Tanya Chapman is a Senior Associate specialising in estates and elder law
Tanya is a Senior Associate at the firm and works exclusively in the area of estates and elder law – an area she is passionate about. It is her mission to ensure that every client has the information they need to make informed decisions and plan for the future.
Tanya was admitted to legal practice in 2010. She obtained her legal qualifications in Canberra – Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law at the University of Canberra followed by the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University. Tanya then went on to study in Japan obtaining a Master of Law degree from Kyushu University – the International, Economics and Business Law Masters Program.
Back in Australia, Tanya worked at the College of Law in Sydney as a senior content developer in the Applied Masters programme – designing and creating materials for existing and new subjects in the estate and family law areas.
Having decided to specialise in elder law, Tanya then obtained a position working for the well-known elder law practitioner, Richard McCullagh at central coast firm Patrick McHugh & Co. In the years Tanya worked with Richard McCullagh, she obtained diverse experience in the full spectrum of elder law services including preparation of wills and estate drafting and probate matters, advising and acting in retirement accommodation issues, providing aged care and elder law advice, acting in commercial leasing and sale and purchase of business.
Tanya’s most recent position was as a solicitor at the Elder Abuse Legal Service within the NSW Legal Aid Commission – a relatively new specialist service. Here she provided legal advice and representation for older persons experiencing elder abuse. A significant part of her role was to develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders working with older clients and promoting awareness of elder abuse.
At Catherine Henry Lawyers, Tanya has responsibility for the following:
- Retirement village advice – moving in, moving out or just living there
- Manufactured Home Park advice
- Residential aged care contracts and advice
- “Granny flat” agreements – advice and drafting agreements
- Family loans – advice and drafting loan agreements
- Providing advice and assistance in relation to granny flat matters that have gone wrong
Estate and incapacity planning
- Estate planning advice
- Drafting wills to suit the client
- Providing advice on incapacity documents – Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardian and Advanced Care Directive
- Drafting incapacity documents to suit the client – Power of Attorney, Enduring Guardian and Advanced Care Directive
- Providing advice on proceedings in the Guardianship Division of NCAT (NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal)
Elder abuse matters
- Evicting an adult family member from the client’s home,
- Financial abuse, including abuse of power by the appointed attorney or financial manager
- Seeking the return of money or property that was not freely gifted
Tanya is strongly committed to increasing public knowledge of elder law issues within the community and has presented many seminars to a diverse range of groups on topics such as granny flats accommodation, family loans, wills and incapacity documents.
Tanya also scripted, voiced and edited the Age, Abuse & Justice Youtube video series and podcast produced by the NSW Legal Aid Commission and in those forums, discussed elder abuse cases to raise awareness of what elder abuse looks like and how the law deals with it.
“The field of elder law focuses the law towards the needs of older persons- influenced by feelings of obligation and trust towards family members and also increased care needs and end-of-life planning. It is essential that older persons are empowered to make fully informed decisions in their own best interests and are protected from abuse”.
Law Society of New South Wales
Central Coast Law Society
Newcastle Law Society
In addition to her significant community speaking engagements over the years, Tanya has – since 2017- been a visitor with the Community Visitor Scheme – a support program that links socially isolated residential age care residents with a volunteer for regular visits and companionship.
In 2018-2019, Tanya was an active participant of the Living with Dementia program run by Integrated Living and in that role, providing free seminars throughout the year on wills and incapacity documents to dementia groups composed of people recently diagnosed with dementia and their family members.
Tanya has also volunteered her time and specialist skills to the Salvation Army Community Wills Day on the Central Coast.