Elder Law

Elder Law

We are committed to providing expert legal advice in the Elder Law area.  The number of people aged 65 and over has doubled since 1980 and is expected to double again by 2036 as the “baby boomer” generation move towards retirement. With moving towards retirement come some specialised legal issues that we can assist with. Enduring Power of Attorney We recommend that everyone has in place an Enduring Power of Attorney for Personal Care and Welfare and an Enduring Power of Attorney for Property.  Such documents means that if you lose the capacity to make decisions and understand the consequences of them, a person of your choosing takes over that responsibility. Welfare Guardian and Property Manager Applications However, if you do not have Enduring Powers of Attorney in place and you lose the capacity to make and understand decisions about you or your property, applications may need to be made to the Family Court under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 to have someone appointed to act on your behalf and make those decisions.  That involves far more initial expense than preparing Enduring Powers of Attorney, as well as obligations to complete Court reports and have periodic Court reviews of Orders. Please see this article which further explains how to apply for these Orders and how they work. Wills We can draft your Will that accurately reflects your wishes for your property after you pass away and deal with the legal and technical aspects of your estate. Trusts We can provide advice and assistance regarding whether a trust is the right method to use for protection of...
Protection of Personal and Property Rights

Protection of Personal and Property Rights

Many people have heard of Enduring Powers of Attorney.  For those who haven’t, these are legal documents you put in place so if at some point you become incapable of making decisions regarding your personal welfare and property, the person or persons you have appointed makes those decisions for you.  When you put Enduring Powers of Attorney in place you need to have what is called “capacity,” which is the ability to make informed decisions about your personal welfare and property and to understand the consequences of those decisions. But what happens if you have failed to put Enduring Powers of Attorney in place and you lose capacity? At that point you are incapable of making decisions about your personal welfare and property, so who does it for you, and what legal right do they have to make those decisions? The Protection of Personal and Property Right Act 1988 (“PPPR Act”) deals with this situation by authorising the Family Court to appoint a Property Manager and or Welfare Guardian.  If you lose capacity, someone (often a family member) will have to apply to the Court to be appointed Property Manager and/or Welfare Guardian.  These roles are very similar to being an Attorney for Personal Care and Welfare, or as Attorney for Property matters under an Enduring Power of Attorney. The fact that capacity has been lost has to be shown through medical reports.  Once the applications are filed in Court, the person who has lost capacity (“the Subject Person”) will have a lawyer appointed to represent their best interests, which will include ascertaining whether the person or people applying...