Elder & Estate Law
There are many legal issues that arise as you get older, and your needs change. You may be in a vulnerable position, facing complex legal decisions, in relation to your home, your living assistance, or a change of residence.
On the other hand, you may be involved in the care of an older parent or relative, and you may need support in making decisions relating to their care.
These are all aspects of our practice that we are well placed to assist you with, as we understand the complexities of ageing and family relationships.
We can help in the following areas with preparation and drafting of:
- Power of Attorney
- Enduring Power of Attorney
- Advanced Care Directives
- Estate administration
We can work with you to ensure that your wishes are properly recorded and that you appoint an executor that you trust to ensure your wishes are carried out.
We will advise you on how to reduce the risk of someone challenging your will after your death.
A properly drafted will is the best way for you to ensure that your assets will be distributed to your loved ones the way you intend. It allows you to appoint a person you trust to administer your estate after your death.
Without a will the administration of your estate is likely to be more complicated and expensive than it need to be. This only adds to the stress of your loved ones at a time they should be grieving.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document in which you appoint someone (or two or more people) you trust to act on your behalf in some circumstances where you cannot make those decisions for yourself (e.g. you are travelling overseas or hospitalised).
You can specify what powers the person has, for example, you can limit their ability to ability to sell your property or access only one of your bank accounts to pay your bills.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a Power of Attorney document that will continue to operate if you lose your mental capacity or operate only in the event that you lose your mental capacity.
Both the Power of Attorney and Enduring Power Attorney documents give a person (or persons) the power to act in your place to manage only your legal and financial matters for you.
Advanced Care Directives
An Advanced Care Directive is a document that allows you to appoint a person, to make lifestyle and welfare decisions for you in the event that you become mentally incapacitated.
Such decisions include lifestyle and accommodation decisions and may also include what type of medical treatment you are to receive in the event that you are terminally ill.
An Advanced Care Directive must be signed while you have mental capacity.
You are able to specify limits on what sort of decisions you substitute decision maker has the power to make and you can even specify what should happen to you in certain circumstances.
If you have been named the Executor of an Estate, we can help you go through the necessary legal process to ensure the estate is properly administered.
If a loved one has passed away without a will, then we at Galloway Family Law can help you apply to the Court for Letters of Administration enabling the estate to be distributed.
Challenging a will or challenging the super fund
In some cases, families left behind are in conflict about a fair provision for their needs. You may feel that you were left out unfairly from your relative’s estate, or from the distribution of their superannuation after their death.
We can assist with advice about a wide range of remedies and solutions, such as:
- Negotiation and mediation to reach a settlement by consent
- Discussions with the estate administrators
- Representations on your behalf to the Super Fund Trustee
- court action to challenge the will (called a ‘Family provision claim’)
- applying to the Death Benefits Tribunal.