Thomas Carr, a solicitor based in regional Queensland and ANU Master of Laws student, was awarded the inaugural John Mitchell Prize for Estate Planning for receiving the course's highest mark.
Why did you choose ANU?
At the time I decided to enrol in a master's degree at ANU, I had recently started working as a criminal and succession lawyer in the South Burnett region of Queensland.
In the past, regional lawyers like myself would have had to uproot themselves and transfer to larger centres to pursue higher education; however, the online courses offered by the ANU have increased access to education for those of us who are either unable or unwilling to move to the city. I am really enjoying the opportunity to further my studies at a university as prestigious as ANU whilst being able to continue living in a community that I enjoy. For this, I am very grateful to the ANU College of Law.
What have been your observations of estate planning in practice?
Through my brief experience, I have noticed that action taken under the succession legislation (in all states) is often protracted and therefore very costly. I have also noticed that a vast majority of these proceedings could be avoided with an appropriately drafted will and further succession plan. I therefore hope to use what I have learnt during this course to increase access to quality estate services in my region and hopefully prevent issues at the 'will drafting stage'.