Brisbane Elder Law Specialists & Retirement Planning Lawyers

As a leading elder law firm, our Brisbane team has the local knowledge and industry expertise to ensure your best interests are protected when you are transitioning through the next stage of your life.

When preparing for the future and making decisions about your health care needs, it is important to have an experienced aged care lawyer support you and help you understand the options available to you.

This sector in Brisbane can be difficult to navigate, and not all facilities will be a match for you or meet your needs and expectations.

Our elder law specialists can provide personalised legal advice to help you plan for your future. By getting trusted advice you can be confident in knowing you have set yourself up for a successful transition to care. Make sure you have reviewed any contracts thoroughly so that you understand your rights and obligations under these agreements. Ensure that you have accessed the most up-to-date information to give you absolute peace of mind that you have made the best choice for yourself and your family.

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Free Info Pack

For more information about transitioning to aged care, simply provide your details and our Information Pack will be sent to your inbox.

Accredited Aged Care Professional

What is an Accredited Aged Care Professional?

An Accredited Aged Care Professional is an individual who has successfully completed the Accredited Aged Care Professional Program, which is provided by Aged Care Steps. This accreditation is widely recognised as the gold standard for training in aged care advisory.

The program equips professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of aged care, ultimately empowering them to guide their clients in making well-informed decisions about their options.

Meet Debbie Sage, Partner

Accredited Aged Care Professional

Debbie is a Partner in the Wills and Estates and aged care team. With nearly 20 years’ experience in the field, Debbie heads our Aged Care department. She is passionate about fighting for change and is taking a stand to criminalise elder abuse. Debbie advocates for the safety and wellbeing of the elderly community and has been campaigning to introduce new laws that specifically criminalise elder abuse.

Debbie is able to provide her estate planning expertise and retirement planning advice to ensure her clients make informed decisions about their aged care options, including at home care packages, retirement village or residential care facilities.

Meet Larisa Kapur, Senior Associate

Accredited Aged Care Professional

Larisa excels in crafting creative solutions that cater to her clients’ personal preferences, lifestyles, and care needs. In addition to her legal duties, Larisa extends her commitment to the community by visiting aged care homes to offer valuable information and answer any questions people may have. 

She also actively participates in local Seniors Expos, striving to make vital legal information accessible to everyone and educate the community about their rights.

Meet Bindy Marshall, Paralegal

Accredited Aged Care Professional

Bindy Marshall has worked in the aged care industry for over eight years. She recognises that putting a loved one into care is one of the most stressful things a family member or friend can do. The people she assists are often at the end of their tether in their dealings with hospitals, aged care facilities and Centrelink. They need simplicity, compassion, and care, and Bindy thrives on being able to guide them through the labyrinth of aged care support.

In a show of true community spirit, Bindy founded the Aged Care We Care Appeal, which delivers over 1,000 gifts to residential aged care facilities and hospitals at Christmas time to those in our community who have no family or friends to visit.

Transitioning to aged care is a big decision – choose the right advisor

The aged care industry is constantly changing, and it is vital that individuals transitioning to aged care speak to an accredited professional to understand the regulations and policies that will impact their care choices and learn how to best negotiate with aged care facilities. Our team are well-equipped to provide valuable insights and advice across all aspects of aged care, including at-home care packages, retirement villages, and residential care facilities. When faced with the complex decisions of transitioning to aged care, choose the expertise and guidance of our Accredited Aged Care Professionals.

We can provide insight and professional advice regarding:

  • The aged care industry
  • The various choices of aged care accommodation
  • Aged Care Assessments (ACAT) and how they work
  • Centrelink and Veteran’s Affairs
  • Residential care fees and what people need to understand when entering a Retirement Village Agreement or Aged Care Facility Agreement
  • Estate planning and what documents people should have in place when entering an aged care facility.

Our Brisbane elder law specialists can help with:

Dual living homes and granny flat accommodation continue to grow in popularity across Brisbane. Many elderly people are choosing to occupy a granny flat or dual living space as an alternative to moving into an aged care facility. If you can make this type of living arrangement work with your family, it can help you remain in your home longer. 

It may seem unnecessary to sign a properly drafted Granny Flat Agreement when moving into a granny flat or dual living space with your family, however despite having the best intentions, your circumstances, or that of your family, can change very quickly. There are important factors to consider when entering into a Granny Flat Agreement, and by documenting the arrangement properly, you will ensure everyone’s interests are protected.

Usually, the transferred property or funds from a parent to a child would be deemed to be a gift and would affect the pension entitlements of the person “gifting” the property. Granny flat rules allow for any money paid to the child, to be exempt from the usual deeming legislation by Centrelink.

The requirements are quite flexible and you do not have to build a granny flat or separate residence. If there is a designated room that allows for your exclusive occupancy, and there is an agreement to support the arrangement, in most cases Centrelink will approve the arrangement.

Making proper arrangements for your estate is one of the most important things you can do for your family. Our experienced estate planning lawyers can help you plan, protect, and preserve your wishes. Using the most advantageous strategies, our lawyers will help ensure your estate is structured appropriately and your wishes are documented in a legally binding way. 

You can choose to occupy premises in a retirement village or aged care facility by:

  • Taking a long-term lease, where you are entitled to live in the property for a period of time pursuant to the lease. Under this arrangement, the retirement village owner maintains ownership of the property however, the lease is registered in the resident’s name providing security in tenure. Beyond a lease agreement, a ‘Service Agreement’ will also be entered into which will set out the terms and conditions that apply to your care plan, the services you receive, and the fees you have agreed to pay for those services.
  • Under licence; or by way of
  • Strata title ownership.


It is important to have an experienced lawyer review any contracts or agreements before you sign them so that you have a complete understanding about your rights and obligations under the agreement and to ensure that your new living and care arrangements meet your expectations.

A Resident Agreement is a formal agreement between the resident and the aged care facility, and it sets out the care and services the aged care home will provide and how much you will be asked to help pay for that service.

Before you move into an aged care home, it is recommended that you obtain independent legal advice from an experienced aged care lawyer who will go over the Resident Agreement with you.

Elder Law FAQs

By visiting www.myagedcare.gov.au you can find information about the types of care available, how  the assessment process works, and who your local aged care providers are. You can even check your eligibility and apply for an aged care assessment online through the website by completing a quick and easy 15-minute questionnaire.  

We recommend that you obtain advice from an Accredited Aged Care Financial Adviser who can help you with your retirement planning, wealth management, and savings planning. An Accredited Aged Care Adviser will help you access and fund the most appropriate aged care solution to suit your unique situation.

To find an Accredited Aged Care Adviser in Brisbane, visit www.agedcaresteps.com.au/state/queensland/

If you exit early or break a Retirement Village Agreement outside of the terms and conditions outlined, it can be a very expensive exercise. This is one of the main reasons why it is so important to obtain legal advice before entering into an agreement and moving into an aged care facility or retirement village. If you plan ahead and fully understand your obligations and responsibilities under the agreement, you will be able to avoid getting nasty surprises later on.

Most retirement villages have a list of rules that all residents must be aware of and follow. These may outline any number of conditions that come with living in your chosen retirement village facility, including (but not limited to):

  • whether or not residents are allowed to keep pets;
  • if you are able to hang photographs or paintings on the walls in your room; or
  • visiting hours for any guests you may have visit you at the facility.


It is important to familiarise yourself with the rules set out by your facility. If you are not familiar with the rules and happen to break a rule without realising it, there may be serious consequences. In some circumstances, your agreement may even be terminated for serious breaches of the rules.

Meet Our Accredited Aged Care Professionals

Meet Debbie Sage, Partner

Debbie is a Partner in the Wills and Estates and aged care team. With nearly 20 years’ experience in the field, she has built up extensive expertise and skills with a primary focus on estate administration matters. As an Accredited Aged Care Professional with Aged Care Steps, Debbie heads up Attwood Marshall Lawyer’s Aged Care department and provides insight and professional advice to clients regarding all areas of aged care and retirement planning.

Beyond her legal responsibilities, Debbie is a passionate advocate for legal reform and has actively led campaigns to combat elder abuse, amplifying the voices of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Meet Larisa Kapur, Associate

A valued member of the Wills and Estates Department for over nine years, Larisa Kapur works closely alongside Debbie.

In 2023, Larisa completed her Accreditation with the Aged Care Steps Program, underscoring her dedication to assisting elderly clients in making informed decisions about transitioning to care.

Larisa excels in crafting creative solutions that cater to her clients’ personal preferences, lifestyles, and care needs. In addition to her legal duties, Larisa extends her commitment to the community by visiting aged care homes to offer valuable information and answer any questions people may have. She also actively participates in local Seniors Expos, striving to make vital legal information accessible to everyone and educate the community about their rights.

What is an Accredited Aged Care Professional?

An Accredited Aged Care Professional is an individual who has successfully completed the Accredited Aged Care Professional Program, which is provided by Aged Care Steps. This accreditation is widely recognised as the gold standard for training in aged care advisory.

The program equips professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of aged care, ultimately empowering them to guide their clients in making well-informed decisions about their options.

The aged care industry is constantly changing, and it is vital that individuals transitioning to aged care speak to an accredited professional to understand the regulations and policies that will impact their care choices and learn how to best negotiate with aged care facilities.

Debbie and Larisa are well-equipped to provide valuable insights and advice across all aspects of aged care, including at-home care packages, retirement villages, and residential care facilities. When faced with the complex decisions of transitioning to aged care, choose the expertise and guidance of our Accredited Aged Care Professionals.

Accredited Aged Care Professional

Moving into Aged Care Checklist: Who to Notify

Moving into an aged care facility is a significant transition and we understand that it comes with a multitude of tasks to manage. We’ve put together a checklist outlining who to notify about your move to help you.

Contact our Department Manager

To speak to an experienced aged care lawyer, contact our friendly team today.

Donna

Tolley

Message our Department Manager, Donna