Experts in Wills and Estates

FAQ: Trust Funds and Retirement Homes

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Looking to the future!

“Is it a good idea to have a Trust Fund? My mother is going to have to sell her home to go into care facilities – Is it correct that if the money is put into Trust it can’t be accessed by the Care Home to pay for her facilities?”

With an ageing population many more Australians are looking for ways to minimise the impact of nursing home fees.

In Australia, the requirement to pay fees for nursing home facilities will depend on your individual circumstances. Some people may be required to pay an income tested fee if their total assessable income, is above the maximum income of a full pensioner with the total assessable income assessed by Centrelink.

From your question, it appears that your mother’s total assessable income, including her house, will be above the maximum income limit so she will be required to pay for her nursing home facilities.

To work out the best way to minimise or nullify the nursing home fees payable by your mother, you really need to speak to a legal adviser with experience in Trusts and Elder Law.

The Northern Beaches Lawyer has this expertise and keeps up-to-date with changes in the nursing home regime. For example setting up a Trust for the proceeds of sale of your mother’s house, may be a solution at the moment but the nursing home fee regime is set to change from 1st July, 2014. Under these changes the income test will be replaced with a means test. This may impact on whether setting up a Trust will be of benefit in the future, or may act as a spur to get a Trust Fund set up before the nursing home fee regime changes.

To ensure that a Trust is the right thing for your mother, the best thing to do is to speak to The Northern Beaches Lawyer. This way you can be assured that setting up a Trust for the proceeds of sale of your mother’s house, is the best option available. If it is the best option then, the Northern Beaches Lawyer can draft the necessary Trust Deed. The Trust Deed needs to be carefully drafted to ensure that the proceeds of sale from your mother’s house are not included in her total assessable income and that the money in the Trust cannot be accessed by the nursing home to pay for your mother’s facilities.

Graeme Heckenberg is an expert lawyer and will be able to assist you with your Trusts and Estate matters. 

Please contact us to book an appointment.

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