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Christmas can be a time of year where wonderful things can happen, and to ensure that, each of our departments have put together a few suggestions to help ensure that the festive season is as calm and bright as possible.

From our commercial team:

  1. Keep safe from online scams: don’t have a blue Christmas. Stay vigilant at this time of year with what links you click on and who you provide personal details to. There could be a Grinch hiding in that innocent-looking email!
  2. Know your consumer rights when decking the hall doesn’t quite go to plan. Sometimes Santa doesn’t always get the gift exactly right and many a time we need to exchange or return something. Most retailers are quite happy to exchange an item for a different size or colour, especially if Santa still has a receipt you can produce but they are under obligation to do so. Refunds are required to be given under consumer law if the item is damaged or doesn’t work, or if it is not ‘fit for purpose’.
  3. Travel terms and conditions for when you’re away in a Manger. With borders finally open in WA for the first festive season in three years many are tentatively travelling to those loved ones who aren’t so near for the most wonderful time of year.

We should ensure that we have read and understood our travel insurance policies in case of delays or illness which may try to thwart our travel plans.

From our estate’s team:

  1. New Years’ Resolution – get your estate planning organised. Let’s start this New Year right! For many, the New Year is a time to reflect on what we’ve achieved over the year and to make some resolutions for what we want to do in the next year.

For this reason, but also because people often have annual leave in January, we found that consistently January is one of our busiest months for estate planning. Make your resolution to finally get that will done – you’ll feel better for it all year!

  1. Get the ‘bells & whistles’ too – something new for New Year. Proper estate planning isn’t just about a new will, but also preparing for unforeseen events (like the appearance of that cheeky elf on a shelf!) occurring in our lifetime.

If you or your parents or other loved ones you care for don’t have Enduring Powers of Attorney and Enduring Powers of Guardianship in place January is also the perfect time to get these documents prepared.

  1. When checking who’s naughty and nice, check your superannuation policy twice!

One often forgotten, but an increasingly larger asset for most Australians is our superannuation policy.

Many of us may have a set target attitude to our super but making sure proper arrangements for it are in place is an increasingly important part of estate planning. We can assist with the preparation of a binding death nomination for your policy or give advice about whether it may be best to have your estate or particular beneficiaries nominated in your policy.

From our Family Law team:

  1. I’ll be home for Christmas and bring joy to the world – and a recent Australian survey suggested that the average Australian will have four arguments with family members just on Christmas Day alone!

We can try to bring these numbers down by remembering that Christmas is a time for peace and joy and goodwill towards men (and women).

We can try to avoid unwanted disputes by good planning and remembering that this can be a stressful time of year for some, so try to be a bit more sensitive!

  1. Don’t let the kids have a Rudolph awakening.

Kids of separated parents can sometimes get a raw deal at Christmas – being dragged from pillar to post to see as many sides of the family as possible or being the cause of arguments in families.

Prevent these events from spoiling Christmas by:

  • Making arrangements well in advance which everyone knows about and agrees to.
  • Don’t try to pack too much into Christmas day for the kids – it can be full of excitement for kids, but having too much on in one big day can be overwhelming and exhausting – try to spread out family celebrations over a few days.
  • Remember that children’s best interests should be the focus and let them have some downtime to enjoy new Christmas gifts.

9. Was mummy (or daddy) kissing Santa (or Mrs) Claus under the Christmas tree?

January is a prime time for separations and relationships ending.

If you find yourself in this position in the New Year do yourself a favour and get some legal advice early – a one-hour appointment could save you lots of heartache and money!

Finally from the whole team:

  1. Have a White Christmas (stay out of the red).

Don’t go overboard on spending at Christmas – it is your presence, not your presents that is most valued.

  1. All I want for Christmas is you (not double demerit points).

A friendly reminder that there are double demerit points in force for the entire Christmas – New Year period – no one wants to lose their license for Christmas!

  1. Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas

From all of us at Lynn and Brown we wish you joy and peace at Christmas, and if you have a few minutes click here to watch our latest Christmas video!

And if you want to spread the joy this festive season here’s a link to donate to Foodbank, one of our favourite charities.

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