Preparing for old age can be a daunting task whether it’s talking pensions, writing a will or protecting your financial assets but it’s a necessary one and crucial if you intend to secure you and your family’s future. Making the right decisions now will not only safeguard your wealth, it can also significantly reduce heartache in the future and give you peace of mind that your wishes will be fulfilled exactly as you intend on your passing.
The cost of care home fees and how these are currently funded is just one of many issues facing couples as they approach old age and should be treated very seriously, according to Chelmsford’s (near Brentwood) leading independent will writing firm Affinity Wills.
Recent figures show more than 100,000 people have had to sell their home to cover the cost of residential care over the past five years – many of whom were forced to sell under the Community Care Act 1990 which gives local authorities the power to forcibly sell a person’s home to pay for long term care.
The Government has recently published a White Paper setting out plans to reform care in England, and a separate report on funding. Although this seeks to make the system fairer for pensioners and their families, many campaigners feel it doesn’t go far enough and will still see individuals left with huge bills in order to fund their care.
The Government is considering introducing deferred payments from 2015 which would mean local authorities would be able to pay for care on a person’s behalf – however it would still reclaim the costs back when the home is eventually sold. Under the scheme, councils would be able to charge interest on the fees which would most likely be added to the final bill. It is also considering introducing a cap on what anyone pays towards their own care but the rates currently being discussed would still require many people to sell their homes to enable them to pay.
Whatever is decided now or in the future, there are ways to avoid this dilemma and protect your assets – but you need to seek professional advice.
Giles Murray, managing director of Chelmsford’s Affinity Legal Group, said: “The most important thing is for people to understand there are issues out there that are facing us all, especially around the areas of inheritance and care fees. It tends to become scandalised in the media but there are solutions available and we can offer those.
“If you are concerned about anything, it’s best to take advice from a professional who specialises in writing wills and dealing with inheritance issues. There are ways to protect your home if you want to – don’t sweep it under the carpet, get out and seek advice.”
If you would like more information on writing a will or protecting your wealth in the future call Affinity Wills on 01245 898605 or click here. Affinity Wills is based in Chelmsford, covering all of Brentwood.
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