Aged Care & Retirement Planning Lawyers Gold Coast
Our Gold Coast Lawyers are here to help make your transition through the next chapter in your life a positive experience and to reduce your stress when making these important health and lifestyle decisions.
When planning your retirement and future health care needs, it is important to seek personalised legal advice from someone who has a comprehensive understanding of the aged care and retirement living industry, as well as the local knowledge to help you make informed decisions.
Our future health care needs and living arrangements are topics we will all need to consider as we age. Planning ahead is the key. There is a lot to consider when making these important decisions about your life, particularly when searching for a solution that best suits your financial circumstances and the lifestyle you want to maintain.
The Gold Coast has a vast number of aged care providers who all differ in the level of care and comfort that they offer. The aged care and retirement living sector can be an extremely complex market to navigate, and understanding the fees associated with aged care can be overwhelming. By getting trusted advice you can have peace of mind in knowing you have the most up-to-date information to make the best choice for your future.
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Our Gold Coast aged care and retirement planning services include:
There are various ways people who are entering into a retirement village or aged care facility can choose to occupy the premises. These include a long-term lease, licence, or by way of strata title ownership.
Under a long-term lease, the resident is entitled to live in the property for a specified period, pursuant to the lease (most commonly this is set to 99 years). The retirement village owner maintains ownership of the property; however, the lease is registered in the resident’s name providing security in tenure. Beyond the lease agreement, a ‘Service Agreement’ sets out the terms and conditions that apply to the services provided during the time the resident is living at the facility.
Before you move into an aged care home, you will be required to sign a Resident Agreement. A Resident Agreement is a formal agreement between the resident and the facility. It sets out the care and services that the aged care home will provide, and how much you will be asked to contribute to the costs of that service.
It is imperative that any prospective residents thoroughly review their agreement before they move into an aged care facility. We recommend that all prospective residents obtain independent and trusted legal advice from an experienced aged care lawyer before signing the agreement or paying any money to the aged care home they choose.
Granny flats and dual living homes continue to grow in popularity on the Gold Coast. Many elderly parents are choosing to occupy a granny flat or the dual living space on a property instead of making the move to an aged care facility, helping them remain in their home for longer.
Entering into a properly drafted Granny Flat Agreement when moving into a granny flat or dual living space is not to be overlooked. Despite having the best intentions when making these type of living arrangements with close family members, circumstances can change very quickly, and unforeseen issues can arise. A Granny Flat Agreement 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 parent “gifting” the property. Granny flat rules allow for any money paid to be exempt from the usual deeming legislation by Centrelink.
The requirements are quite flexible, and you do not have to physically build a separate 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, Centrelink will approve the arrangement in most cases.
We care about your future and can help you confidently plan your retirement when you are considering moving into a retirement or aged care facility. Our experienced estate planning lawyers can assist you in reviewing your estate plan and ensuring your assets a protected in all stages of your life.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers have a dedicated Gold Coast team that practice exclusively in elder law, with extensive experience in helping clients understand their rights and obligations under retirement village leases, service contracts, and aged care resident agreements. From deciding how to finance their new lifestyle and care arrangements, to making sure their estate plan reflects their intentions and wishes for the future, our Gold Coast lawyers can help guide you through this next chapter in your life.
With an Accredited Aged Care Professional on our team, we can create personalised strategies to assist our clients. Wills and Estates Senior Associate, Debbie Sage, completed the Accredited Aged Care Professional Program and has a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by aged care residents, care providers, and the state governments.
Have the confidence in knowing you are getting trusted advice that takes into consideration your personal circumstances. We will help make your transition to care a positive experience.
A great place to start is by visiting www.myagedcare.gov.au. You will be able to find information regarding the types of care available to you, what is involved in the assessment process, and research providers in your local area.
We recommend that you speak to a trusted financial adviser who is an Accredited Aged Care Adviser when making important future financial decisions. By seeking advice from an Accredited Aged Care Adviser, they will be able to assist you with your financial decision-making process and help you access and fund the most appropriate aged care solution to suit your specific circumstances.
To find a local Accredited Aged Care Adviser in your area, visit www.agedcaresteps.com.au/state/queensland/
Exiting or breaking an existing Retirement Living Agreement outside of the terms and conditions outlined in the contract can be a very costly exercise. It is for this reason that we cannot stress enough the importance to seek legal advice before entering into an agreement and moving into a retirement village or aged care facility. By planning ahead, and understanding your obligations under the agreement, you will avoid getting any nasty surprises later on.
Most retirement villages have a list of rules that all residents must abide by. These may determine whether or not residents are allowed to keep pets in the facility, whether you are able to hang photographs or paintings on the walls in your room, or the times visitors are allowed to visit you at the facility, to name a few.
It is very important to familiarise yourself with the rules set out by your facility under your agreement. If you are not familiar with the rules and break a rule without realising it, there may be serious consequences, and your agreement may even be terminated for serious breaches of the rules.
Our lawyers will always thoroughly run through residence rules with you so that you have a complete understanding of your rights and obligations.
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With specialised experience in the aged care and retirement living industry, we are here to help you make an informed decision about your transition to care and the next chapter in your life.