Accommodation and Care
Although granny flat agreements always provide for some form of accommodation, they don’t always provide for care.
Whether care is included is entirely up to the parties and what they want.
For pensioners Centrelink rules do not require the agreements to include care.
Care is often included because the reason behind the agreement is to avoid the parent entering into residential aged care, at least for as long as possible.
If care is to be included, very careful thought should be given to the extent of that care. Children should not be required to provide more care than they are capable of giving, taking into account their skills, lifestyle and employment. A child who is or has been a nurse may be capable of providing a greater level of care than a child who has no medical training.
If the parent is not living in the child’s home, the child would be capable of only reduced types of care.
On the other hand the care requirements should be sufficient to fulfil the major underlying purpose of many agreements – to have the parent live at home for as long as possible.
Including unrealistic care requirements in an agreement is a recipe for failure of the agreement.
The parties to these arrangements must bear in mind that they are legal agreements – the child has an obligation to carry out the provisions of the agreement. The child is benefiting from the agreement and bargains to give something back in return. The care provisions should be realistic to ensure that the agreement doesn’t break down, or the child doesn’t become too burdened or disenchanted.
It is entirely appropriate to include in the agreement that outside care be employed as necessary to enable the appropriate care to be received by the parent.