Aged Care & Retirement Planning Lawyers Gold Coast

Our Gold Coast elder law specialists 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 industry, as well as the local knowledge to help you make informed choices.

Our Gold Coast elder law specialists support you through every stage of life.

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 support and comfort that they offer. The aged care sector can be an extremely complex market to navigate, and understanding the fees associated with these services 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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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 is 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 Gold Coast aged care lawyers can help with:

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.

Our team can review your agreements and provide you with advice to ensure you have a complete understanding of the terms and conditions within the agreement and any fees you will be obligated to pay.

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 types 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 and protect your assets 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 are protected at all stages of your life.

Find out more about or estate planning services.

FAQs

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 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 aged care and retirement planning lawyers will always thoroughly run through residence rules with you so that you have a complete understanding of your rights and obligations.

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

With vast experience as elder law specialists, we are here to help you make an informed decision about your transition to care and the next chapter in your life.

Donna

Tolley

Message our Department Manager, Donna