Often it is a time when people want to make sure their legal affairs are in order so they can relax and enjoy their retirement.
We can help you with the following issues:
Disputed wills and estates
It is becoming increasingly common for wills to be challenged. A will can be challenged when it is believed that it was not made and witnessed properly, or where family members have not been adequately provided for.
If you are making a will, we can advise on how to make sure your wishes are carried out.
If you are disputing a will, we can advise you of your legal rights and options. There is a time limit of 12 months on filing a claim. Further information is included in our articles section.
Family trusts are useful for protecting assets and providing for the family. However disputes may occur that require legal guidance to sort out. We can explain your legal rights and obligations with regard to trusts, including challenging trustee decisions and removal of trustees.
Reverse equity mortgages are becoming a popular way for people to access funds that would otherwise be tied up in their homes. Used wisely, reverse mortgages enable people to utilise their money for necessities or enjoyment without needing to sell their home. However caution is advised when taking out these mortgages as the amounts owed can quickly escalate, leaving people without financial security.
There are a variety of ways that reverse mortgages can be structured and it is recommended that anyone contemplating a reverse mortgage seek legal advice to avoid any pitfalls and to find the right structure for their needs.
Family loan disputes
Loans within a family are quite commonplace, particularly as housing is becoming less affordable and older family members are helping the younger ones secure their first home. Many family loans are not well documented and disputes can arise as to the terms of the loan. Other complications can occur, for example, when repayments are not made or partners separate. Often the lender is left with no security in the asset they helped to buy. We can assist you in working with the other party to reach an amicable solution or we can defend you in Court if necessary.
Setting up an enduring Power of Attorney
When you set up an enduring Power of Attorney, it means you (the donor) appoint someone to act for you and make decisions on your behalf. You can set up an enduring Power of Attorney for your personal care and welfare, which will take effect only if you became incapacitated. You can also set up an enduring Power of Attorney for your property, which can take effect immediately, or you can state that it will become effective only if you are unable to make, understand and communicate decisions. We can refer you to the right people to set this up for you.
Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988 (the PPPR Act)
The PPPR Act helps people who have lost the capacity to make or understand decisions about their own personal affairs or property, or who are no longer able to tell other people what they’ve decided. If someone is incapacitated in this way but has not set up an enduring Power of Attorney, then the PPPR Act enables the Family Court to make the following rulings on behalf of the incapacitated person:
- Appoint a Welfare Guardian, who will make decisions about the personal care and welfare of the incapacitated person, and do the things necessary to put those decisions in to effect.
- Make a Property Order, appointing someone to manage their property, where the property owner is no longer able to do this themselves.
- Make a Personal Order, which has a narrower scope than either of the above appointments. With regard to welfare, the Court might make a Personal Order requiring a person to receive specific medical treatment or ordering the person not to leave the country without the permission of the Court. With regard to property, the Court might make a Personal Order for someone to look after the incapacitated person’s property, but only for items worth less than $5,000 or for income less than $20,000 per annum.
We can advise you on issues that may affect you or your relatives under the PPPR Act and assist you in obtaining the relevant Court orders.
For more information contact us to book a consultation.