Family Law Property Settlements
Includes de facto and same sex relationships
Joan Pierpoint works on the whole range of property settlement issues. Her focus is to always aim for an early, amicable, equitable and cost effective resolution either by negotiations or Court appointed mediations.
-Initial discussions and tailored advices on strategy and outcome;
-Negotiations of matters;
-For those matters that are conflicted, conduct of court matters including court attendances, preparation of court documents, such investigations as are property to prepare and present a case;
-Choosing and briefing Counsel where necessary;
-All matters to settlement or hearing and 'wrapping things up'.
After many years in family law
Joan Pierpoint will bring an understanding of the dynamics of status quo, bargaining power and unequal bargaining positions, the fluid nature of the 'pool' of assets between separation and settlement or hearing, variations in initial contributions, complications from receiving outside funds (eg inheritances, gifts from parents, windfalls) both during cohabitations and after separation, complications of superannuation, and party's individual needs or child based needs. There are as many variables in family law as there are clients - it is not a one size fits all approach.
Family Provision Claims
The experience of being an executor and defending claims on an estate can be stressful, time consuming and complicated. An experienced lawyer helps. As does a critical awareness of and an ability to communicate the reality of the costs situation - which is that, very often but not always, the Estate bears the costs, or most of the costs, of the Claimant, as well as its own costs. Joan Pierpoint has advised, and acted for many executors in resolving and defending family provision claims.
Advising and acting for an eligible person wishing to make a claim on an estate goes with the territory. They are usually disappointed in the provision made by the Executor. Often there are family rifts. Sometimes, although the provision might have been adequate when the will was made, financial circumstances have changed and the provision is no longer adequate. Sometimes by virtue of a gift having addeemed (that is where a beneficiary was left a specific gift which is not there when the testator dies), one person is disinherited when it was not the testators' intention so to do. We have advised and acted in many family provision claims.
Wills and Estate Matters
Wills are so easy to write. They don't 'blow up' for the life of the maker. Then, it's too late to fix it. So, it makes a lot of sense to do it right. Solicitors owe obligations of competence not only to their client, the will maker, but also to the beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries. There can be issues of competence of the will maker, awareness of familial obligations, influence - or undue influence on the will maker, documentation of reasons for not making provision for an eligible person, consideration of taxation and centrelink effect on gifts to beneficiaries, bankruptcy of a beneficiary and payment of their legacy - all pitfalls for the unwary.
Joan Pierpoint, as a solicitor of over 29 years' experience, has drawn many wills, probated many wills, including many wills drawn by her, has interpreted many hundreds of wills and routinely administers and finalises estates and navigates her clients through taxation, bankruptcy, resolution of conflict, or court proceedings where necessary. We have obtained court orders enforcing distributions where executors have refused to comply with their obligations to administer and distribute the estate.
Joan Pierpoint & Associates was the first solicitors' firm on the mid north coast to introduce a flat fee for conveyancing. Acting for conveyancing clients is in many cases the first contact a person has with a law firm. We have acted for the same clients many times over, and we act for different generations of families which is a great recommendation. Our focus is on residential purchases and sales, small property development projects, residential and small commercial leasing and we do act on the purchase of leasehold interests into assisted accommodation (i.e. Buying into a retirement villa or unit).