Advice for the Elderly

Life Expectancy is increasing and a long and active retirement is something to be looked forward to and celebrated; but there are also a number of issues which become more important as time passes. We offer expert advice for the elderly so that with planning, the worrying and distress can be minimised.

Care Homes:

Local Authority Care Charges are a real issue and scare stories about long and hard-earned nest eggs being wiped out by Local Authority Care Charges, however with planning, the impact for such Care Charges can be reduced.

There are a number of options available including insurance, bonds, Trusts and challenging original assessments to name but a few. A Specialist Care Fee Advisor or Solicitor can provide advice on the option which would be best for your circumstances.

Wills:

A Will can be made by an adult at anytime.

A Will enables you to say who should inherit your property and monies rather than relying upon the Rules of Intestacy which can be harsh and result in your money and property being gifted to a relative who you would prefer not to receive it. The Rules of Intestacy can be particularly difficult for unmarried couples where the unmarried survivor may be forced to go to Court to obtain financial relief.

A well made Will can ensure that persons you wish to inherit do so.

Inheritance Tax:

Inheritance Tax is a tax charged on the value of your assets upon death. The current rate is 40% on Estates over £325,000.00 and £650,000.00 for married couples. There is an annual allowance of £3,000.00 per donor which is not taken into account and certain gifts are exempt e.g. gifts on Marriage subject to maximum allowances. In addition, you can give away as much as you want however this is subject to the 7 Year Rule so that it will be taken back into account as to the value of your Estate if it was given within the 7 years prior to your demise (on a sliding scale).

Inheritance Tax Planning and a well drafted Will can help reduce the liability for Inheritance Tax.

Lasting Power of Attorney:

There may be times in your life when you are either unable to deal with your own monies and affairs or you no longer wish to do so. Granting a Power of Attorney enables you to appoint one or more persons to do this on your behalf.

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney; Property and Affairs, dealing with finances; the other being for Personal Welfare including giving authority or refusing consent to medical treatment.

The Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used before it is registered at the Office of Public Guardianship who makes a charge for registration. However, the fee may be waived or reduced subject to an assessment of your income.

Your signature on the Lasting Power of Attorney must be witnessed by a Certificate Provider. They confirm that you have understood the nature and extent of the Power which you are granting. A Solicitor can act as a Certificate Provider for you.

A Lasting Power of Attorney lasts even if you should become mentally incapable and can help to ease the problems which can often occur in such circumstances by allowing your Attorneys to deal with your affairs in your best interest and to be dealt with by those whom you trust.

Court of Protection:

If you have not granted a Lasting Power of Attorney but become mentally incapable and unable to deal with your own affairs, but nevertheless your financial affairs need to be dealt with, a Receiver may be appointed to act by the Court of Protection.

This can be a lengthy process as the Court of Protection are required to ensure that the Receiver is an appropriate person to carry out that duty and is generally more expensive than where a Lasting Power of Attorney has been granted. The appointing of a Receiver however may be essential if it necessary to sell your property.

Carr & Co offer safe and sound advice to those who require assistance in all the above areas. Contact us further to arrange an appointment at your convenience and a home visit can be arranged.

For more information, see Wills & Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney & Court of Protection