People often think that laws are like large stones, hard to move, and rarely changing.
In fact the legal landscape for Retirees and Older Australians is in a constant state of being updated and (hopefully) improved.
After many years of complaints about the state of the Retirement Industry the Qld. Government embarked on a complete revamp of the rules and forms in various stages during 2019, with ongoing changes filtering through progressively. The aim is to ensure greater clarity and transparency for people entering into Retirement Village Contracts.
Similarly the rules and obligations for Manufactured Home Parks (described, more as a marketing term, as Over 50s Resorts) were completely changed and updated as of September 2019.
The idea is that the “dog’s breakfast” of contracts that people were historically presented with were systematised and regulated so as to make sure people actually understood what they were signing up to.
The legal landscape for Wills is also changing, with recent cases granting Probate to documents that don’t meet the strict requirements of the Succession Act. Handwritten notes, notes scribbled on an old will, even a text message, have been endorsed by the Court as a Last Will and Testament. A warning though – whilst in some cases an informal document has been accepted by the Court, the costs of achieving such an outcome (particularly where different beneficiaries have potentially different outcomes) could easily exceed $50,000 in legal costs, all for the sake of avoiding the cost of a simple will that could be obtained from an Elder Law professional.
Aged Care, which is a Federal Jurisdiction, is due for a significant shake up arising out of the Royal Commission, with very substantial changes likely in the not too distant future.
Most recently (as of 1 July) significant changes have occurred in relation to the tax treatment of Granny Flat Agreements which are likely to make formal Granny Flat Agreements more important than ever.
Perhaps we will soon see a flood of Discrimination Cases based on Ageism, a growing issue for our society.