Don’t Be Caught Out by Care Fees

Paying for care in later life will become a reality for more and more of us. We’re living longer and more people will be drawing on finite state care funding. A natural reaction to such a big potential issue is to do nothing and hope for the best. But hope is rarely a successful strategy. It’s important to take action early to minimise your exposure to care costs.

Residential care is likely to cost well in excess of £500 per week. The local authority will only contribute towards your care costs if you have assets worth less than £23,250. Your property will be part of the asset calculation unless you have a spouse or dependant close relative sharing your home.

In most cases you won’t have to pay the cost of care directly as it will be recovered from your estate after you die. But the impact on your beneficiaries could be significant.

Having the right provisions in your will can help to reduce the impact and can protect at least half of the value of a combined estate. But provisions need to be carefully worded and reviewed periodically as guidance changes.

One tactic you should avoid is simply giving your assets away during your lifetime. This is unlikely to be effective as a local authority will probably deem that this was done to avoid liability for care fees.

Plan Early for Peace of Mind

Planning early is always advisable. There is very little that can be done to protect assets once a partner has died. Another advantage of planning early is that you could quite reasonably be seen as not envisaging the need for care at that time. It would then be harder for a local authority to make a case that you made provisions specifically to avoid care costs.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of early care fees planning is certainty. You will know how any fees will be covered and also understand the impact this will have on your spouse and any beneficiaries of your estate. That has to be better than worrying about what might or might not happen.

The Private Client Team at Powells has significant experience in this area and will be happy to provide a free no-obligation discussion about your circumstances and options. Contact us now on 01934 623 501 and start to put your mind at ease.

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