Areas of Practice

Elder Law

Elder Law refers to a specialised sub-set of legal services directed at the needs of seniors and their families.  Elder Law goes beyond estate planning, bringing together traditional legal services and tailoring them to the needs of Australia’s ageing population.

Australians are living longer, which inevitably raises various legal issues. Andersons Solicitors provide services to the ageing population focusing on managing finances, health, accommodation, care and comfort.

Elder Law empowers seniors in the community to take control of their personal affairs, to plan for emergencies and the inevitability of ageing while protecting their rights and autonomy.

In order to ensure this time of life is not burdened with worrisome legal issues; Andersons Solicitors can address specific inquiries, including:

Moving into a Nursing Home or Retirement Village

The decision to downsize is not an easy one and often arrives at a point in time in your life characterised by high emotions.  By speaking to Andersons at these times of change, you can reduce risks to ensure you have the peace of mind transitioning into this new stage of life.

Andersons can assist in the review, negotiation and advice of all Nursing Home or Retirement Village contracts.  Each operator has different contracts and conditions so we recommend you have a solicitor check the documents and negotiate the most suitable arrangement for you. This will ensure you make an informed choice that allows you to have a fulfilling retirement in a supporting environment. 

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives a specific person or persons the authority to deal with financial affairs should you be unable to do so.  The POA are used when:

  • A person is away and needs another to complete the banking or sign documents on their behalf.
  • In instances of sudden ill health or gradual incapacity

By having a POA in place you can ensure that someone you trust will be able to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf should you unfortunately be able to do so.

Advanced Care Directives (ACD)

An Advanced Care Directive is a legal document that gives a specific person or persons the authority to deal with your personal affairs.  Typically, an ACD can appoint a person to manage your health care, residential and accommodation needs.

The ACD contains written directions about your future healthcare and any specific directions you may have.  They offer protection should you not be able to make these decisions and allow you to appoint one or more substitute decision-makers.

An ACD ensures that your future care is managed in accordance with your wishes should the need arise.

Attorney & Carer Duties

Attorneys and Carers have significant responsibility and may have considerable power and control over the affairs of a person.  Some of the terms are not easy to understand and are often misunderstood or not explained when the appointment is accepted.

If you have been appointed under either scheme and you don’t understand your obligations then you may need to seek advice.  There are strict duties and standards expected of people in these appointments, and a failure to live up to them may result in you becoming personally liable to compensate the person for whom you are supposed to be caring.

Alternatively, you may be aware of other appointees acting irresponsibility or in abuse of the power given.  There are legal options where an appointee abuses their power for personal gain or simple mismanagement. 

Andersons Solicitors can help challenge POAs, recover lost monies, and ensure those involved are placed in a position with the most appropriate appointments and care.

Guardianship Orders

A Guardianship Application can be made when no appointments have been made and a person has lost the ability to manage their own affairs.

Guardianship applications are administered by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) and Andersons Solicitors can assist with applications, challenges and disputes.

Where Guardianship Orders are in place, and there has been suspected abuse, then it is possible to challenge the suitability of the appointee and to seek alternative arrangements. SACAT also assists in determining disputes between parties, family members and other people around the appropriate care and orders for an individual. 

  Meet some of our elder law team members