Undue Influence and the Growing Problem of Elder Abuse

Undue Influence and the Growing Problem of Elder Abuse

Undue Influence and the Growing Problem of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can take many forms, including neglect, verbal and physical abuse, and financial abuse. According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, people who are aged 80 and older suffer two to three times the abuse rate of those in younger age brackets.

As modern health care continues to increase life expectancy, more elderly people than ever will need to depend upon other people who may or may not have their best interests at heart. In such cases, undue influence is a real threat that can be prevented or minimised with the help of our estate planning lawyers in Adelaide.

The Looming World Crisis of Incapacity

The Looming World Crisis of Incapacity in SA

The Looming World Crisis of Incapacity

Australia is facing a tsunami of widespread mental incapacity among the largest and wealthiest segment of our population. Advances in mental health have not kept pace with advances in other areas of medical science.

According to Alzheimer’s Australia, more than 340,000 Australians currently have dementia, and that number is expected to reach nearly 900,000 in the next 35 years unless a medical breakthrough occurs. These grim statistics highlight the need for everyone to plan ahead so that their medical and financial needs are met should they ever become mentally incapacitated.

When it comes to Wills & estate planning in Adelaide, you can trust the oldest law firm in South Australia, Genders & Partners to guide you through the tough decisions you must make for your future care and financial welfare.

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Powers of Attorney die with their owners

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In the UK recently a person has been fined the equivalent of many thousands of dollars for using an expired power of attorney to withdraw money from the principal’s bank account after her death, even though he acted with the consent of her sole beneficiary (her son).

The agent was a close friend of the deceased, and of her only son. Although aware of her death, over the subsequent weeks he made three withdrawals from her personal bank accounts.

Some of this money went towards funding a property transaction which had been specifically authorised by the deceased before her death.

Other funds were either used for legitimate and authorised estate expenses, or were not used at all and later returned to the estate account.

Estate Planning for Problem Children in SA

Estate Planning for Problem Children in SA

Estate Planning for Problem Children

An increasing number of Baby Boomer parents are concerned about leaving unconditional bequests in their Wills to their grown-up children, for fear that they will squander their inheritance.

As parents we love our children and want them to receive the benefit from our hard work after we’re gone.

However, some kids just seem to attract hard luck and trouble, don’t they?  They can be immature, have difficulty holding a job, or are just poor money managers. Some develop a bad and expensive habit, like gambling, drugs or alcohol, while others suffer mental illness.

Then there are the risky-business kids, who constantly fear the door-knock from the bailiffs because they run their businesses on the knife-edge of bankruptcy and litigation.

7 Critical Mistakes Made by Parents of Special Needs Children

7 Critical Mistakes Made by Parents of Special Needs Children

7 Critical Mistakes Made by Parents of Special Needs Children

Parents of a child with special needs face unique challenges when planning their estates, and unless they address them correctly, they risk making mistakes that could have long-term, costly consequences for their child.

For example, they may make the child ineligible for important federal government benefits once he or she becomes an adult, and they may leave their child without the financial resources he or she needs to live the same kind of life they provided when they were alive.

The mistakes that parents of a special needs child often make when they are planning their estates can have long-term negative consequences for the child and significantly impact his or her lifestyle once the parents are deceased or become incapacitated and can no longer look out for their special needs son or daughter.

Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Trusts

Special needs beneficiaries (often children) are those that need extra care because of a disability, such as autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or other physical or mental condition. Many Australian parents have children with special needs and know all too well about the extra care they require, the government benefits they rely on, and the financial challenges they face.

Many families with special needs children need to rely on Medicare and Centrelink to help with the high cost of health care. This financial support can continue throughout the child’s life. Parents and grandparents of special needs children and adults may want to provide for their disabled loved ones in their Will but they do not want to risk losing the child’s eligibility for public benefits. A Special Disability Trust is the answer.

A Special Disability Trust (sometimes called a Special Needs Trust) allows a person with a physical or mental disability to have assets held in a particular type of government-approved trust and those assets will be excluded from consideration for purposes of qualifying for certain government benefits.

Expenses that can be paid for by the trust may be such items as special medical aids & equipment, medical & dental needs, medication, accommodation, entertainment & transportation needs.

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Advance Care Directives in South Australia

Advance Care Directives in South Australia

Since 1st July 2014 this new style of document in South Australia has replaced the older documents known as Medical Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Natural Death Anticipatory Directive.

This Advance Care Directive document allows you to appoint one or more persons to act as your Substitute Decision Maker, to make decisions for you about your medical & health care treatment and accommodation issues if you’re unable to do so for yourself. This can make all the difference between ensuring your wishes are met in very stressful times, and having treatment and care almost forced upon you against your wishes.

An Advance Care Directive is a legal form that allows people over the age of 18 years to state their wishes, preferences and instructions for future health care, end of life, living arrangements and personal matters and/or

An Advance Care Directive cannot be used to make financial decisions.  This requires a different document known as a Power of Attorney.

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Estate Planning Tips For Caring for the Kids After Separation or Divorce in Australia

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When you are going through a separation, you need to update your estate planning documents to protect yourself, your children & family and your assets. Here are some important matters to consider after a relationship breakup.

Who Looks After Your Kids if You Cannot

  1. There may come a time when an unmarried, separated or divorced parent is unable, owing to physical or mental incapacity, to take care of his or her minor children. If a parent dies, the minor children will need a guardian. In these circumstances, those caring for the children will need direction—as will the Courts. By writing and executing a Will that includes instructions on guardianship, a parent may select someone with the legal authority to act for minor children and assume control over the assets of the children.

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Estate Planning – Caring for Elderly Parents

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Since 1900, life expectancy for Australians has increased by over 30 years. The average life expectancy of a newborn girl used to be 51 years. Now it is 84 years. But how do we care for our elderly relatives once they begin to lose the ability to care for themselves?

Over the past 125 years there have been massive changes in our health and lifestyle. What Australians now die of, and the age at which they die, is very different to what it used to be. Up until 1932, infectious and parasitic diseases caused at least 10% of all deaths each year, with death rates from these diseases highest among the very young and very old. Improvements in living conditions, such as better water supplies, sewerage systems, food quality and health education, have led to overall lower death rates and longer life expectancy at all ages.

Starving Last in the Jungle | Genders and Partners | 7 Asset Protection Techniques

Protect your wealth – it’s a jungle out there

The benefits of Asset Protection and Planning

Starving Last in the Jungle | Genders and Partners | 7 Asset Protection Techniques

How many million-dollar lawsuits against homeless people do you hear about? None. That’s because lawsuits aren’t filed against poor people; they are filed against those with enough assets to make the expense of litigation worthwhile.

We all need to maintain an acute awareness of what can happen in ‘the modern jungle.’ None of us want bad things to happen to us and our families, such as bankruptcy, creditors, predators, gold-diggers, the ATO… but we need to keep our guard up against others who may not share our foundational assumptions of fair play and justice. Other, perhaps more aggressive ideologies, could run right over our sweet & trusting natures if we let them.

‘Asset Protection’ is about being prepared for possible outcomes (contingencies) and doing what you can to minimise the damage and prevent the worst outcome from happening.