Legal reform – elder abuse – engaging with aging

Posted on June 19th, 2017

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The ARLC Commission has launched its report into Elder Abuse and its key recommendations can be found at http://www.alrc.gov.au/news-media/elder-abuse-national-legal-responses. Some really sensible suggestions have emerged from the report which are worthy of implementation.

For example, the idea of a national register for enduring powers of attorney.  In our experience it is not unknown for different members of a family to take their elderly relative “lawyer shopping” resulting in multiple documents which conflict with each other.  The “front line” for the use of powers of attorney is often a financial institution.  Ensuring staff at Banks receive training in the legal process for accepting a power of attorney is welcome. 

As a population, we are much more mobile than before.   The current regime of different legal documentation in use in each State/Territory is impractical and costly.  We recently saw clients move from New South Wales to South Australia which required them to execute new powers of attorney.   Superannuation plays an important role in estate planning and recommendations aimed at streamlining the nomination process for death benefits is also welcome.

Felicity Wardhaugh, Special Counsel at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors, NewcastleFelicity Wardhaugh is Special Counsel at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors and practises extensively in  Wills and estate planning, Commercial dispute resolution and other litigation.  If you require any assistance in these areas please contact Felicity Wardhaugh to arrange a consultation or contact our Newcastle office. 

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