Increasing Carehome fees mean elderly people could end up with having nothing to leave in their Wills.
This follows a report that more than 20,000 pensioners have had to sell their homes last year to pay for Residential Carehome fees which has increased by 17% in the past five years.
Last year, Age Concern/ Help the Aged estimated that the average Carehome fees are £470.00 a week, prompting the Law Society to warn that many Wills could need re-doing as Care Residents assets are diminished to a point where any legacies being gifts of money may simply have been swallowed up by Carehome fees before the Will is read. The Law Society have urged people to seek legal advice about this before it is too late.
In England, care fees are Means Tested and anyone having capital in excess of £21,000.00, will be required to pay for the Care which they receive. Included within this assessment can be the value of a person’s home giving rise to the genuine worry that their family home may have to be sold to pay those care fees. However, there are a number of ways in which assets may be protected from these charges or the impact of the charges to be reduced. It is essential that sound, professional financial and legal advice at an early stage is obtained to help protect assets or reduce charges.
Assets, such as property, can be protected by way of Trusts or simply altering the legal way in which they are held. Bonds may be taken out to protect capital or insurance policies may be the way forward. In each case individual reviews are required to find a solution best suited to that person.
Residential Care is not inevitable for everyone but neither is it inevitable that capital should be depleted for those who do go into Local Authority Care and good planning can make all the difference in helping to protect hard earned assets.
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