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How the law can safeguard your family, financial assets

INSTANT LEGAL PROTECTION FOR YOUR FAMILY
By Lie Chin Chin
Characterist LLC/Paperback/ 158 pages/$14.90
Available at major bookstores and online stores from March 10

WHAT'S THE BOOK ABOUT?

In this first edition of Instant Legal Protection For Your Family, Ms Lie Chin Chin wants to empower readers through legal knowledge to protect their family and preserve their assets and relationships.

The mother of four is managing director of local law firm Characterist.

The book is reader-friendly and filled with interesting examples of real-life cases that are relevant to readers living here and abroad.

It offers a glimpse into how homes and finances built painstakingly over the years can dissipate suddenly, and how many family relationships can sour, all from a lack of knowledge about leveraging laws or costly oversights in estate planning.

The book also provides details of family legacy planning, while offering information about how to minimise losses in divorce, annulment, separation and custody disputes.

SEVEN KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. How can you protect yourself and your children from unwanted attention or harassment over the Internet? The Protection for Harassment Act provides easy access to protection from various forms of both physical and virtual harassment, even if you do not know the culprit's identity or whereabouts.

2. How do you protect yourself as a consumer in online transactions and purchases of second-hand goods? The Lemon Law protects your rights as a consumer in online transactions and for purchases of discounted and second-hand goods.

3. How do you ensure that you are not overly restricted by non-competition clauses in your employment contract? Understanding that not all non-competition clauses are enforceable will help liberate you to make appropriate career moves.

4. Many misunderstand the difference between Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and wills, and underestimate the importance of having these documents properly executed or updated in good time.

Using real-life accounts, the author shares stories of family troubles and soured relationships arising from the lack of a will, or from wills that are unclear, invalid, inadequate or outdated.

5. An LPA allows one to arrange for the management of personal welfare and/or property and affairs in the event of the loss of one's mental capacity for reasons such as old age, illness or accidents.

The book also discusses what remedies are available in cases where deputies appointed by the court abuse their powers.

6. Preparation for marriage should include an awareness of each party's rights and obligations during and after the marriage in relation to gifts, division of matrimonial assets, payment of maintenance and custody of children.

Where there is a potential marital breakdown, early steps should be taken to protect and preserve assets for yourself, your children and your parents. 7. Those who leave gifts or leave an inheritance to their children might want to know how such assets can be preserved and set apart from divisible matrimonial assets. This keeps assets from falling into the hands of unintended third parties.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 05, 2017, with the headline 'How the law can safeguard your family, financial assets'. Print Edition | Subscribe