One of the comments many people make as they get older is "I want to make sure my affairs are in order", and they do the right thing by making a Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney.
But many may need one other important document which subtantially adds to their future security by clearly laying out their wishes and the purpose and ramifications of any agreements made with other family members or friends - a formal Family Agreement.
Living with your adult child? Co-purchasing property with a friend? Or building an extension or granny flat with family? These common arrangements often involve an older person exchanging their property or assets in return for housing and/or care as they age. They are also scenarios where matters can go drastically wrong!
A webinar by COMPASS - a project of Elder Abuse Awareness Australia - will look at formal Family Agreements and why you may need one. It features a panel of family and elder law experts and is moderated by award winning journalist, Philippa McDonald.
"Older people largely know about the value of making a Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney, but much fewer know about the value of creating a formal Family Agreement," said Russell Westacott, EAAA Co-Chair.
"Families often enter into significant financial and care arrangements with each other verbally, with no written documentation, or clear set of rules, and very little planning for worse case scenarios. This can leave older people vulnerable to abuse."
The free webinar will look at
- What a Family Agreement is and why you might need one
- What a Family Agreement should include
- The steps to making a Family Agreement
- Getting advice on what you can do when things go wrong
- Gifting money or property to a family member or other person, or moving house and how it can affect the amount of age pension a person receives.
The webinar panelists include:
- Professor Eileen Webb - Professor of Law and Ageing in the School of Law. Eileen's scholarly research focuses on ageing and the law (elder law) and the human rights of older people. Her recent research has focused older people's rights to housing including security of tenure for older people and how the operation of existing laws may make older people susceptible to financial exploitation and housing vulnerability.
- Dr Rachel Carson - A socio-legal researcher with expertise in family law and qualitative research about family law disputes. Rachel is a Senior Research Fellow and Executive Manager/Team Lead of the Family Law, Family Violence and Elder Abuse Research Team at the Australian Institute of Family Studies. She has twenty years' experience researching the Australian family law system.
- Melanie Joosten - A social worker and writer who has worked in the areas of ageing, social policy and elder abuse for the last ten years at Seniors Rights Victoria and the National Ageing Research Institute. She is the author of the book A Long Time Coming: Essays on Old Age.
The webinar will take place on Thursday, March 17, 12.30 - 1.30pm AEDT
Elder abuse can be psychological/emotional, physical, financial, neglect, social and sexual.
If you are experiencing abuse or believe you know someone who is being abused, call the National Elder Abuse Helpline: 1800-353-374 (free call). If you are in immediate physical danger call the Police on Triple ZERO.