Protecting your assets

One of the biggest fears our clients convey to us is the threat of losing their assets (particularly their house) should they end up in long term permanent residential care.

The need for care, and the funding of care, is becoming a massive problem.

Approximately 130,000 people start to require some form of care each year.

One in three women over 65 and one in four men over 65 will eventually need care.

Statistics indicate that almost 10 million Britons (approximately 17% of the population) are expected to live beyond the age of 100.

The average cost of residential care is approximately £30,000 per year.

Currently anybody with assets (including their house) of more than £23,250 has to fully fund their own care.

At the 1997 Labour Party Conference Tony Blair said “I don’t want a country where the only way pensioners can get long term care is by selling their home.” However since then approximately 20,000 houses per year have been lost, and are currently being lost to fund residential care home fees.

 

Protecting our clients assets from the threat of residential care fees is central to our business, and indeed many of our clients initially came to us for specific advice in this area.

We can give detailed advice on what care the local authority must provide, and what powers they have to recover the cost of that care from the individual.

We can advise on the options available to our clients to help to protect their assets from the impact of residential care fees.

Simple and inexpensive measures such as  creating will trusts or lifetime trusts can potentially save tens of thousands of pounds.

Here are a few tips to bear in mind if this is your primary concern:

Check who actually owns your house before contacting us. Sometimes it is man and wife together. Sometimes it is only one of them. Sometimes a third party, such as a child, is also registered as a joint owner.

Have a good idea what the value of your house is.

Have a good idea what the value of your remaining assets are as well.

Think about the quality of care you would want if it ever became necessary.

Prepare as many questions for us as you wish. For example, what are the differences between Will trusts and lifetime trusts (and their implications)? What types of Power of Attorney exist and what are their implications? What are the costs of care and how much of those costs are you expected to meet?