October 14, 2019

Caring for older loved ones

Peace of mind for all the family

Being cared for by family members is a wonderful way to grow older. Whether you’re thinking of moving in with family, or having someone move in with you, the advantages are the same: familiarity, comfort, trust, and the joy of spending time with the people closest to you.

But you want everyone to have peace of mind and not let money issues or other questions get in the way. Like, can mum have a dog? Can dad have people over? What happens (and who pays) if care needs increase?

When your family members offer to care for you and give you a place to live in exchange for money or property, arrangements can be made into a formal, written Family Agreement that records the details of the agreement between you.

Do you need a Family Agreement?

Writing down your agreement shows that all of you intend it to be binding, and it makes clear the terms of the agreement. It’s an excellent way to make important decisions early, when you have time to consider everything clearly. This way, if anything ever goes wrong, or circumstances change, everybody knows what to do already (and this can be the difference between a bad day and a family crisis).

You should think about a Family Agreement if you are selling your home and giving the money to someone who has agreed to care for you in the future, moving in with a relative or having a relative move in with you, or transferring property to a close relative or friend.

Start with a family discussion

The first step in considering family care is a discussion with your family! Don’t just talk about practical matters about how a care arrangement will work; discuss what everyone wants, and what they think they might want in the future. Make sure you can all see yourselves in a happy, functional family unit, where you can all enjoy appropriate living, social and working arrangements.

Involve everyone likely to be affected by the agreement, not just the parties to the agreement. This might even include talking to grandchildren and great-grandchildren! Getting everybody on the same page with the same expectations is key to a successful Family Agreement.

Foye Legal can help you and your family prepare a Family Agreement that will help in three very important ways:

  1. Protect assets
  2. Safeguard quality of care
  3. Help prevent conflicts between family members.

Every family is different, so there are no ‘one-size-fits-all’ Family Agreement. Come and talk to our legal experts about your needs.

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