Hunter-based law firm, Catherine Henry Lawyers has produced a free legal guide to help people successfully plan for and navigate the challenges of growing older.
Lead Author, Jessica Rea and colleagues from the firm’s wills and estate law, family law and health law teams produced Growing Older to help people to protect their interests and wishes so they may grow old gracefully, happily, financially strong and with dignity.
Jessica, a Wills and Estate Planning and Family Law Solicitor, said many people don’t like to think about growing older, so they don’t plan for it.
She said it is essential to plan for growing older especially as people are living longer and more people are living in blended family situations.
“As we age, our accommodation needs, relationships and health issues change,” Jessica said.
“Our personal legal issues can become more complex, and we can be at risk of elder abuse. The law can help us navigate these changes and make the most of our hard-earned assets – while we are living and after we have passed away.”
The e-book was launched at an event at Fort Scratchley on Thursday 21 September.
At the event, a panel of experts discussed topics including: healthy ageing, aged friendly cities, aged care accommodation and contracts, elder abuse wills and estate planning as well as planning for retirement.
Panellists included Elderlaw Legal Services Principal Rodney Lewis AM; Geriatrician and Co-founder of the citizen-formed advocacy group Hunter Ageing Alliance Dr John Ward; Financial Adviser and Accredited Aged Care Specialist at Central Coast Financial Planning Group Rosie Copp; and Jessica.
Principal of Catherine Henry Lawyers, Catherine Henry was the Panel Moderator.
The firm has produced other free community resources on topics including the NDIS, women and the law, women’s health and family law. The e-books and other resources can be downloaded from the firm’s website. The topics in the guide are also covered in a recent episode of the firm’s monthly Law Matters podcast.
“Having an updated will is a great start but there are other legal documents that can help such as advanced care directives, powers of attorney and enduring guardianship,” Jessica said.
“Understanding your legal rights is important when navigating aged care and the law can help protect you against the growing issue of elder abuse, particularly financial elder abuse.
“It is never too early or too late to start planning for growing older and we hope the e-book will help people to start or continue that process,” Jessica concluded.
IMAGE | Jessica Rea, solicitor at Catherine Henry Lawyers, with a copy of Growing Older.