Sadly, as we grow older our physical and mental health can also deteriorate. These problems can be complex and difficult to cope with at home, so specialised, professional care in a care home can sometimes be the best solution.
Unfortunately, residential care homes and nursing home are expensive. If through a lifetime of hard work you have managed to save for your later years, own your own home or have savings, it is likely in the majority of cases that you will be liable to pay for these fees yourself. In a short amount of time these hard earned savings could be eroded and in some cases your home may have to be sold, so there could be very little left for your children to inherit. Despite this knowledge, very few of us consider the financial implications until it is too late.
Many people assume they can give their homes, or other assets away to their children to avoid paying care home fees. Whilst they are indeed able to do so, this does pose a number of risks to them and can leave them very vulnerable. Furthermore, it does not guarantee any protection of the family home or other assets as it may be viewed as deliberate deprivation of capital by the local authority.
Many couples do not realise that they may be able to safeguard some of their assets for their loved ones, by changing the way they own their assets and combining this with having an effective Will.
Professional advice should be taken before transferring any assets; this is not only to ensure that this gives effect to your wishes, but also to consider any taxation implications and to ensure that the transfer does not fall foul of the Deprivation of Assets legislation. This legislation allows Local Authorities to recover assets that have been deliberately disposed of to avoid paying care fees.
Richard Neea Head of Wills, Tax and Probate comments that; “Many people do not realise that with careful preparation it is possible to reduce what can be claimed from their estate should care be needed in the future. I would therefore urge anyone who is concerned about mitigating the potential threat care fees pose to their assets, to seek independent and professional advice, so that steps can be taken before it is too late.”
To discuss the above further, or if you have any other queries regarding Wills and paying for care, please contact Reiss Matthews or any of the other members of the Enoch Evans LLP Wills, Tax & Probate Team. If you wish to conduct a review of your affairs, our Wills, Tax and Probate team will be more than happy to assist you.