Protection when things go wrong
Farmer Freddy’s family had gathered at the hospital.
Unfortunately Freddy’s health wasn’t improving after the fall he had taken at the farm a few weeks ago. Things were looking grim.
Freddy’s wife Wilma and his daughter Pebbles were at his bedside. They were naturally concerned about Freddy, but adding to their stress was what they were going to do about the ongoing management of the farm. Unfortunately the bills kept rolling in, and there were also a number of contracts that Freddy needed to sign.
“Freddy assured me that he made Enduring Powers of Attorney with his solicitor a few months ago”, said Pebbles. “But I just contacted his lawyer who told me that he has no record of those ever being made.” Pebbles looked worried.
“That leaves us with a problem”, said Pebbles. “We will need to make some big decisions shortly. Some of those decisions will no doubt relate to Dad’s ongoing healthcare if things don’t improve shortly.”
“So what can we do?”, said Wilma. “Any suggestions would now be gratefully received.”
“Well, hopefully those Enduring Powers of Attorney will turn up. I’ll have another look around at home. If they don’t, however, one of us could apply to the Family Court to be appointed as Dad’s Welfare Guardian.
A Welfare Guardian is someone that will be appointed by the Court to carry out decisions on Dad’s behalf for all aspects of his personal care.
An application to the Family Court could also be made to appoint a Property Manager for Dad given that he is unable to manage his property and financial affairs.
For both of those applications, the Court could also make temporary orders where things are urgent.
The Family Court, on receiving an application for either the appointment of a Welfare Guardian or Property Manager, will also appoint a lawyer who would meet with Dad and also the person that has applied to be appointed. That lawyer will then file a report in the Court on why the application should be made and what should happen. It would be much easier if we had the Enduring Powers of Attorney though, as we could use those instead of having to go to the time and expense of the Court applications.”
“I think we should get the Court applications underway”, said Wilma. “No doubt that will take a certain amount of time, and as you say, some significant decisions will need to be made shortly.”
“I agree”, said Pebbles. “I’ll contact Dad’s lawyer and get things under way.”
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