Services for the Elderly Client
Every day we provide solutions for clients seeking advice about their options should they become ill or infirm and/or require residential care or nursing home care.
Later life financial planning
Questions we are commonly asked include:
What action can I take now to ensure my affairs are dealt with if I become physically or mentally incapacitated and cannot deal with them myself?
How would I fund the cost of care if I found myself needing it?
Are there any measures I can implement to mitigate the cost of care home fees so I can protect my wealth and pass it down to my family?
Lasting Powers of Attorney
If you are concerned as to who would manage your financial affairs or make decisions in relation to your health and welfare if you were unable to make them yourself, then you should consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
This will give you the peace of mind knowing that were you to lose your mental capacity at any stage in the future you would have put in place measures to safeguard your position.
Visit our Lasting Power of Attorney section to find out more.
Paying for long term care
We are an ageing nation and more families than ever find themselves facing a situation where they are having to fund the cost of residential care home or nursing home fees. Given that the cost of care can run into thousands of pounds per month, most people’s assets will be severely depleted after a number of years of having to pay care home fees.
If you or a family member is facing this situation there are a number of points to consider:
If you need long term nursing care, you may be entitled to free NHS funded care provided you meet the eligibility criteria. You must show a ‘primary’ health care need. Eligibility is based on whether there is an intense, complex, unpredictable and continuous health care need which is evidenced by the quantity and quality of the care is given. NHS funded care can be notoriously difficult to obtain.
You may be entitled to assistance with residential care fees from your local authority. Your entitlement will be calculated by carrying out a means test which will determine what you must pay towards your care. The value of your home will be disregarded if it is occupied by your spouse or partner or a child over the age of 60.
In cases where the value of your home is taken into account it may still be possible to challenge the local authority if another family relative intends to live there after you go into care.
If the value of your home is taken into account by the local authority to fund care fees, it may still be possible to avoid an immediate sale of the property under the deferred payment scheme. Essentially this is a loan from the local authority to fund the care costs, which they will recoup once the property is eventually sold.
You cannot deliberately deprive yourself of your assets to avoid care fees. This is unlawful. However, depending on the circumstances, you could make a gift to avoid inheritance tax which is lawful.
Take legal advice. We can provide you with specialist legal advice. There are effective estate planning measures you can implement to mitigate future care home fees.
Effective estate planning to mitigate care home fees
The payment of care fees is an enormous concern. How much of your estate are you prepared to lose in the payment of long term care fees? If you make a simple Will leaving your estate to your spouse who subsequently goes into care, that inheritance will not be protected and will be utilised by the local authority to fund care costs.
With careful planning it is possible to structure your assets in a way that mitigates care home fees. Since everyone has their own unique set of circumstances we can provide you with expert legal advice as to whether such an arrangement is suitable for you.
We have specifically developed the Universal Wealth Preservation Trust (WPT) to enable you to protect your assets during your lifetime and pass them on to your loved ones after your death. It can be set up to achieve a number of estate planning objectives, one of which may be in relation to protection from care fees.
For more details on our WPT click here. Alternatively book onto one of our Keep it in the Family seminars and explore the numerous ways in which you can plan to protect your wealth by creating a WPT.
If you or a family member are already in care or about to go into care, then different considerations apply. At this stage you still have options and we can provide you with the appropriate advice in respect of your own specific situation.
See also Wills & Estate Planning, Wealth Structuring & Asset Protection, Inheritance Tax Mitigation, Trust Creation & Management and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
How Universal Wealth Preservation can assist you
As part of our estate planning services we provide innovative and practical solutions for our elderly clients. This not only encompasses reviewing your existing estate planning arrangements. It also involves advising you in relation to your Will, the need for an LPA, the benefit of setting up a trust as an effective method of protecting and preserving your assets as well as mitigating your tax liability, thus enabling you to pass on more of your wealth to your family.
If you would like to review your estate planning arrangements, our team of experts are here to assist you. Please contact us for more information or to arrange a FREE no-obligation home consultation with one of our advisors. We would be happy to discuss your requirements.