Legal and Financial Considerations

Legal and Financial Considerations When Planning for Aged Care Services

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When it comes to our ageing loved ones, their continued care is one of the main priorities to focus on. However, their well-being and security go beyond just guaranteeing their physical health or complete privacy and confidentiality at whatever aged care facility is chosen. Planning for this transition also requires carefully considering both the legal and financial aspects of professional care.

This blog post will explore all the legal and financial considerations you will likely encounter when entering a loved one into aged care. By following these tips you can ensure a smooth transition and ongoing support throughout their residency.

Regardless of what type of aged care you choose for your loved one, there are plenty of legal considerations you will be required to make. Some of the following may only be applicable in certain circumstances, such as when your loved one is no longer capable of making decisions themselves due to cognitive decline.

It is always best to take the time to carefully consider what processes need to be prioritised if a loved one is looking to enter aged care. 

Advance Care Directives

Advanced care directives are legal documents that allow elderly individuals to outline exactly how they want their future medical treatment and end-of-life care to proceed. This is one of the first legal considerations that should be focused on as it structures their future in aged care. So, be sure to have the necessary conversation with your loved one about their desires and ensure all directives are documented and accessible.

Power of Attorney (POA) 

To help with the legal processes associated with aged care, it is beneficial to appoint a trusted individual as a power of attorney. The POA stands as a representative on behalf of an elderly person if they are unable to make their own decisions. If the elderly person chooses ahead of time a person they trust most, they can rest assured that their affairs will be managed as they see fit, including paying bills and managing assets.

Estate Planning

Those approaching their later years, especially before entering aged care facilities, should take the time to review and update their estate plans. This includes both wills and trusts. Taking the time to review this crucial legal documentation can ensure all assets are distributed according to the elderly individual’s wishes. In turn, this helps minimise potential conflicts among family members in the future.

When it comes time to enter a loved one into aged care, all agreements and contracts must be reviewed carefully. These documents tend to outline the services that will be provided, the costs, and any additional terms and conditions to ensure transparency and protect the rights of the elderly individual. Ensuring everything is aligned with your loved one’s needs and intentions will help set them up for a comfortable future of support.

Financial Considerations

On top of the legal considerations that need to be made before admission into aged care, there are financial stipulations that must also be considered. These costs tend to vary depending on the type of aged care chosen, so it is beneficial to save money at home or through work to best prepare.

Assessment of Financial Resources

Before even knowing what costs need to be covered with aged care, it is useful to know what financial resources are available to help cover them. Your loved one may have savings, investments, or pensions collected to help cover their aged care costs. However, external sources such as government benefits like Medicare can also be used. Take the time to thoroughly assess what resources are available and applicable to your loved one to help plan and cover costs accordingly.

Cost of Care

Regardless of the type chosen, aged care services can become costly over time. The extent of expenses is often determined by the level of care required and the exact facility chosen. Thus it is crucial to initially research and compare costs between providers to find the most suitable option within budget.

Government Assistance Programs

It is not uncommon for local and national governments to offer assistance programs specifically for aged care recipients and their needs. Some of the common ones include subsidies for in-home care, financial assistance for residential care, and tax deductions for medical expenses. Always look into the options available for your loved one ahead of their transference into residency.

Long-Term Care Insurance

The inclusion of long-term care insurance can help in covering the costs associated with aged care services. This includes various types of services, including in-home care, nursing home care, and assisted living. If it is possible, purchasing long-term care insurance before your loved one enters aged care will help to provide financial security and mitigate potential financial burdens.

Planning Ahead for Peace of Mind

When it comes to planning for aged care services, it can seem overwhelming initially to consider all of the steps necessary to transition your loved one into their new life. However, addressing legal and financial considerations ahead of the transition can provide peace of mind for both the elderly individual and their loved ones. By considering some of the options listed in this article, everyone can navigate these changes with confidence and knowledge that they are well-prepared.

Also Read: Legal Considerations for Let to Buy Schemes



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