Australian Unity Trustees Legal Services Strive to Make a Difference as an Elder Law Specialist

To be honest, my greatest pride is being able to juggle my own remote work and my children’s distance learning. Australian Unity has always embraced flexible working conditions, but I have never been so grateful to have the support of the company I work in than when I had to completely change my day to manage classes, meetings , presentations, clients and manage a national team of lawyers.

I think the thing I’m most proud of is learning not to apologize and I think that’s something we all need to remember. We have a different way of working now and we should work flexibly with no excuses. Even though we did not intend to change everything in legal practice, we were forced to do so, and I think the vast majority of the profession mobilized and adopted it.

What should the profession focus on more?

While I believe there has been leaps and bounds over the past 18 months, we need to keep up the pressure to develop different ways of working that support flexibility and changing customer needs. We don’t need to go back to what was normal – we can create a new normal. Innovations such as electronic filing in court and remote testifying of wills are a good start, but a continued focus on ways we can let technology help us must be a goal so that the legal profession is not left behind. account.

What challenges do you expect in your practice, and in the area of ​​law in general, in the future? What challenges are particularly pressing in the country’s legal sector?

We need more cross-collaboration between professions – legal, finance, accounting, banking and others. This emerging issue appears to be something that I think is going in the right direction – I have noticed a positive change in the way banks, in particular, are protecting older customers and putting checks and balances in place for them. ‘ensure that there are no issues of elder abuse or embezzlement. A fantastic initiative and something that I absolutely applaud.

What I have also seen emerge is an increased number of situations where lawyers who are in good faith acting on behalf of principals who have lost their capacity have been questioned and, in some cases, prevented from acting. This conflict between the legal authority of a lawyer and the policy of an individual bank creates significant problems for those involved and while this is certainly well intentioned, I think everyone would benefit from coming together and working more. closely to understand where the real risks are. I like the emphasis on protecting elderly clients, but the policy should always be in line with the legal position.

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