of three specialised CreditCards AMPBank Save thousands on your home loan withdiscounted interest rates BarrattJennings Access significant savings on negotiating and renewing leases anddelivering fit-outs BOAB IT Discounted rental on secure, integrated IT solutions developed for law firms BupaHealth Insurance Save onprivatehealth insurance, designed to suit your needs

BuyersDomain Save time andmoneywhenbuying your newhome or investment property FitnessFirst Joinonline and receive a 10% discount aswell as a free Personal Training session Hertz Discounted rental car rates and VIP rewards JamesHallidayWineCompanion Significant savings on a range of popular JamesHalliday’sWine Companionproducts MBACarAssist Receive preferential pricing and access to corporate automotive programs onnew car purchases

*Savingsvalidasat1March2014.VisittheLawSocietywebsite formore information, includingtermsandconditions. www.lawsociety.com.au/memberconnexions www.lawsociety.com.au/practiceconnexions.

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TheLawSociety ofNewSouthWales SERVICES GUIDE 2014/15 TheLawSociety ofNewSouthWales

SPECIAL INTERESTEVENTS Ourprofession isdefinedbytherelationshipswe form:withourclients,withourcolleaguesandwithourpeers. TheLawSocietyoffersyouthechancetoconnectwitheachof thesegroupsthroughourspecial interestevents.

President’sWelcome andcocktail functionfornewlyadmitted lawyers.

Throughouttheyear

January/February

Opening of Law TermDinner

Thedinnerprovidesaplatformforthepublicdiscussionof issuesthatgototheheart ofthe legalsystem.

MarchtoDecember

Thought Leadership

OurThoughtLeadershipprogramfeaturesaseriesoftalksonthethemes ‘Individualrights ina digitalage’, ‘WomenandLeadership’and ‘TheRuleofLaw’.

May

LawWeek

Aweek-longprogramofevents,seminarsandtalksdesigned topromotecommunityawarenessofthe lawand legalprofession.

May

GoldenGavel Public Speaking Competition

Oneofthemostentertainingeventsonthe legalcalendar,organisedbyNSWYoungLawyers.

MaytoOctober

Practice area conferences and seminars

Specialistevents invariousareasof law, includingRural Issues, GovernmentSolicitors,CorporateLawyersandArbitrationandDisputeResolution.

MayandNovember

Annual Assemblies

Inthesesessions, leadersfromourprofessioncollaborateandcontributetothe futuredirectionofNSWYoungLawyers.

September

Young Professional Charity Ball

TheannualcharityeventorganisedbyNSWYoungLawyers inconjunctionwithotherprofessionalbodies.

October/December

MockMediation andMock Trial Finals

TheSocietycoordinatesthesepopularcompetitionsforschoolsacrossNSWandtheACT.

Throughouttheyear

Regional events and seminars

Organisedbyregional lawsocietiesacrossthestate,theseoffer bothnetworkingandCLEopportunities.

October

Members Dinner

Atthisannualevent,weacknowledgethecontributionsofsolicitorstothecommunity, andcelebratetheachievementsof long-standingmembers.

Throughouttheyear

CPD seminars andworkshops

OurCPDseminarscoverabroadrangeofpracticeareas,aswellasprofessionalskills.

Specialist Accreditation cocktail reception fornewspecialists.

December

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INFLUENCINGPUBLICDEBATE (continued)

Thought leadership www.lawsociety.com.au/thoughtleadership Now in its fourth year, ourThought Leadershipprogramplays an important role in leading discussion, raising awareness and changing behaviour on issues that affect our profession and thewider community. In2014/15our focus turns to ‘Individual rights in a digital age’. We’ll alsobe continuing ongoing projects onTheAdvancement of Women andourReconciliation ActionPlan. Members have the opportunity to make adirect impact on law reform andpolicy development by serving onone of 19 expert policy and practice committees. LawSociety Committees bring solicitors together to actively engage in law reform throughpolicy submissions. They alsoprovide solicitorswith a range of useful resources in specific areas of practice.Members of theLawSociety will be invited to apply for committee positions inSeptember 2014. LawSocietyCommittees www.lawsociety.com.au/committees

LawSocietyCouncil www.lawsociety.com.au/council

Regional LawSocieties www.lawsociety.com.au/regional www.lawsociety.com.au/events Anetworkof 29 regional law societies provides local representation formembers.

TheCouncil leads theLawSociety ofNSW andoversees its strategic direction. Solicitormembers are eligible to stand for election to theCouncil.Nominationswill be invited inSeptember 2014 and Council electionswill beheld in October 2014. The election results will be announced at theLawSociety AnnualGeneralMeeting. President’sMedal www.lawsociety.com.au/PresidentsMedal The President’sMedal is an annual award that recognises onemember’s significant personal andprofessional contribution to improving access to law and justice in the community. Wewill ask for nominations for the President’sMedal inAugust 2014.

Regional LawSociety representatives meet regularly inSydney, providing an important link to theLaw Society President andCouncil. The Regional LawSocieties alsoprovide practical support for theirmembers throughCPD seminars, networking events and communication about local issues. TheLawSocietywebsite lists seminars and events hostedby regional LawSocieties. TheLawSociety is theAustralian host of theLawAssociation forAsia and the Pacific (LAWASIA).Our relationshipwithLAWASIA gives us a unique opportunity to contribute directly to its efforts in advancing the administrationof justice, rule of law andhuman rights, aswell as the capacity to strengthen the legal profession inour region. LAWASIA www.lawasia.asn.au

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REINFORCINGTHEROLEOFLAWYERS Ourprofessionhasalwaysdevoted itself toservingourcommunity.Wehonourthat longtraditionbyactively connectingourmemberswiththegeneralpublic,helpingeducatepeopleabouttheirrightsandgivingthem ongoingaccessto justice.

community about how to access legal services and advice.More than120 community-based eventswill beheld acrossNSW, including information days, open court days and free legal seminars.Members can get involved throughRegional LawSocieties or by participating in events such as CommunityTalks. SpeakersBureau T 0299260374 www.lawsociety.com.au/sbregister Registerwith theBureau todeliver probono talks to community groups and secondary schools. This is both a valuable community legal awareness program andpromotional tool for your firm. MockTrial Competition T 0299260253 www.lawsociety.com.au/mocktria l Designed topromote a greater understanding of the law,members can volunteer as amagistrate, scriptwriter or coach for this Law Society coordinated competition for secondary school students . MockMediation T 0299260253 www.lawsociety.com.au/mockmediation This competition gives secondary school students the skills theyneed to resolve conflictswithmediation. Members can volunteer to act as adjudicators, scriptwriters or coaches tohelp teach students about managing conflict inaproductiveway.

FindaLawyer www.lawsociety.com.au/findalawyer

HELPINGOURPROFESSION CONNECTWITH THECOMMUNITY In2014/15, theLawSocietywillbe workinghardtoshowtothegeneral publicwhatourprofessiondoesandthe valuewebringtosomanyaspectsofour clients’personalandcommercial lives. Onewaywe’llbedoingthis isthrougha newonlinecampaigncalled ‘Know YourRights’. KnowYourRightscentresarounda seriesofeasy-to-readonlineguidesto common legalchallengessuchasmaking awill,problemswithneighboursand separating froma lifepartner.Eachguide willexplainthemain issues inawaynon- lawyerscanunderstandandshowhowa solicitorcanhelp. Initiallytherewillbe 12guidesbutwe’llbe launchingmany moreover2014and intothe future.

TheLawSocietywebsite includes anonlinedirectory of all practising solicitors and firms inNSW– the most comprehensive in the state – attracting over 10,000unique visitors aweek. SolicitorReferral Service T 0299260300 E ereferral@lawsociety.com.au www.lawsociety.com.au/srsregister We encourage all practices to register for our referral service, which providesmore than21,500online and telephone referrals a year to people looking for legal helpor a law firm. Around1,600private firms have already registered. LawSocietyProBonoScheme T 0299260364 www.lawsociety.com.au/probono TheLawSociety ProBonoScheme coordinates referrals to registered law firms. ProBonowork is provided on a free or substantially reduced fee basis (ameans andmerit test is applied) topeoplewho are unable topay for legal help andhave been

MAKINGAWILL

BEINGANEXECUTOR

What isawill? Awill isa legaldocumentwhichsetsoutwho’llreceiveyour propertyandpossessionswhenyoudie. Whenyouhaveavalidwill,yougiveyourselfthebestchance ofmakingsureyourassetsgowhereyouwantthemto.So youshouldalwaysmakeawill ifyouhavea familyor ifother peopleare financially dependentonyou. Whatmakesawillvalid? Awillgenerallyneedsthreethingstobevalid: • Itmustbe inwriting (whetherhandwritten,typedor printed) • Itmustbesigned,and • Yoursignaturemustbewitnessedbytwootherpeople whoalsoneedtosignthewill. Butevenwhereyou’vemetthesethreerequirements,your assetscan’tbedistributed immediately.Sometimes,a courtneedstograntprobate first. Whathappens ifyoudiewithoutawill? Ifyoudiewithoutavalidwill (known legallyas ‘dying intestate’), astandard formula isusedtodistributeyour propertyandpossessions.Usually,thismeansallyour assetswillpasstoyourspouseorchildren. Butthesituationbecomesmuchmorecomplex ifyouhavea legalspouseandade factospouse (ieyou’veseparatedand aveanewunmarriedpartner), ifyouhavechildren from differentrelationships,or ifyoudiewithnospouseand nochildren. Thecourt’s formulausuallyalsoonly letsyour family members inherit fromyou.Sohavingavalidwill isvital ifyou wantto leavegiftsto friendsorcharities.

Whomakessureyourwishesarecarriedout? Whenyoumakeawillyou’llneedtoappointanexecutorand trustee,whowillhandleyouraffairswhenyoudie.People usuallychooseonepersontoperformbothroles,butyou cannamedifferentpeopleasexecutorandtrustee,andyou cannameasmanyexecutorsasyou like (although appointingmorethantwocancomplicatethings). Anexecutor’srole istoobtainprobate,payyourdebts,and distributeyourassets in linewithyourwill. Generally,atrusteeadministersanytrustssetup inthewill. Thisusuallyhappenswhereyou leaveassetstopeople undertheageof18. Beforeyounominatesomeoneasanexecutorortrustee, youshouldmakesurethey’recomfortabletakingonthe responsibilityyou’regivingthem. It’softenagood ideato appointsomeoneyoungerthanyou,ortonominatereserve beneficiaries, incasetheonesyou’veappointeddiebefore youdo. Becauseoftheirexpertise inadministeringwills,people oftenchoosetoappointtheirsolicitorasexecutor. Canyouchangeyourwill? You’re freetochangeyourwillwheneveryou like.Andyou shouldalwayschangeyourwillwhenyourcircumstances change– for instance, ifyoudivorceorremarry,or ifoneof yourbeneficiariesdies. Butyoucan’t justchangeyourwillbycrossingsomething outandwritingsomethingdifferent. Instead,whereyouwanttomakeaminorchange,you’ll needtomakeacodicil–which iseffectivelyanauthorised amendmenttothewill. Aswithawill,acodicilneedstobe inwritingandsignedand witnessedbytwopeople. Whereyouwanttomakeamajorchange,you’reusuallybest offmakingawholenewwill.

What isanexecutor? Whensomeonedies,anexecutor isthepersonappointedby thewilltoadministertheestate.Putsimply,this involves makingsuretheirdebtsarepaidandthattheirassetsand possessionsgowheretheywantedthemto.

Usually,peoplename justoneortwoexecutors intheir will,buttechnicallytheycannameasmanyexecutorsas they like.Tomakesurethewholeprocessrunssmoothly a lotofpeoplechoosetonameasolicitorasoneofthe executors,whomaychargea fee fortheirexpertise in administeringestates.

DIVORCE

Doesseparationmean livingapart? Youdon’thaveto live inseparatehomestoprovethatyou’ve beenseparated for12months. It’senough foryouto live separate livesunderthesameroof.Whilethiscanbe stressful,giventhecostofkeepingtwoseparate residences, it issometimesalsotheonlyoption.

Your firststepasexecutor Asexecutor,the firstthingyou’llneedtodo istomakea list ofeverythingthedeceasedownedaswellasanypayments orassetstheywereentitledto.This list isknownasan inventoryofproperty. Commonassets included inthe inventoryofpropertyare: • Home • Otherrealestate • Car • Money • Bankaccounts • Furniture • Householdappliances • Jewellery • Sharesandother investments • Insurancepolicies • Superannuation • Outstandingworkentitlements. Ifthere’smorethanonebeneficiaryunderthewill,youmay needtogetsome itemsvalued. Fees forprobate

Ifsomeonehasnamedyousoleexecutor, it’susuallystilla good ideatoconsultasolicitor, justtomakesureyouget it right.Afterall,administeringanestate isn’talways straightforwardand,asexecutor,youcanbeheld liable if youget itwrong. Doexecutorsgetpaid? Generally,you’llonlybepaid foryourtimespentasan executor ifthewillspecificallysaysyoushouldbe.Thatsaid,

Thatsaid, ifyoudo intendto liveseparately inthesame home,youshould firstaskyoursolicitorabouthowtogo about it.Afterall,getting itwrong is likelytocomplicate yourdivorce. Sharingparenting responsibilities

Doyouneeda lawyer togetadivorce? Ifyoursituation isstraightforwardandthere isnomajor conflictoverchildrenorassets,youmaybetemptedtoget divorcedwithoutusinga lawyer.But inalmostalldivorces andseparations,a lawyercanhelp. Acourtwon’t letadivorcegoaheadunlessyou’vemade

youhavetherighttoapplytotheSupremeCourt for commissionregardlessofwhatthewillsays.Thecourt usuallywon’tawardyouanypayment ifyou’realsoa beneficiaryunderthewill. Canyougetoutofbeinganexecutor?

Theeasiestwaytoshareparentingresponsibilitiesaftera separation istoagreeonaparentingplanorparenting orders.Thesooneryoureachanagreement,thesooner thingswillsettledown.

properarrangements forallchildrenunder18.So, ifyouand your formerspousecan’tagreeon issuessuchasaccessto childrenorchildsupport,engaginga lawyercanhelpresolve any issuesbetweenyou. A lawyercanalsohelpyouresolveanydisputeabout propertyor financialmattersandwillmakesureyouknow your legalrightsbeforeyouagreetoasolution. Isdivorce theonlyanswer?

Anyagreementneedstobe in ‘thebest interests’ofthe children.Whenacourt looksatthisconcept itsstarting point isthatchildrenshouldhaveameaningfulrelationship

Ifyoudon’twanttobeanexecutor,youcangetoutof itby signinga formal ‘renunciation’and filing it intheSupreme CourtofNSW.Youshoulddothisassoonasyoucan,because yourrenunciationmaynotbeeffective ifyou’vecompleted evensomeoftheexecutor’sduties. Asolicitorcanhelpyoudothis.

withbothparentsandthattheyshouldalsobe freeof physicalandpsychologicalharm. Itwillalsotake into accountthechild’sage,genderandmaturity,aswellas theirviewsandrelationshipsbothwithparentsand extended family. Ifyoucan’tcometoamutualdecision,you’llneed legal advice. Youcanreadmoreaboutthebest interestsofchildren in ourbrochure ‘ChildrenandSeparation’.

InAustralia,adivorcecanonlygoaheadwhenamarriage has irretrievablybrokendown.Beforethiscanhappenyou needtoshowyou’ve livedseparately forat leastayear.You canthenapplytotheFederalCircuitCourt. Ifyourmarriage (orde factorelationship) is incrisis,there arealternativestoseparationanddivorce. In fact,thebest firstportofcall formostcouplesshouldalwaysbe relationshipcounselling.

Usuallyyou’llhavetopaya feewhenyou lodgetheProbate forms.Butthecourtmakesanexceptionwhereanestate is worth lessthan$50,000.Forsmallestates,somebankswill also letyouaccessthedeceased’s fundsbeforethecourt grantsProbate. (Seethebackofthisbrochure fordetailson howtoapply forProbate.)

www.lawsociety.com.au/knowyourrights

Onceyou’veobtainedProbate, youcanstartsellingthe deceased’sassetssothatthemoneycanbedivided amongstthebeneficiaries. Youmightalsoneedtocontactthebanksandcompanies inwhichthedeceasedhadmoney,sothattheyrelease any funds.

Severalorganisationsofferreconciliationandseparation counselling.These includeFamilyRelationshipCentres,as wellasRelationshipsAustralia,UnitingCareUnifam, Centacareand InterrelateFamilyCentres.

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YOUR LEGAL QUESTIONS ANSWERED GET THE FACTS lawsociety.com.au/knowyourrights

refusedLegal Aid. National LawWeek T 0299260253 www.lawweek.com.au

LawWeekwill beheld inMay 2014 andwill aim topromote a greater understanding of the law aswell as raise awareness in the

www.facebook.com/ LawSocietyNSWKnowYourRights

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A CONNECTED PROFESSION

OURPROFESSION

MANAGINGYOURPRACTICE Inourprofessionbeingsuccessfuldoesn’t justmeanhavingsuperior legal knowledge. Italsomeans understandingthebusinessof runningapractice. That’swhytheLawSocietyaimstogiveyoutheresources youneedtogrowyourpractice, regardlessofhowbigorsmall itmightbe.

Small PracticePortal www.lawsociety.com.au/smallpracticeportal In2013weupdated and expanded our Small PracticePortal, anonline resource specificallydesigned tohelp small firmpractitioners establish and grow a successful business. The Small PracticePortal taps into the knowledgeof a rangeof business and legal experts, whoprovidemembers with guidanceon each stepof a practiceowner’s business journey. smalltalk www.lawsociety.com.au/smalltalk The Small PracticePortal is complementedby smalltalk, a bi- monthly eNewsletterwhichdiscusses current issues associatedwith running a small ormid-sizedpractice. smalltalk’s contributors include some ofAustralia’smost well- knownbusiness and legal practice consultants, aswell as experts from within theLawSociety ofNSW and practice owners themselves. smalltalk is automatically sent to all practice owners in firms of up to 20partners.However, allmembers can read current andpast issues on ourwebsite.

Legal EnquiryService T 1800420934 (free fromany land line in Australia) or 0299260333 E peter.leggo@lawsociety.com.au Our Legal InformationOfficer providesmemberswith assistance across a range of areas of law: business, criminal, employment, family, general litigation, property, wills and estates, andpowers of attorney. Practical training for lawyersand support staff www.lawsociety.com.au/stafftraining An efficient practice depends on efficient staff. That’swhywe offer a comprehensive range of practical courses aimed at equipping support staff andnewly-admitted solicitors with the legal knowledge and administrative skills they need. Choose fromonline and face-to- facemodules in areas as diverse as conveyancing, wills andprobate, family law and litigation. In2014/15we’ll alsobe launching a brandnewonline course, ConveyancingProcedures for Solicitors, which follows on from the success of our onlineWills and ProbateProcedures for Solicitors course.

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MANAGINGYOURPRACTICE (continued)

Attracting the rightgraduates for your firm

PracticeSaleandPurchase www.lawsociety.com.au/pracsale E advertising@lawsociety.com.au We provide a range of information onbuying, selling and valuing a practice on the Small Practice Portal (see page 15), aswell as the opportunity to advertise practices for sale in theLawSociety Journal (LSJ) andon thewebsite. LocumService T 0299260381 E locums@lawsociety.com.au www.lawsociety.com.au/locumservice Find a qualified locum inNSW to match your firm’s practice areas andneeds. TheLawSocietyofNewSouth WalesScheme T 0299260344 E secretary@lawsociety.com.au Administeredby theLawSociety exclusively formembers, this scheme allowsmembers inprivate practice to limit their civil liability to selected amounts, provided theymeet the requirements.

Lawcover T 1800650748 www.lawcover.com.au Lawcover provides $2million Professional Indemnity Insurance to lawpractices under theLegal ProfessionAct 2004 (NSW). Optional TopUp Insurance up to a limit of $20million is also available. Lawcover alsooffers a comprehensive range of riskmanagement and practice support services including educationprograms, workshops and seminars, publications, advisory services for poorly performing law practices and copies of the Schedule ofCivil LimitationPeriods inCivil Matters inNSW. Legalsuper T 0282234003 www.legalsuper.com.au For over 25 years legalsuper has managed the retirement savings for peopleworking in thenational legal profession.Nowmanagingmore than$2.2billion in assets, legalsuper returns all profits tomembers.

E michelle.westlund@lawsociety.com.au TheGraduateEmployment and SummerClerkshipPrograms, administeredby theLawSociety, have about 30 registered law firms and are open to students from 14 law schools acrossNSW. The programs are available to all law firms and government legal practices with the aimof streamlining legal recruitment. Contracts, LeasesandRequisitions T 0299260386 www.lawsociety.com.au/eshop

TheLawSociety Shopoffers discounts tomembers on the

Contract for Sale of Land and the Contract for Sale of Business, aswell as requisitions and leases.

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VisitingSolicitorsRoom Our visiting solicitors’ rooms are perfect for clientmeetings or as a base forworking in the city. DiningRoom T 0299260224 www.lawsociety.com.au/dining An excellent choice for a casual or business lunch, theLawSociety dining roomoffers great value, efficient service and a stylish ambience. Functionsandmeeting rooms T 0299260360 www.lawsociety.com.au/meetings The 2nd floor of 170PhillipStreet canholdup to100people for dinner andup to150people for cocktails.We alsooffer smaller rooms formeetings andprivate dining as well as a purpose-built training room. PhotocopyService T 0299260221 E printroom@lawsociety.com.au Fast, reliable and competitively priced copies andbinding for members only.

AlternativeDisputeResolution (ADR) T 0299260214 E adr@lawsociety.com.au www.lawsociety.com.au/adr TheLawSociety provides a service connectingdisputingparties to experiencedADRpractitioners.We alsooffer resources and seminars to assist solicitors seekingopportunities in this growing areaof practice. In2014wewill be adding to the LawSociety’s successfulMediation Programby establishing theFamily LawSettlement Service as anongoing program. TheLawSociety is also an accreditingbody under theNational MediatorAccreditationSystem. 170PhillipStreet We’re continually upgrading our offices at 170PhillipStreet, so that theymeet theneeds of ourmembers. www.lawsociety.com.au/mediationrooms We providemediation, arbitration andmeeting rooms in a private, secure environment.Our purpose- built rooms are flexible enough to accommodate almost any type of negotiationormeeting and come with complimentarywireless internet access aswell as other facilities. MediationRoom T 0299260349

HELPINGOURPROFESSION BUILDSUCCESSFULPRACTICES Hereare justsomeof thewayswe’ll behelpingpracticeowners. Small PracticePortal www.lawsociety.com.au/ smallpracticeportal Ouronlineportal hasbeen specificallydesigned tohelp practiceownersestablishand growasuccessful business. smalltalk www.lawsociety.com.au/smalltalk Ourbi-monthlynewsletterhelpskeep youon topof the issues thataffect small andmid-sizedpractices. Practical training for legal and support staff www.lawsociety.com.au/stafftraining Weofferacomprehensive range ofpractical courses toequip solicitorsandsupportstaffwith the legal skillsandpractical knowledge theyneed toexcel. Youcan readmoreabouteachof these resourcesonpage 15.

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A RESILIENT PROFESSION

OURPROFESSION

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HEALTHANDWELLBEING Ourprofessioncanbestressfulanddemanding. That’swhyweoffertheresourcesand informationour membersneedtostayontopof theirmentalhealthandatthetopof theirgame.

TheLawyer’sGuide toSanity, ProfitabilityandWellbeingSeminars

LawCare T 0416200788 LawCare provides confidential access to a professional counsellor. Members only pay for face-to-face consultations. NSWYoungLawyersMental Health andWellbeingwebsite www.lawsociety.com.au/ylmentalhealth Our site is dedicated tohelping law students, solicitors andbarristers recognise andmanagemental health issues personally and inothers. TheLawSociety provides a panel of solicitors to assist solicitorswho are the subject of a complaint with the Legal ServicesCommissioner. Child, ElderandSpecial NeedsCare T 029261 1855or 1800631 024 We offermembers assistance in balancing career, family andpersonal life commitments. Work|LifeLinks T 029261 1855or 1800631 024 We offer dependant careneeds, including elder, childcare and special needs services. SeniorSolicitorsScheme www.lawsociety.com.au/seniorsols

E guidespw@lawsociety.com.au www.lawsociety.com.au/wellbeing

This popular series ofCPD seminars helpsmembersmanage the pressures of legal practice, achieve positive outcomes and enjoy a balanced personal andprofessional life. Topics include stayingwell at work, using yourmind tomanage your brain, anddealingwithdifficult clients and colleagues. The program is offered at several locations throughoutNSW.We also offer tailored in-house presentations. Newcounsellingservice In2014/15we’ll be launching anew 24-hour counselling service for members experiencing personal and work-related issues. Thiswill include referringmembers ontomore specialisedprofessional helpwhere it’s needed.Wewill releasemore information soon. LawyersAssistanceProgram (LAP) T 1800777662 www.lap.com.au LAP is a free and confidential counselling service for solicitors experiencing practicemanagement issues. The program coordinator is an experienced solicitor and can refermembers to counsellors, agencies or schemes for further assistance.

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PROFESSIONALADVICEANDASSISTANCE Ourprofession isaresponsibleoneandweholdourselvestohighstandards. That’swhytheLawSocietyoffers arangeofadviceandassistancetohelpmembersmeettheirobligations.

Professional StandardsAssistance TheLawSociety offers assistance topractitioners uncertainof their obligationswhen it comes to disclosure or ‘show cause’ events. We can alsohelp appoint a practice managerwhere a solicitor becomes ill or dies. Professional ServicesAdvice We provide information and resources tohelppractitioners understand and complywith their legislative obligations.We alsooffer practical and confidential assistance by phone or email formatters involving ethics, costs or regulatory compliance.

Ethics T 0299260114 E ethics@lawsociety.com.au Costs T 0299260382 E costs@lawsociety.com.au

TrustAccounting T 0299260337 E tad@lawsociety.com.au

www.lawsociety.com.au/trustaccounts TheTrustAccountsDepartment offers assistance topractitioners and support staff about the receipt, holding anddisbursement of trust money. To encourage best practice the department alsomaintains practical resources such as the online StatutoryDepositCalculator. LawSocietyRegistry T 0299260156 www.lawsociety.com.au/practisinglawinnsw TheRegistry offers assistance with your practising certificate and its conditions, contact details of solicitors and firms, historical searches andMandatoryCPD requirements.

RegulatoryCompliance T 0299260109or 0299260231 E chris.shrewsbury@lawsociety.com.au frances.moffitt@lawsociety.com.au ComplianceAnalysisReviews T 0299260109or 0299260231 www.lawsociety.com.au/cars AComplianceAnalysisReview canmake your firmmore efficient by helping youunderstand your professional responsibilities and providing practical solutions to any compliance issues your firm faces. This free, confidential service is available to firms acrossNSW.

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