One of the most common questions we hear is "What happens if I need to go into Care - How can I protect my assets?"
The cost of care is between £530 and £950 PER WEEK (August 2017) depending on your location (see here ). If your total assets are below £23,250, then the State will fund your place (this is currently under review). Above that, it's down to you. Even at the low rate of £530 per week, this equates to £27,560, and with the average stay of about 30months, your assets could be reduced by nearly £69,000, or at the top rate, it would be £123,500!
Most of us work very hard over the years to buy our own homes and build up savings for our retirement and would like to leave a “little something” for our children and grandchildren after we are gone.
The costs involved in moving into a Care Home can literally wipe out your entire savings over time and you may be forced to sell your home to pay for care fees. This could mean that your loved ones could receive very little, or even nothing at all of what you originally intended them to have.
When someone enters care they are automatically “means-tested” and all of your estate, including your home, are taken into account. Without planning well ahead, only those who have very few assets will escape the cost of care.
Whatever assets we do have, many of us would want them passed down to our children and grandchildren, so losing a property to "care costs" is a severe blow. If you are concerned about what you intend to leave your loved ones, no matter your circumstances, we are able to advise on all aspects of care planning.
Consider, if you could legally "Hide" your assets so they weren't part of your means test, would you? This could result in vastly reduced or no care fees to pay. However, these Trusts Work must be done at least 7yrs prior to you needing them. Any less and it will not work. The rule here is the sooner the better. Also, consider, if you went into care, your home couldn't be sold. Effectively your home would be worth £0.00.
Please bear in mind that any sort of planning has risks involved. So even though your plan may have been in place for seven or more years, the council will still try to carry out a means test and include your property, or accuse you of "deprivation". When they do, YOU MUST put the valuation of the property as £0.00, if you don't they will include it. If they try (and they can try indefinitely) a carefully word letter from us can stop them. You have to appreciate with Care fee plans, the effect of being "protected" from care fees is a by product of the plan, NOT the purpose of the plan. We look at it that if you do nothing and go into care, you will potentially lose your home. If you have a the plan in place, you have a very good chance of preventing the loss of your home so it can pass to whomsoever you wish.
It never ceases to amaze me how straightforward it can be to plan ahead to protect yourselves, but how few do. It's also a fact that its cheaper to live on a luxury cruise liner than in most care homes. If you don't believe me, check out a 14-day cruise and compare to the basic care home you're considering.
For the sake of a few hundred pounds you can potentially save at least £69k.
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