Elder Law Services in Newcastle
Every person as they get older is confronted with important decisions. To reduce the stress and uncertainty that can surround such decisions, Berryman Partners can provide friendly and personalised advice targeted to the particular issues that arise with old age, such as accommodation options, asset protection and superannuation advice. We are committed to providing a complete service to ensure that the needs of our clients are taken care of.
What is elder law?
With Australia’s aging population, an increasing number of people are becoming exposed to legal issues which are unique to the aging and elderly. What these issues comprise will differ for every person and we can provide assistance and understanding to ensure you are informed and can make decisions regarding your needs.
We can provide advice and assistance for such matters as:
- The preparation of Wills, POA or Enduring Guardianship
- Decisions concerning living arrangements and aged-care accommodation, including advising on contracts regarding retirement villages and aged care facilities
- Protection of assets
- Decisions relating to a person’s mental and physical health and healthcare
- Family Law Matters including the rights of Grandparents
- Probate and Estate Administration
- Home Equity Schemes and Reverse Mortgages
Asset protection strategies
Financial security is a major concern for most people and it becomes increasingly important when we get older and are no longer working. It is also a vital part of estate planning as it ensures the maximum benefit for your beneficiaries.
At Berryman Partners we can assist you to implement several strategies to protect your assets:
- Testamentary trusts: Testamentary trusts are set up under a Will and ensure that assets are held on trust for the beneficiaries by a trustee and distributed on a discretionary basis. There are significant tax benefits as well as other advantages of setting up a testamentary trust. For example, if one of your beneficiaries is in debt when you die, their creditors cannot access the trust funds as they are owned by the trust and not the beneficiary themself.
- Business succession: Business succession involves planning how your business assets are transferred upon your death. Consideration must be given to your business structure (for example, whether you’re a sole trader or in a partnership).
- Life/income insurance: Life insurance can ensure that, when you die, funds are available to discharge any outstanding debts and thereby protect your assets to ensure the maximum benefit to your beneficiaries. Income insurance also becomes increasingly important as we get older and become exposed to a greater risk of illness or injury that may prevent us from working.
- Tax efficiency: The tax implications of your estate planning are very important. Consideration should be given to things like your estate’s liability for capital gains tax and stamp duty upon the sale of estate property.
Where we are going to live as we get older is possibly the most important thing for most people to consider in planning for their future. For some people who require care, the options are limited and they may have to move out of their ordinary home or make arrangements for varying levels of in-home care. For others, maintaining their independence is the most important concern.
At Berryman Partners we will provide a compassionate and friendly approach. We want to understand your situation the best we can so that we can help you to make the best decisions.
There are varying accommodation options for the aging and elderly including:
- Retirement village accommodation: Retirement village accommodation provides an option for people who are looking to downsize from their ordinary residence but still maintain their independence. There are options available that provide for varying levels of care if this is required. Entering retirement village accommodation can be facilitated through different legal arrangements. You may be looking to purchase a retirement villa or enter into a tenancy agreement. We can assist you to understand the options available to you. Visit our Buying and Selling a Home page to find more information there.
- Residential aged care facilities: This accommodation option is available for people who can no longer live at home. There are differing levels of services available to meet your care needs. Eligibility for aged care is assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team.