OTHER PRACTICE AREAS
We can help with all insurance disputes.
Examples of disputes
House insurance – following Cyclone Debbie, some insurers have taken inordinate time to pay on claims. We can help speed up claims and take stress away by dealing with all roadblocks and insisting on prompt responses.
Contents insurance – thankfully a contents claim rarely needs a lawyer to step in and help, but even here insurers can deny or delay genuine claims. We can offer advice and support and a commercially sensible service to help you achieve closure.
Car damage – other losses like hire cars – If you need your car to get to work or for business, and it has to be repaired following an accident that was not your fault, then the other parties’ insurer should pay for you costs to hire a replacement vehicle during repairs.
Travel insurance – insurers are quick to take your premiums before you head off on holidays, but sometimes a little tardy paying up on a claim.
Don’t hesitate to find out if we can help you speed them up and pay your claim. A small amount invested to make sure they take your claim seriously could save you time and anxiety.
Business interruption insurance, cyber security, indemnity claims under your own policy taken out to protect you.
We can help with any dispute you have with an insurance company.
Do you have a legal issue not addressed here? Contact us to find out more.
Wills & Power of Attorney
Sometimes it is confusing which legal document applies at what stage of someone’s life.
From age 18 years onward, a person with legal capacity can execute (sign) a Will, a Power of Attorney ("POA") (or Enduring POA) and an Advanced Health Directive (AHD).
An enduring power of attorney continues to be of legal force even if the person granting it loses legal capacity.
An ordinary POA ceases to have legal effect once the grantor loses capacity.
ALL POAs, both enduring and ordinary, cease to be of legal effect upon death. This is when the Will takes over.
Only the Will is relevant after death. The Will has no bearing prior to death.
Upon death, the executor/s appointed under the Will take legal ownership on trust for the estate of the deceased person.
This extends to the body of the deceased person and their worldly possessions. The executor is responsible for arranging and paying for the funeral, protecting and collecting the assets of the estate, paying debts as due, managing any estate property held on trust, such as houses with life tenants or business interests, and then distributing the estate in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.
The job of an executor should not be accepted lightly.
A Will can establish testamentary trusts which hold nominated assets for specified beneficiaries for specific purposes. They can be used for asset protection to ensure your children obtain a benefit that is unable to be attacked by their creditors or former spouse, for example.
A Will can give guidance on the wishes of the deceased, such as the funeral, disposal of body and guardianship of children.
Digital assets should also be considered and where valuable provided for.
A power of attorney and enduring POA can provide to another person the same legal rights you hold over your property while you are alive. It is a very powerful privilege to give to someone else and to be exercised carefully.
The powers set out in the document can be limited to specific property or to only commence after a certain event or date.
The grantee of a power who exercises that power must be scrupulous to ensure the separation of their personal assets from that of the other person.
To deal with real property (eg land) the power of attorney must be registered with the Titles Office.
Advanced Health Directive
If a person has strong wishes about their medical care, they can sign an advanced health directive (AHD) which can provide for certain medical treatment to be provided or not, such as blood transfusions, CPR or life support beyond say 48 hours.
By providing this express wish to a loved one it will allow the hospital / doctors to follow your wishes even if another person (though well meaning) may object.
Claims made on an estate of a person are governed by law and restricted to persons with a stipulated connection to the deceased. This is for example de facto partner, spouse, child or other close relative or cared for person.
A Court can interfere with the wishes expressed in a Will, or provided for under intestacy (where no Will has been made), if it considers it reasonable that better provision from the estate be made for the person.
Making an estate claim is not without risk. While it is unusual for costs to be awarded against a claimant, it should not be expected that all your legal costs will be paid by the estate.
We can help you assess your claim, attempt negotiation and if necessary bring legal action to protect your rights.
Strict time limits apply, such as notifying the executor within 6 months of date of death, and filing a claim in Court within 12 months.
Other estate claims can be where the validity of a Will is challenged, or an informal later Will is sought to be upheld as legal.
A Court has found a Will to be legal where it was set out in a text message.
Matus Lawyers can stand up for your rights in any civil dispute. From pursuing debts to defending claims, in all Courts and tribunals, we can help guide you through the process and have your best interests at the fore front of all we do. We seek collaborative solutions to reduce your legal spend, save time and stress and have you getting on with more important work sooner.