Elder law and commars

I’ve long been a fan of the commar; its use clarifying and assisting with the comprehension of text.


As a result, I’ve noticed myself adding many a commar into the long-winded slabs of legalese that is the Probate Rules. But please note, these rules are a walk in the park compared to much I’ve read. Take for example jargon-filled and painfully-slow paragraphs of constitutional law cases, where I would literally need to strech my legs and make a cuppa at the halfway point of a single sentence.

And why is it so often difficult to understand the writings of the law? I have no doubt that it stems from the language used years and years ago when laws were born and adopted from other countries.

But the question remains – when everything around us seems to be breaking boundaries and moving forward, why is much of the legal world living in the past?

Does it give lawyers another reason to charge to decipher the law, or do law-makers think ‘if it ain’t broke (but is just old and fuddy-duddy) then don’t fix it’?

Connections to the past give law authority; a sign of having stood the test of time. It fills it with history and gives it culture.

Much law, especially the law relating to wills and estate administration, has that (surprisingly pleasant) musty feel to it, a hint of old armchair and newspaper crosswords. But it isn’t stale; the law is forever changing. It gains youth as the world around it develops – take media and animal law for example. Refreshing and intriguing, yet no doubt tied to principles and modes of thinking that developed years and years ago.

But it is to wills and estates that I find myself drawn; an area of law that survives death but fails to survive without it. So connected to the past but forever looking into the future.

It plans for future generations, while constantly reminding us of our own mortality. It ages as much as it progresses, endlessly influenced by modern-day wealth mangement and the evolving concept of ‘family’.


The Probate Rules

‘I’ll just highlight the important bits’, I thought to myself.

It wasn’t long before I saw a trend appearing; pages and pages of Probate Rules had become neon.

‘So maybe I’ll underline they key words with pen’, I pondered.

That idea seemed to work. So did putting boxes or circles in pen around those words I considered even more significant than key words…

It was downhill from there.

I then decided to add a handful of arrows and asterics, as well as references to other relevant rules and sections of the Administration and Probate Act. Add a splash of pink and some ruled pencil lines and, well, …


But on the upside; sureties’ guarantees and obliterated or interlineated wills? Not a problem. 😀