Volume 5 Edition 10 Financial Care Services Newsletter
FINANCIAL CARE SERVICES
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 5 Edition 10 –30 October 2015
Who would manage your money if you were incapacitated?
If you were unfortunate to be hit by a drunk driver and totally out of action for six months, someone might need to access your bank account to pay your phone bill, claim sick pay and initiate an insurance claim.
Maybe your partner could pay your bills from a joint account. But no, your partner does not automatically have authority to sign documents for you or to operate your bank account. But if your finances were in your name only or your partner were also incapacitated, then who would act for you?
So who could pay your bills and sign documents for you? One option is for your Attorney to take charge of your financial affairs. Alas many adults have not granted an Enduring Power of Attorney.
So the other option becomes their default option; the State, via VCAT in Victoria, would appoint an Administrator to manage your financial affairs. If you could not go home again then a VCAT Appointed Guardian could find you a permanent residential aged care placement.
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that appoints one or more people to make financial decisions for you even if you become incapable of making decisions for yourself.
Therefore you could protect yourself in the future by taking care of your affairs now.
Step one – think carefully to whom you would give a power of attorney
Step two – consult a lawyer in your State to have your Power of Attorney document drafted
Step three – Sign your Power of Attorney document in the presence of your lawyer
Step four – Have your nominated Attorney accept the appointment
Then make sure that the Power of Attorney document is kept in a safe place accessible to your Attorney only when it is needed.
Your Power of Attorney ceases on your death so who sorts out your estate?
Your Will appoints your executors to collect and distribute your assets after you have gone. Unless you want your assets distributed as the State determines, you would need to make a Will.
To make a Will you must decide who is to be your executor and how you want your estate shared out. Then ask your lawyer to prepare the document. To be effective, your Will must be signed in the presence of the appropriate witnesses.
Your executor needs to know where to find your Will after you have gone.
Yes, you could revise your Will when your circumstances change.
In practice, your Will might no longer reflect your wishes if you have sold the asset that was especially bequeathed to one person. For example, if you bequeathed your home to Sue and the remainder of your assets to Bill and then sold your home to finance your residential aged care; there would be no home for Sue to inherit whilst Bill would inherit your whole estate.
Therefore we all need to review our Wills every few years to reassure ourselves that the Will reflects our wishes and deals with all of our assets.
Moving to a lifestyle community retirement village is an opportunity for a new lifestyle. But what are the actual lifestyle community retirement village costs?
You might be hoping that a home in a lifestyle community costs less to run than your former independent housing. In practice, you are buying into a new lifestyle that includes paying for your share of the upkeep of the communal gardens and operation of community facilities. Your contribution to the establishment of the lifestyle community and building of village facilities will be paid eventually via the regular service fees and the exit fees.
Every lifestyle community retirement village has its own schedule of fees and charges. When you visit a lifestyle community retirement village in Victoria for an ‘open day’ or for a personal tour, you must be given a Factsheet.
The Factsheet must include information about the lifestyle community retirement village costs on entry and all of the regular ongoing fees, or special levies. Details of any deferred or exit charges must also be disclosed in the Factsheet.
The Factsheet must include a Statement about the desirability of obtaining independent advice and understanding the financial commitment of entering, living in and leaving the lifestyle community retirement village. To be a happy positive member of a lifestyle community you would need to have a constructive relationship with the facility management. Your potential for dissatisfaction or conflict, is reduced if you understand the ‘deal’ before you decide to move into a lifestyle community retirement village.
Financial Care Services is an independent financial adviser specialising in seniors in transition. A consultation with Christine at Financial Care Services could help you understand the financial ‘deal’ for your proposed lifestyle purchase.
More details of the particular lifestyle community retirement village costs must be provided to you before you sign a contract for moving into a Victorian lifestyle community retirement village.
Having collected all of this information the potential resident night still be asking, “Could I afford to live in this lifestyle community retirement village?” Her family could be asking “Would mum lose her Pension if she moved into that lifestyle community retirement village?” So the potential lifestyle purchaser needs independent financial advice about lifestyle community retirement village costs.
A consultation with Christine Hopper at Financial Care Services could Illustrate your lifestyle community retirement village costs. Your potential income from DVA or Age Pension and interest income could be included in your Illustrations.
Your family are welcome to accompany you to your consultation at Financial Care Services. Your Attorney and other family members would then understand that you are buying a ‘lifestyle’ and that your exit payment might be less than your ingoing contribution.
Christine at Financial Care Services is an independent financial adviser experienced with DVA and Centrelink income support and health care cards. Contact Financial Care Services to arrange to arrange a lifestyle community retirement village entry consultation.
Financial Care Services is an independent financial advisory service specialising in seniors in transition to new accommodation and lifestyles plus Centrelink Pensions.
Financial Care Services core value in financial advice is to assist with your money plan in the responsible management of your assets to generate the cash flow needed for your lifetime planning.
To make an appointment for confidential, independent and professional advice about Centrelink, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper or call 03 9808 0338.
Financial Care Services Pty Ltd
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Australian Financial Services Licence Number
299570 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/flb.html)
Authorised Representative Number
252529 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/far.html)
Telephone – call +61 3 9808 0338
Email – contact email@example.com
Address – mail or meet at 172 Warrigal Road, Camberwell Victoria 3124
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations.
All eligibility for Commonwealth benefits will be determined by Centrelink or DVA, based on your personal position as documented and the legislation and Regulations in force at that time.
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