COVID-19 is placing older Australians at increased risk of abuse due to growing pressure on families and isolation away from community supports. Making and revoking Enduring Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian documents can prevent and combat elder abuse. The law in NSW requires solicitors to be physically present to witness the making or revoking of these documents. This is impossible where COVID-19 prevents solicitors from assisting clients in-person.
There is a current window for the NSW Government to allow the use of videoconferencing to make and revoke Enduring Power of Attorney and Appointment of Enduring Guardian documents, by making regulations under the COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Act 2020.
We are aware, from our clients and sector partners, of growing community demand and need for the changes.