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Considering moving to a retirement village?

14 June 2017

For many clients, there comes a time when they begin to consider whether moving into a retirement village is right for them. The decision is never easy and requires consideration of many different factors. One of those factors is the formal legal process, and for some, that process can be daunting. This is when we can help: to ease that burden.

There are many villages and each offers different benefits; however, the Retirement Villages Act 2003 governs all of them. This Act was introduced to ensure that residents of villages were protected. It includes a requirement that any person must obtain legal advice before signing an occupation right agreement (ORA). Residents are then aware of what they are signing.

The ORA is the document that governs your occupation of your village unit. The ORA contains all the necessary rules and regulations in relation to your retirement home. But, it is a different from owning a home: rather than buying the unit, you are buying the right to live in it and to use the facilities at the village.

Before you move into the retirement village, you will need to sell your home, and we are able to assist you with all legal work. You would list your home it as you would normally do with a real estate agent, but make the ORA conditional on you selling your home. That will mean you don’t need to find finance while you wait for your home to be sold.

Normally, retirement villages require you to have enduring powers of attorney. These powers appoint someone (of your choice) to deal with your personal care, your welfare, and your property. These documents go with your will, which should be updated.

This firm is highly regarded for its legal expertise; particularly so, when setting up and maintaining trusts. Making a move into a retirement village might also be time to consider protecting your assets with a trust, which you can discuss with us. Of course if the home you are selling is already owned by a trust, we are well qualified to answer any of your queries about how your move would affect that trust.

In acting for you, we can undertake:

  • reviewing your ORA and making sure you understand what its terms mean for you
  • taking care of all legal matters relating to your move into the village
  • attending to all the legal matters relating to the selling of your home; for example, changing the legal title to the purchaser, discharging any mortgage
  • drafting enduring powers of attorney
  • drafting any changes to your will; and
  • answering any questions you have about trusts, and if you already have one, explaining how your move into the village might affect that trust.

If you would like to discuss any of the aspects of your move into a village with us further, we would welcome your call.

Source: InBrief Winter 2017

Author: Wayne Pearson

InBrief Winter 2017

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