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Elder Law Issues

March 2020

New Zealand statistics indicate that we have an aging population. In 2016 those who were 65 years and over were 15% of our population. It is estimated that by 2036 that will have increased to 22% of our population. That is an increase from 711,200 people in 2016 to a projected 1,258,500 people in 2036. In subsequent decades that percentage is predicted to increase substantially more.

 

Changes in New Zealand population by age group

 

Picture 1 

Source: Ministry of Social Development

 

With that increasing demographic is an increase in the demand for legal services to assist the more mature. Many of the issues that affect this group in our society are specific to that age group including:

  • The making or updating of Wills;
  • The need for Enduring Powers of Attorney;
  • Retirement Villages and issues relating to licences to occupy and similar;
  • Residential Care Subsidies and the Government’s criteria;
  • Later life relationships with the arrangements and financial responsibilities clearly identified;
  • Multi-generational households where more than one generation fund the purchase of a home;
  • Family Loans – the terms of such loans and the need for documentation;
  • Legal capacity and the problems where health issues affect the ability to make good decisions.

 

Each family’s situation will be different but there are definitely common themes that apply to most family dynamics. Our Elder Law team is available to advise and assist as required.