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|Updated: 27 Apr 2017|
|Legal/Para Legal Services||Yes|
|Updated: 27 Apr 2017|
|Elderly Services & Seniors Law Team
Having provided a full range of legal services to the people of Canterbury since 1888 it was a natural progression for Harmans to establish and develop areas of law that will provide their clients with expert advice in an increasingly diversified legal environment.
One such speciality area of law is the Elderly Services and Seniors Law Team, which was formed by Harmans in 1999 to coincide with the International Year of the Older Person.
Over the past 17 years, the Seniors Law Team has built on those early foundations and continues to diversify and grow as the baby boomer generation moves into retirement and the need for specialist legal advice in this area of law rapidly increases.
Examples of specialist areas of law, with a specific impact on seniors, are:
•the growth of the retirement village industry and the need for expert legal advice prior to entry into an Occupation Right Agreement
•the criteria surrounding eligibility for a Residential Care Subsidy, which requires a working knowledge of the current regulations, including the relevant asset and income testing levels and the Work and Income gifting regime, particularly in relation to Discretionary or Family Trusts
•property ownership and how this may impact on you and your family as you move into retirement
The Seniors Law Team also ensures that clients have:
•robust advice on asset protection and estate planning and how this will affect them as they move into retirement
•valid Enduring Powers of Attorney for both Property and Personal Care & Welfare
•assistance with a variety of legal work such as, conveyancing, Trust formation and on-going administration
Harmans Seniors Law Team is based at our Papanui office.
One of our goals is to ensure that all of our Senior clients have access to legal advice and assistance. Sometimes that requires us to take our service to our clients. We can therefore arrange appointments in our clients’ homes, or when required, in the care facility or hospital they are residing in, either to take instructions or to witness their execution of the documents.
|Updated: 17 Oct 2019|
Living Life – PPPR Applications
Being able to make decisions about our lives for ourselves is an important part of maintaining independence as we age. Our ability to understand and make informed decisions is called mental capacity. Sometimes, through illness or accident, we can lose mental capacity. If that happens, you might want a family member or trusted loved one to step in and make sure that you and your belongings are being looked after the way you want. One way to do this is through enduring powers of attorney. These are legal documents that grant the person of your choosing the ability to help you make decisions if you can no longer make them independently.
What happens if you lose mental capacity and you don’t have enduring powers of attorney in place? The Family Court has the ability to appoint someone to act on your behalf under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (“PPPR”). The Court can appoint someone to look after your assets, such as your bank accounts and your home, as well as someone to look after your personal welfare, for example consenting to medical treatment on your behalf or deciding where you will live. Often, one person will be appointed in both roles, but it is possible to have a different person appointed to each.
Only certain people can apply to Court to be appointed under the Act, and this includes family members, doctors, social workers, and some welfare groups. Other people may be able to apply, but they need special permission from the Court first. If you want someone else to act on your behalf, such as a trusted friend, an enduring power of attorney is the best way to make that happen.
Once an application has been made, the Court will appoint a lawyer to represent you. It’s their job to discuss the application with you and to advise the Court of any thoughts you have about the application.
If the Court thinks it’s necessary and in your best interests, it will likely grant the application. It’s important to know that when the Court appoints someone under the Act that appointment only lasts for three years. This is different from an enduring power of attorney, which, once it comes into force, will last until either you regain mental capacity and choose to revoke it, or upon your death. Once the three years is over, a new Court application has to be made, which can be expensive and stressful for the people involved.
Putting enduring powers of attorney in place early is the most effective way to ensure that you are being cared for the way that you want and by the people you want. At Harmans we have a specialist seniors law team with the experience to help you arrange your affairs. Please call Phillipa Shaw on 03 352 2293 to arrange an appointment to discuss your situation.