Good information supports good decision making. Gathering information and making a plan will help you to achieve the future you want. Health, income and values will all play a part in decision making, but here are some things to consider:
Sorted(external link) is a free service powered by the Commission for Financial Capability, the government-funded, independent agency dedicated to helping New Zealanders get ahead financially. The Sorted website has tools and guides for help to figure out your goals, retirement savings and how to make it happen.
There are many good reasons for making a will. A will records how you want your affairs managed after you're gone. If you die without a will, the law dictates who will receive your assets after you die. The How to Law(external link) site provides information on how to make a will.
Advance care planning(external link) (or ACP) is the process of thinking about, talking about and planning for future health care and end of life care. It helps you understand what the future might hold, and to say what health care you would or would not want. This makes it much easier for whanau and health professionals to know what you want - especially if you can no longer speak for yourself.
An enduring power of attorney (EPA) is a legal document which sets out who can take care of your personal or financial matters if you can't. That person is called your attorney. You can set up an enduring power of attorney through a lawyer or trustee corporation. See the Ministry of Justice(external link) website for information about naming who you want to look after your affairs if you are no longer able.
A pre-paid funeral trust allows you to set money aside now to pay for your funeral expenses when you’re gone. The money is held in a trust and when the time comes to use it, it is available immediately. If you have $10,000 dollars or less in a WINZ recognised funeral trust, those funds are exempt from asset testing for the Residential Care Subsidy. Search pre-paid funeral trusts online for providers.
The rules relating to gifting for someone who applies for Residential Care Subsidy are quite different to those used by Inland Revenue. If you or your partner give away assets, they still may be counted as assets in your financial means assessment. Discuss with Work and Income Residential Subsidy Unit on 0800 999 727 or see the Residential Care Subsidy(external link) information on the WINZ site.
It is common for older people to be asked to be a guarantor for a family member. It is also common for residential care facilities to ask for a guarantor to cover residential care fees. When you sign a form to be a guarantor you are doing much more than just witnessing a document or providing a character reference. In fact you are agreeing to repay the mortgage/loan/hire purchase of the borrower if they cannot or will not repay their debt. Age Concern(external link) have information on acting as a guarantor.