About Us

Elderly Services & Seniors Law Team

Having provided a full range of legal services to the people of Canterbury since 1888 it was a natural progression for Harmans to establish and develop areas of law that will provide their clients with expert advice in an increasingly diversified legal environment.

One such speciality area of law is the Elderly Services and Seniors Law Team, which was formed by Harmans in 1999 to coincide with the International Year of the Older Person.

Over the past 20 years, the Seniors Law Team has built on those early foundations and continues to diversify and grow as the baby boomer generation moves into retirement and the need for specialist legal advice in this area of law rapidly increases.

Examples of specialist areas of law, with a specific impact on seniors, are:

  • the growth of the retirement village industry and the need for expert legal advice prior to entry into an Occupation Right Agreement
  • the criteria surrounding eligibility for a Residential Care Subsidy, which requires a working knowledge of the current regulations, including the relevant asset and income testing levels and the Work and Income gifting regime, particularly in relation to Discretionary or Family Trusts
  • property ownership and how this may impact on you and your family as you move into retirement

The Seniors Law Team also ensures that clients have:

  • robust advice on asset protection and estate planning and how this will affect them as they move into retirement
  • valid Enduring Powers of Attorney for both Property and Personal Care & Welfare
  • valid Wills
  • assistance with a variety of legal work such as, conveyancing, Trust formation and on-going administration

One of our goals is to ensure that all of our Senior clients have access to legal advice and assistance.  Sometimes that requires us to take our service to our clients.  We can therefore arrange appointments in our clients’ homes, or when required, in the care facility or hospital they are residing in, either to take instructions or to witness their execution of the documents.

Phillipa Shaw is ably assisted by Olivia O'Brien.  Olivia has several years of legal experience prior to joining the Seniors Law Team and is a qualified Legal Executive.

Phillipa and her team look forward to continuing to develop their knowledge in this expanding area of law and look forward to helping you, and your families, with any queries you may have.


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