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Aged care is complicated but diverse legal and financial advice can help

SPONSORED STORY - Aged care can be complex to navigate, especially when making decisions, which is why integrated financial and legal assistance can greatly benefit older people and their families when making decisions about accessing services in the aged care sector.

All areas of aged care can be complicated and may need guidance from a diverse financial and legal team. [Source: iStock]

Western Australian multi-disciplinary advisory service, SFR Advisory Group, was created over 20 years ago because of this very problem, assisting people in navigating aged care by providing all the financial and legal advice you will need.

Garth Lovelace, Managing Director and founder of SFR Advisory Group, explains that aged care decisions need to take into account every aspect of aged care at once, which is where an integrated legal and financial institution can be beneficial to ensure that your final choices are the best for you, your loved one, and your family.

"Aged care decisions are complicated which makes the statement 'you don’t know what you don’t know' so applicable to aged care matters," says Mr Lovelace.

"It takes nearly a whole life to complicate life with stuff, and then when you need aged care we need to unravel that life with all its idiosyncrasies into something that is going to be best for you or your loved one and family.

"You then have to also take into consideration a whole new set of factors such as alternative accommodation, Government penalties and assistance, separation anxiety, medical, taxation and estate planning; and that is why aged cared care decisions are made so complicated!"

According to SFR, legal documents and information that are incredibly important to cover when considering aged care include: 

  • Estate planning documentation, including Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney/Guardian

  • Excluded Estate Assets

  • Estate administration considerations to assist your chosen executor and trustees

  • Considerations of special needs or circumstances of beneficiaries - what happens after you are gone?

  • Legal capacity and how the process works for implementing documentation

Financial consideration that are important to discuss, include:

  • Centrelink penalties, aged care support, and financial assistance you may require

  • Do you want to receive home care or enter a form of residential care and what option best suits your needs and preferences?

  • Current investments and how they will form the Estate, including investment suitability

  • Planning your accommodation, for example, owning your own home, or buying a strata or lifestyle village house option 

  • Superannuation considerations, including assessing the super you have and how that may impact you down the track 

  • Ensuring you are prepared for the taxes that may arise after death

All these areas can be complicated and may need guidance from a diverse financial and legal team.

Mr Lovelace says, "Aged care is not just about aged care - it's complicated. These are the things, in my experience, that you need to consider.

"[For example], people look at aged care as “just about the accommodation”, but it is much more than that. A lifestyle village and high care are two separate things." 

His advice to people is to consider all their whole situation and options before making any decision.

"The reality is, you should not do one thing without looking at the other things."

To inquire further about aged care financial and legal advice and assistance, visit the SFR website or call 08 9220 5200.


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