If an older person ‘gifts’ more than the sum allowed by Centrelink, it may reduce their pension entitlement (but see Granny flats for exceptions). Assets gifted above the allowed amount will still be included in the assets assessment for residential aged care and may lead to increased aged care accommodation fees.
Older people or their families sometimes try to divest themselves of property to avoid an aged care accommodation bond or to attract Centrelink payments. Attempts to do this often work to the detriment of the older person and you need to alert your client to the possible disadvantages.
A mother transfers her house to her daughter. Her children are angry and fight about her supposed favouritism. Meanwhile she needs to go into aged care. The house transfer is made without advice from Centrelink who consider such a gift a transfer of assets for inadequate consideration. Centrelink treats the property as still being owned by the person ‘gifting’. This will affect the mother’s pension entitlement and aged care fees.