Remember the Tom Hanks movie – #Terminal ? The attached article echoes that movie in reporting on the troubles of a person declared legally dead. This French woman is experiencing many significant problems as a result of such a declaration, and she has sought the help of a lawyer. It had me wondering? If a client, who has been declared legally dead, attempted to engage a lawyer to seek a reversal of a declaration of death, can you ethically and legally act for them? In Qld the GAAT provides the ability to make that application, but in the meantime what is the person’s legal status?
Australia’s connection to these type of cases goes back to its settlement days, with the notorious case of the Tichborne Claimant. A case of declaration of death of an English nobleman and a bloke from Wagga Wagga claiming to be said long lost soul. One could argue one of the earliest cases of #elderabuse. His mother was so bereft, she was convinced the bloke from Wagga Wagga was her long lost son. Turns out he was a fraudster and the lawyer who represented him didn’t fare so well either. The story stands proud in the National Portrait Gallery.
Photo from National Portrait Gallery