Elder Law and Succession

2017/18 Annual Report

The Elder Law and Succession Planning Committee’s particular areas of interest are:

  • power of attorney reform, including interstate mutual recognition;
  • legislative progress in succession law;
  • probate practice; and
  • the Family Provision Act 1972 (WA).

The Committee liaises with the Law Council of Australia National Elder Law and Succession Committee of which the Convenor is the national Chair, and with the Supreme Court of Western Australia Probate Committee on which a Committee member (currently the Convenor) represents the Law Society.

In the past year, the Committee completed its review of the Report of the Statutory Review of the Guardianship and Administration Act 1990. The Law Society made submissions to the Attorney
General on the recommendations in the Report, which have been provided to the Department of Justice for consideration when an amendment Bill is at the drafting stage.

The Committee has been monitoring the progress of the inquiry by the Legislative Council Select Committee into Elder Abuse. The Law Society has provided the Select Committee with the Law
Council of Australia’s submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Elder Abuse Inquiry, to which the Committee contributed.

Members of the Committee have also contributed to the Law Society’s briefing paper in relation to end of life choices.

The Committee is conducting the following reviews:

  • a review of the Retirement Villages Act 1992 (WA) having regard to recent legislative reforms in Queensland; and
  • a review to extend Statutory Wills to minors.

The Committee also consulted with the Law Society’s Education Committee for a CPD seminar on Succession law and secret offspring, which examined the decision in Lemon v Mead, limited and special grants of administration and assets outside the will.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au