Put your Affairs in Order

What Does Putting Your Affairs In Order Mean?

  • Take steps to protect your family members from extra stress when you die.
  • Starting a family and moving to live or travel in another country are reasons to organise your personal circumstances.
  • A solicitor can assist you to get your affairs in order.



Preparing a Will

  • Having a Will makes it easier for the family members left behind, to ensure they can follow the deceased’s wishes.
  • If there isn’t a Will, then the law (within each State or Territory) will decide where your assets will go after your death.
  • Be clear about what are considered to be ‘estate’ assets, as apart from ‘non-estate’ assets, when making out your Will.
  • Having a Will allows you to appoint someone you trust to act as your ‘Executor’.
  • If using a ‘Will Making Kit’ to document your Will, have it checked for being ‘legally constructed’ by a professional solicitor.

Powers of Attorney

  •  Appointing or changing your ‘Power of Attorney’, can only be done while you still have the ‘decision making capacity’ to do so.
  •  There are a number of different types of ‘Power of Attorney’ including differences between each State and Territory.
  •  All types of ‘Power of Attorney’ cease to have any legal validity once you have passed away.
  •  After your death, your ‘Last Will & Testament’ (if you have one) will be used to legally appoint your ‘Executor’

Advance Health Directive

  • An Advance Health Directive comes into effect only if you are unable to make your own decisions
  • Some States and Territories have legislation which ensures that documentation of a patient’s directives about their future treatment are legally binding.
  • An Advance Health Directive does not include making financial decisions on your behalf

Estate Planning

  •  Be informed of the key differences between what are considered to be ‘estate’ assets versus ‘non-estate’ assets.
  •  For example, your Superannuation, Life Insurance, Testamentary Trusts, properties signed in joint names etc, may contain assets that are excluded from your Will.
  • If you don’t have a Will, your ‘estate’ will be automatically subject to State or Territory based ‘intestacy’ laws.
  •  It is advisable to consult appropriate (legal and/or financial) professionals to assist you in planning a comprehensive Estate Plan.

Financial Planning

  • What is Wealth Management?
  • Not all Financal Advisors are Wealth Managers.
  • When to start planning for your retirement.
  • How to choose a Financial Advisor.

Consider being an Organ, Tissue or Body Donor

  • Organ and tissue donation is a life-saving and life-transforming gift.
  • Your family may be asked if you had indicated that you wished to be an organ donor.

Pre-Planning a Funeral

  • There are a number of options available to you, when pre-planning a funeral, such as Pre-Arranged Funerals, Pre-Paid Funerals, Funeral Insurance and Funeral Bonds.
  • A Pre-Arranged funeral is not a formal contract, and there is no obligation to use the services of the nominated funeral director.
  •  A Pre-Paid funeral is a funeral purchased in advance, either by paying in one lump sum, or through a payment plan as decided at the time of signing a ‘contract’.
  • Funeral insurance is designed to pay to your family, a lump sum benefit on your death to cover the costs of your funeral and other associated expenses.
  • Funeral Bonds are an investment product that can assist you to save for funeral expenses, the funds of which can only be withdrawn, after your death.

Seniors’ Accommodation Choices

  • Retirement village residents live independently, while residential aged care residents require daily assistance with their personal care.
  • Once an illness becomes terminal, people will most likely require palliative care, which is specialised care and support provided for the patient, their carers and families.
  • Residential aged care facilities (or Nursing Homes) offer supported living for those people who need personal assistance and cannot live alone.
  • Entry into a residential aged care facility is restricted by need. A government-appointed Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will assess the situation and decide if personal assistance is required.
  • The payment structure for residential aged care is totally different to retirement villages.

Home Support and Respite

  • Home support and respite provides basic aged care support services to people in their homes, and also offers support to their carers.
  • These programs are also designed to provide in-home support for children and adults with disabilities and their families and carers.
  • The services focus on supporting the different areas of need that an individual may have due to a limitation in their ability to undertake tasks of daily living.
  • Respite care is an important support service for carers as it allows carers to have a break from their usual care arrangements.

Home Care Packages

  • Home Care Packages are a coordinated package of services tailored to meet the consumer’s specific care needs, while remaining in their homes.
  • Whatever is agreed between you and your provider must be affordable within the funding available for the package.
  • Recent government changes have introduced four package levels to assist older people to remain living at home for as long as possible.
  • There is no minimum age for accessing a Home Care Package, but you will need to be assessed as eligible by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), or an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria.
  • All people receiving care under a Home Care Package must be offered a Home Care Agreement.
  • Some packages are delivered on a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) basis, giving you more choice and control over the types of care and services that you receive.
  • Australian government financial assistance is available, although Home Care recipients also contribute to the cost of their care.

Retirement Villages

  • A retirement village is essentially a managed community for seniors, although you don’t necessarily have to be retired.
  • There are many different models and you should consult your financial advisor before entering into any contracts.
  • Three different types of costs are involved – entry fee or purchase price; service or maintenance fees; exit fees (also known as ‘departure fees’ or ‘deferred management fees’.)
  • Benefits of retirement village living include living in a community, life style and convenience, flexible services and economic benefits (in that, a large part of the costs can be deferred until after you leave a village).
  • To enter into a retirement village a prospective resident enters into a contract with the village operator.
  • Some retirement villages also provide on-site residential aged care.
  • Make sure that you clearly understand your rights and obligations, the financial details of your contract and also carefully compare the fees and charges involved, with the various financial models offered to you.

Residential Aged Care Facilities

  • A residential aged care home (or Nursing Home) is for people who don’t need to be in a hospital, but can’t be cared for at home.
  • Some aged care centres have special care units for people with serious memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia.
  • Some facilities provide for both short term and long term stays.
  • Visiting various homes and asking questions is the key to understanding if a home is right for you. (Please download the checklist provided on this website).
  • A person must generally be assessed and approved by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) before they can access residential aged care.
  • If you are recommended for residential aged care, you could be asked to pay towards your accommodation costs dependent on your financial situation.
  • Deciding whether to pay a ‘Refundable Accommodation Deposit’ or ‘Daily Accommodation Payment’ is an important decision, usually requiring professional financial advice.

Palliative/End of Life Care

  • Palliative Care is specialised care and support provided for the terminally ill person, their families and carers.
  • Palliative care providers will work with you at home, in a residential aged care facility, in a hospital or hospice.
  • Palliative care is that part of health care provided to people who have a progressive illness that will lead to death.
  • Palliative care can be given by your GP, practice nurse, and/or community nurse.
  • You can have palliative care while you are having active treatment for your illness.
  • Governments fund core palliative care services, although sometimes you may need to contribute to the costs of care.
  • It may be wise to consider signing the various forms of ‘Power of Attorney’ before any loss of ‘decision making capacity’.