LSJ - August 2017
Legal updates WILLS AND ELDER ABUSE
e importance of involving health practitioners was also em- phasised by W Bonython and B Arnold (submission 241). ey pointed to the error of ‘con at- ing common diagnostic tests for cognitive impairment with the test for legal capacity’ and ‘fail- ure to recognise the context-de- pendent nature of legal capacity’. Conclusion Pressuring older people to make or change their wills is an exam- ples of nancial abuse, both in general guidelines on elder abuse
e matters in the ALRC’s recommendation are similar to ones recommended by the VLRC and are designed to re- duce the risk of undue in uence. A national approach e ALRC advocates a national approach and a rms the im- portant role that law societies and the Law Council can play in assisting lawyers to identify critical issues relating to elder abuse, including with respect to: legal capacity; undue in u- ence; entering into guarantees and reverse mortgages in the in-
Pressuring older people tomake or change their wills in particular ways are examples of financial abuse, both in general guidelines on elder abuse and raised by stakeholders in the ALRC’s Inquiry... With an ageing population, the potential site for elder abuse in the willmaking context can only grow.
and raised by stakeholders in the ALRC’s Inquiry. Almost 60 per cent of adult Australians have made a will and 93 per cent of people over 70 years of age have a will (Purser et al, submission 298, 8). With an ageing population, the potential site for elder abuse in the willmaking context can only grow. Practitioners can and should be placed in the best position they can be to contribute to its prevention. * is article is drawn from Chapter 8 of Elder Abuse – A National Legal Response , ALRC Report 131, May 2017.
terests of others; and misuse of in uence by carers. A coordinat- ed national approach would assist in overcoming the problem identi ed by a group of QUT academics, ‘that each of these sets of guidelines is being produced independently of the oth- ers’, which may ‘cause confusion and undermine attempts at establishing best practice’ (Dr Kelly Purser, Dr Bridget Lew- is, Kirsty Mackie and Prof Karen Sullivan, submission 298 ) . e QUT group also noted the importance of involving other professionals in developing guidelines on capacity assessment.
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74 LSJ I ISSUE 36 I AUGUST 2017
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