A deed of property settlement is used by parties as a legal document that formalises an agreement between them to settle a dispute over property. It is a cost-effective and efficient way of settling disputes to prevent any further litigation. In most cases, the settlement is a win-win situation for both parties, meeting their individual needs and interests.
It is critical to include all terms and aspects of the settlement in the deed as finalised by both parties. So, if you are a Perth resident and need to document a deed of property settlement, it is imperative to get advice from property settlement lawyers Perth who will guide you in the process.
Accidentally leaving out something in terms of the settlement will later cause difficulty, incur unnecessary costs and delay the process altogether. So, check the key points below before you set out to make a deed of settlement:
Have Both The Parties Reached An Agreement?
It is crucial to reach an agreement before setting out to document a final deed. Suppose both the parties have put signatures on a written document containing the terms and conditions of settlement, but if it is noted that the document is still ‘subject to contract’, that means the agreement is yet to be concluded.
To avoid such situations, one must always consider getting property settlement lawyers to traverse the matter in detail and then jot down the final deed.
If so, make sure you state (in writing) that your provisional agreement is “subject to” a document being prepared by a lawyer (or lawyers) to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.
Why Should You Opt For A Deed?
The advantage of using a settlement deed over other methods to settle disputes is that it can be done outside the court, cutting down the time and costs included in the process. Confidentiality clauses can also be included in a settlement if the parties consider keeping the matter private.
Jot Down Every Relevant Clause
There might be certain requirements from the parties regarding the settlement, so every little clause should be included in the deed in clearly worded terms. Suppose the parties want to ensure no further dispute arises between the parties in conflict. In that case, a ‘release’ clause needs to be penned down to protect the parties from any further legal action.
Also, the parties might want to keep the terms of the settlement private and confidential, so the term needs to be worded in the settlement deed to ensure its practical enforcement.
Who Is Going To Pay The Taxes?
It occurs quite often that GST and other taxes are left out in a property settlement deed. If nothing is mentioned in the document about these matters, disputes are likely to arise between the parties at a later stage on who is responsible for paying them.
So, discuss with your property lawyers and be sure to include clear terms on who is liable to pay for the taxes like GST, income tax, CGT, export or import duties, or any reimbursements to the Department of Social Security.
The stamp duty costs a nominal amount in a deed settlement yet is crucial to the document. Once it has been stamped, a deed can be relied upon in any future court proceedings. If a deed has not been stamped, the lawyer will have difficulty in using the document at a later point in time.
Suppose you need to enforce your deed because of its breach. In that case, it will be very difficult for your lawyer to refer to the deed in pleadings and other court documents if it misses the stamp. So, make sure to pay the stamp duty in time and avoid penalties for late assessment and payment at a later stage.
Important Provisions Of A Settlement Deed
- List of parties included in the dispute and settlement.
- Recitals that provide background to the dispute and the relationship between the parties.
- The terms and clauses of settlement.
- Execution page containing the names and signatures of the parties to the settlement deed and the names and signatures of the witnessing solicitor.
Limitations Of A Settlement Deed
- A deed does not bind anyone other than the parties to the deed.
- A deed between two parties cannot serve to impede the works of statutory agencies.
- A deed is ineffective if it goes against public policy or the law.
A deed of property settlement is a crucial piece of document in settling a property dispute between parties without going into the complexity of court proceedings. It is cost-effective and helps in finalising the matters quickly, serving the interests of both the parties to the deed.
The firm Property Lawyers Perth WA is a firm that provides experienced property lawyers Perth and neighboring regions for guiding people in cases of property settlement. If you are in a situation of making a deed of property settlement, then it is suggested to get personalized advice from lawyers handling property settlement cases.