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Care for Your Assets

Is this guide for you?

This guide is about the things that are important to everyone – family relationships, money and a place to live. Many older people choose to move with family members, so they can get the care they need as they get older. These arrangements often work well for everyone involved, but at Seniors Rights Victoria we see many that have gone wrong. Usually it is the older people who suffer the consequences and often this is avoidable.

This guide is for you if you are thinking about

  • Selling your home and giving the money to someone who has agreed to care for you in the future.
  • Moving in with a relative, or having a relative move in with you.
  • Transferring property to a close relative or friend.
  • Giving or lending money to someone.

The guide will help you think through the possible personal and legal outcomes of any new arrangements before you make changes. It provides information and lists services that offer confidential advice.

This guide will also help you if you have already made any of these changes.

Have you already made an arrangement that involves a property transfer?

If there is a disagreement about it, it is important to get legal advice as soon as you can. The law has time limits for certain types of legal action. If you delay getting advice, you may lose the chance to take steps to protect any legal interest you may have.

Download the PDF

The Care For Your Assets Booklet contains details about:

  • Looking after your relationships & your property
    What to do if you are thinking about living with and being cared for by your family
  • Family agreements
    How to work towards a formal Family Agreement
  • Family agreement checklist
    Issues to explore with your family prior to making a Family Agreement
  • Being cared for at home/sharing your home
    Getting support to keep living in your own home and to deal with a problem family member/someone who lives with you
  • Lending money
    Things to be aware of if you are planning to give or lend a family member money, or use your home to raise money for them
  • Planning ahead
    Information on decision-making capacity and appointing people to make decisions for you; information on making a will
  • Do you need a lawyer?
  • Where to get help
Download the PDF

Case Study: Jon is thinking about moving in with his son... 

Jon is 73 years old and lives independently in a unit he owns, but a recent bad cold has left him feeling frail and less able to cope on his own. Jon and his four children have begun to consider options for his future such as community care, residential aged care or Jon moving in with one of them. Bill, one of his sons, suggests Jon sell his unit and lend part of the proceeds to Bill and his wife to build an extension to their home where Jon will live. Bill says he will provide his father’s daily care.
Jon’s other children feel anxious about this and see part of their inheritance going to Bill. Jon is cautious. He wants to know more about how this new arrangement would work. He decides to move temporarily to his son’s house until he feels better.

Jon goes back to his own home feeling well and rested. His other children are unsure about the proposal for Jon to move in with Bill and his family, and how it might affect things. Jon’s daughter Grace wants him to go into aged care where he will be safe and secure. His other children agree, and think he should just transfer the ownership of his home evenly amongst them all. Grace has been talking to friends about aged care arrangements and costs. Some facilities require the payment of a bond, and people often sell their home to raise this money. She tells Jon they should find out whether he would need to pay a bond and how much it would be. 

Jon and his family think about a family agreement. Jon’s health declines and he needs more support. Jon loves all his children and knows they have his best interests at heart. He feels he cannot please all of them and do what is best for himself. He needs help to think things through but is reluctant to discuss these personal issues with a lawyer. Instead, Jon goes to his club to talk about it. The men there share his background and understand his feelings. At their suggestion, Jon visits the local community centre. They put him in touch with Seniors Rights Victoria. After discussing everything with a Seniors Rights Victoria lawyer and advocate, Jon decides to sit down with his family to discuss what is possible, and to work towards a Family Agreement.

Where to get help

Visit our Get Help section to find up to date information about how to get help for you or someone you know. This includes links and phone numbers for other organisations.

You can also call Seniors Rights Victoria's Helpline during business hours.

Call
If you, or someone you know is experiencing elder abuse, help is available through our confidential helpline on 1300 368 821. If it is an emergency, call 000.
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