Keep your clients out of this Jurisdiction’s hands

Get in touch: 1800 770 780

How can we help?

Most lawyers, myself included do not want to go anywhere near the New South Wales Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). It is sometimes termed a ‘kangaroo court’. It is not a court but a tribunal set up under the 2013 Act. For a hearing, there is a president who is often a lawyer and a medical type person and a community member.

The major obstacle as to real justice is that the Tribunal is not bound by the rules of evidence. Secondly and especially in preliminary proceedings, your client may not be granted full legal representation. This can cost them their rights and perhaps ultimately the decision.

In 2018 two of my clients lost cases. The decisions of the tribunal were inexplicable.

  1. In the first case, the daughter had looked after her mother for some 20 years. She was a loving and exceptional carer. But in a fairly opinionated family dispute of 3 against 1, the majority wanted Mum put into a residential care facility because of advancing dementia. Mum was totally opposed to this.
  2. My client tried to adduce sound medical and caring evidence from Dementia Australia that the best place for this elderly lady to reside was her home of some 50 years. She would be well aware of her surroundings: where the bathroom and toilet were, her bed, pots and pans, the front steps. The Tribunal found against Dementia Australia and my client. The sadness to mother and daughter was excruciatingly painful.

In a similar case, a son had a quality bed sitter attached to his home. Grandchildren also resided in the son’s home. The daughter had put Dad into a residential care facility.

Again the father was not keen to stay in the facility which was about an hour from his daughter’s home. Even though good evidence was brought to the Tribunal that the daughter had taken substantial amounts of the father’s money she was supported to remain as Attorney with control of his remaining funds and guardian as to lifestyle decisions.

What can we advise?

Ensure that you and your parents and children have put in place documents prepared by an experienced Estate Planning Lawyer. That ‘experience’ may cost a few dollars more but will be worth it in the long run. Advised documents include:

  1.      Enduring Powers of Attorney
  2.      Advance Health Care Directives for the over 55’s or facing medical care
  3.      Appointment of Enduring Guardianship, and
  4.      A Will appropriate to your wealth and wealth structures (trusts, SMSF etc.).

Arrange to see Dr Lindsay Stoddart (9549 0747 or LMS@owenhodge.com.au ) or Chris Singh (9549 0704 CPS@owenhodge.com.au ) for a free 30-minute preliminary consultation.

Just ask us a question

We are always ready to help you.

ENQUIRE NOW