The Principal Residence
Many couples own their principal home in both names as joint tenants. This shouldn’t be a problem as the principal home is not counted as an asset for the pension assets test. However, if the surviving spouse wanted to downsize, problems could occur. Any cash released from the sale would be counted as an asset that could affect Centrelink.
Peter Fisher Lawyers can help structure your financial affairs to avoid this.
Protection of Social Security Benefits
If you were to inherit assets from a deceased person then your entitlement to social security benefits may be reduced or lost.
There are a number of ways that entitlement to these benefits can be protected through the use of superannuation. You will need to see your financial adviser about this.
If the beneficiary is under age pension age, then the amount held within superannuation will not be taken into account in determining eligibility to Centrelink benefits.
If the beneficiary is of “age pension age” then superannuation is counted as a financial asset for the assets test and deemed for the income test.