Legal Pathways Program gives aged pensioners access to legal services

Helping hand: Council of the Ageing NSW CEO Meagan Lawson.

Helping hand: Council of the Ageing NSW CEO Meagan Lawson.

Aged pensioners or anyone holding a seniors health care card can now access legal services to draw up important documents.

The Legal Pathways Program is made available through the Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW and Legal Aid NSW.

The program is government funded for two years.

COTA CEO Meagan Lawson says the service is ready to go.

"In the first instance, aged pensioners can get in touch with the office and we can make them an appointment with the appropriate solicitor," Ms Lawson said.

"We have organised access with a few different solicitors.

"Once you ring in, we make an assessment on your specific needs and set the necessary appointment with that appropriate solicitor."

Ms Lawson said the service would cover documents including Wills, an enduring power of attorney and an enduring guardianship.

The service is at a reduced cost, she said.

Having these documents in place makes life easier for everyone involved.

Meagan Lawson

"Having these documents in place makes life easier for everyone involved.

"The individual has peace of mind that their assets are taken care of while the family knows the documents are finalised.

"It can be quite an expensive exercise to complete these documents, so this program may help some people get everything in place.

"Through the program, individuals are given a direct pathway to qualified solicitors who will meet up with them and draw up the relevant documents at a cost of $50 per document."

Ms Lawson said there is currently no register to gauge the take up rate for people to complete legal documents.

"It's a bit of a hole in the system," she said.

The CEO also said it was important to keep all legal documents regularly updated as your circumstances change.

To book an appointment under the program contact Ruth on 1800 449 102. The service operates between 9am and 5pm with a message system in place for out of hours phone calls.

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