In a recent edition of Cambridge News, our Elder Law team was showcased.
People rather than paper is Naomi Lee’s passion. A specialist in elder law, Naomi is an advocate for the rights of older people with expertise that enables her to help clients across a broad spectrum of legal needs. She assists in areas of estate planning and administration, occupation right agreements, wills, powers of attorney, residential care loans and subsidies and other various aspects that constitute elder law. Naomi also has expertise in residential conveyancing and provides advice and support to her clients through their property transactions.
Her genuine care and compassion make clients feel at ease. She takes the time to get to know them and gain an understanding of their needs to offer the best possible advice and outcomes. “Working with clients at retirement age is an area I especially enjoy. And I get the perk of their amazing stories, which is all part of the job I love.”
Naomi manages numerous situations where older people are moving into retirement villages. She understands how hard selling the family home and downsizing may be, and the health and family factors that can come into play. She helps clients to get their affairs in order by highlighting practical considerations to ensure everything is on par. This can range from helping with decisions as to methods of sale of their property, to discussing the process of settlement and what happens on the day to ease worry, as well as explaining the legal side of things in a language that is easily understood. “I explore the reasons behind their decisions, ensure my clients have done the right research, and make sure they are happy with their decisions before moving to the legal side of things. I assist with with the legal details that go into making a move and aim to make the process as seamless as possible.”
She said villages in Cambridge are helpful and flexible, particularly with settlement days, and good relationships have been built with village managers.
Older people can be seen as vulnerable, and layers of protection and laws are in place to protect them and make sure everything is above board. Elder law encompasses a broad range of issues affecting older people and can be confusing. Naomi goes out to bat for her clients.
She is a valued member of BNI, the Hamilton Business Network International group, and volunteers at Community Law Waikato. The busy mother of three puts her heart and soul into her job.
Aging is inevitable, and Lewis Lawyers solicitor, Lisa Lynch, has a good handle on what issues people may face as they grow older. Highly accomplished, with many strings to her bow, including degrees in law and music, Lisa not only has academic prowess, she also has deep respect for, and a special affinity with seniors. Lisa has many fond memories of visiting her grandparents in retirement homes around Cambridge. She grew up locally and spent many childhood hours with her grandparents. “I saw the joys and lows of what older people experience in their later years.”
These experiences channelled her into a legal career specialising in elder law. “It’s always been in my heart. I’m interested in the life stories of older people and respect their wisdom.”
She says Cambridge offers diverse retirement village options, and some centres are taking people at 50 years. Different prices and amenities target people from all walks of life and range from the more affordable end of the market to luxurious, high-end lifestyle offerings.
As retirement villages vary in fee structures, social facilities, health care offerings and residents’ support, choosing the right one for current and future needs is important. “Needs vary,” says Lisa.
“Some people want a community where they can socialise, and others prefer a quieter life. When guiding clients to make best decisions it is important to fully understand their needs and circumstances, and what flow
on care they may require.”
This is particularly important for those in dementia units. “I need to be the eyes and ears for that person. They have the right to be heard and protected at this vulnerable stage of their life.”
Navigating your way around elder law is best left to a professional. Lisa has an in depth understanding of the law and its implications and is a passionate advocate for seniors. She also has her finger on the pulse of Cambridge’s retirement sector. “There are major plans to build more facilities, but there are delays in some build projects. Waiting lists are long and I advise people to look at different options and compare them. Given the current situation, it’s not certain you’ll get your first choice.”
What is Elder Law?
Elder law is a specialist area that includes services such as wills and estates, enduring powers of attorney, both in relation to property, and to care and welfare, advice on residential property and retirement villages, and legal protections for older people. Lewis Lawyers help elderly people transition from their own home to residential rest home care and this can involve the process of selling a home and downsizing to smaller accommodation, all of which can be stressful for someone in advancing years.
Things change as people age. An elder law solicitor can advise in all aspects of future planning and undertake a full review of your affairs to ensure you receive the right entitlements and care, and that your estate is managed
according to your wishes.
The team at Lewis Lawyers covers an extensive range of matters including occupational rights agreements, succession planning, enduring powers of attorney, PPPR applications (property manager and welfare), capacity issues, residential loans and subsidies, administration of accounts, asset protection and elder abuse.
Cambridge’s Legal Champions
Firmly entrenched in the local community, Lewis Lawyers has been delivering tailored legal solutions since 1906. The firm’s expert legal services span an extensive range of practice areas. The team comprises collaborative and pragmatic lawyers dedicated to walking with you to simplify and resolve your legal matters.