Elder Law

Elder Law LawyersElder Law - Wills, enduring powers of attorney, down sizing your home, buying into a retirement village or moving into rest home or residential care - As we live longer, the issues faced by seniors are evolving and today require specialised legal advice.

Our Elder Law specialists will take the time to understand you or your family member’s individual situation.  The decisions related to this time of life can be complicated, and the law around it very different to what you are used to – for example buying into a retirement village is very different to buying a normal house.

We’ll guide you through your options in a clear and easy to understand manner and ensure that you understand the best way to organise your property and personal affairs both now and in the future.

It is always best to seek advice before illness or incapacity.  However we can also assist if you have family members who become incapacitated without prior legal planning.

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Estate Planning and Asset Protection

Estate planning is about ensuring that all your legal affairs are in order and reflect your wishes, in the event that you become incapacitated or pass away.  As you advance in years, this becomes even more important.  Without the correct, up to date legal documentation, your family may be tied up in costly court processes and your wishes may not be followed.

Your legal plans should be reviewed regularly, to ensure that your current wishes and changes to the law are reflected.

Estate planning is also about ensuring that your assets are protected, both now and in the future. These days families can be complicated, we can help ensure that your assets are protected and advise you on the best vehicles to ensure that those hard earned assets are distributed as you would like upon your death.

  • Wills (last will and testament)
  • Living Wills
  • Digital Estates
  • Family Trusts
  • Advanced directives (living wills/ end of life decisions)
  • Pre-paid Funerals
  • Enduring powers of attorney for personal care and welfare
  • Enduring powers of attorney for property
  • Relationship property agreements

 

PPPR Applications

What happens if your loved one becomes mentally incapacitated through illness or injury and they do not have enduring powers of attorney in place? Before you are able to act on behalf of the incapacitated person, you will need to make an application under the Protection of Personal Property Right Act (PPPR). We can prepare an application to the Court for you to be appointed as a welfare guardian or property manager.

There are limited time frames for orders; we can also assist with applications for further orders where previous orders are set to expire.

  • Applications to be appointed Property Manager
  • Applications to be appointed Welfare Guardian
  • Applications for further orders where previous orders set to expire

 

Elderly Rates Rebate

People with limited incomes qualify for a rates rebate from the council, this can be a simple process but becomes complicated if the home you live in is owned by a family trust. We can assist by registering a lease on the property, enabling you to qualify for a rates rebate.

  • Executing a lease on property owned by family trust

 

Downsizing Your Home

If you are not ready to move into a retirement home, but are looking to downsize you may be looking at buying property with significantly different legal ramifications than your standard freehold property.  When buying into units, apartments or townhouses, we can help you understand the benefits and pitfalls of unit titles, body corporates, cross lease titles and other more complicated ownership structures

Alternatively you may be looking to subdivide your current property and either sell the new section, or build a new home on the new section.  We can assist with subdivisions and building contracts. 

  • Unit titles
  • Body corporates
  • Units
  • Cross leases
  • Leasehold property
  • Subdividing property
  • Residential building contracts

 

 

Buying into a retirement village, complex or community

Moving into a retirement village usually involves a very different type of ownership than your standard family home.  Our experts can advise on all the intricacies of retirement village contracts, from occupation licenses to leases to unit titles.

We can also assist with updating your wills and setting up enduring powers of attorney – which are a requirement from most retirement villages now. If you are intending to sell your house before you buy into the retirement complex, we can assist with the residential conveyancing for the sale of your home.

  • Advice on retirement village contracts
  • Advice on understanding the advantages and pitfalls
  • Occupation right agreements
  • Licences to occupy
  • Enduring powers of attorney
  • Wills
  • Residential conveyancing for the sale of your home

 

 

Moving into a Rest Home or Residential Care Facility

Moving into a rest home or residential care facility can be an expensive undertaking.  Who pays?  How does previous gifting to a family trust affect whether or not you qualify for a the Government’s residential care subsidy.

We can provide advice on the asset threshold limits, advise on exemptions for residential care subsidies or assistance with applying for a residential care loan if you do not qualify for a residential care subsidy.

  • Residential care subsidy
  • Residential care loan applications
  • Impact of gifting on residential care subsidy
  • Advice on exemptions to the asset thresholds for residential care subsidies