Elder law covers many legal issues which apply to people of all ages, but it looks at those issues from the viewpoint of older people with their particular needs in mind.
Focus areas include:
powers of attorney
appointment of an enduring guardian
Vulnerability of our elderly
Unfortunately, elder abuse is becoming more common. Vulnerable people are at times being taken advantage of by children, friends, neighbours, carers, and, sometimes, professional advisors.
Some recent examples include:
a person died leaving the bulk of the estate to a professional advisor and little to their spouse and children
a family member “cared for” an elderly couple, and took the opportunity to move into their investment apartment without paying rent or outgoings. When other family members objected the person refused to move out
an elderly client left all of their assets to a neighbour’s wife by a home drawn Will which was made less than six months before their death. The Will was prepared by the beneficiary’s husband
a husband and wife made identical Wills leaving their estates to various family members. After the husband died, the wife changed her Will to benefit members on her side of the family. Understandably, the husband’s relatives were upset at missing out on what they saw as their share of the assets
Depending on the particular situation, the remedy may involve making an application for a guardianship order in the Guardianship Tribunal relating to guardianship or a Power of Attorney. If the person is no longer alive then it may be necessary to make an application to the Court to have the Will declared invalid or otherwise challenge the Will.
When an issue arises, we can bring to bear our extensive experience over many years in providing advice in some very difficult situations.