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The Kriedemanns have been valued Equity Trustees clients for a number of years. Based about an hour north of Brisbane, Kerri-Ann and David have a beautiful son, Lachlan, aged 10, who has cerebral palsy.

Following medical negligence at Lachlan’s birth, he was awarded compensation in recognition of challenges his life would include as a result of the circumstances of his birth.

In compensatory matters (usually medical negligence or transport accident cases) the court requires that a trustee is appointed with the purpose of ensuring that money awarded is managed as best as possible to support the person to live and be cared for as well as possible for the rest of their lives. Every case and every set of circumstances are different, so the ability to partner closely with the individual and their families and carers is critical to quality of life and good trustee decision-making.

For example, in Lachlan’s case, a trust was set up in Lachlan’s name and some of the funds used to build a new house that can properly accommodate Lachlan and his needs.

Initially Lachlan’s trust was managed out of Melbourne but this proved impractical and created challenges to building the relationship and the partnership needed to serve Lachlan and his family well. The family needed someone closer to home to manage the process.

It was then that Katrina Harper, our Senior Trust Manager based in Brisbane, began looking after the Kriedemanns – about 2 years ago now. It was exactly what the family needed: a local who was always there for them. Katrina can get into her car and drive to the family for a couple of hours whenever they need to catch up.

David said, “Things are much better having a local Brisbane-based contact. Katrina comes to visit and will often spend half a day with us. She can walk around garden and walk around house. We feel we have a really good connection with her. And being based in Brisbane means it’s easier to feel connected with her – and for her to understand us.”

One of the issues Lachlan suffers from is anxiety at night. Mum Kerri-Ann sleeps on the floor in his bedroom to try and lower his anxiety. But things are about to change for Lachlan – a Smart Puppy has been ordered for him.

Smart Puppies are specifically trained for an individual person’s needs. Kerri-Ann and David are hopeful Lachlan’s puppy will help with the anxiety and ultimately keep Lachlan calm from the foot of his bed, instead of Mum. Currently the pup is still in training but will graduate and join the Kriedemann family in March 2019.

The Kriedemanns recently sent Katrina a photo of the adorable pooch-in-training, who has been appropriately named ‘Dream’. “I think everyone at Equity Trustees is looking forward to seeing pictures of Lachlan and Dream,” says Katrina. “We’ve all been thrilled that this could be something we could help with.”

“Working in this area of service as a trustee means every day is as different as the people we support. Whether it’s an individual regime of health services and medical appointments, to making sure their living and financial arrangements are the best they possibly can be to live a fulfilling happy life, we are proud to have the privilege of being in the lives of people like Lachlan and his family.”