Elder Law and Retirement Planning are areas of estate planning relating to government benefits such as veterans’ pensions, Medicare & Centrelink, as well as to accommodation issues specific to seniors, such as retirement village contracts. Other issues might include the need for long term care planning, solving disputes with family members, providing for powers of attorney, medical care planning or guardianship.
Elder Law is a growing specialty of estate planning that helps the elderly deal with many of the problems unique to their circumstances as retirees:
- Preservation or transfer of assets seeking to avoid spousal impoverishment when one spouse enters a nursing home;
- Medicare claims and appeals; qualification and application; planning strategies;
- Centrelink (formerly department of social security) pensions and disability claims and appeals;
- Private health insurance issues;
- Superannuation and life insurance issues;
- Disability planning, including use of durable powers of attorney, discretionary trusts, advanced directives & “living wills,” for financial management and health care decisions, and other means of delegating management and decision-making to another in case of incompetency or incapacity;
- Estate planning, including planning for the management of one’s estate during life and its disposition on death through the use of trusts, Wills and other planning documents;
- Administration and management of trusts and estates;
- Long term care placements in nursing home and life care communities;
- Nursing home issues including questions of capacity, patients’ rights and nursing home quality;
- Elder abuse and fraud recovery cases;
- Housing issues, including discrimination and home equity conversions (reverse mortgage);
- Age discrimination in employment;
- Retirement, including public and private retirement benefits, survivor benefits and pension benefits;
- Mental health issues, especially regarding capacity and ability to live independently;
Rod Genders is a senior Australian lawyer specialising in accident compensation and estate planning in Adelaide. His boutique specialist law firm is one of the oldest and most respected in Australia – visit it at www.genders.com.au . Rod is also a prolific author and speaker. Some of his articles and books on Wills, Probate, Trusts, Estate Planning, Asset Protection and Retirement Planning may be found at www.genders.com.au/adelaide-lawyer-blog.
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