Care or Nursing Home Fees - do you really want to lose your house for them?
5th October 2009
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<p>We have all heard about this issue and most of us think that “it’s not going to happen to me” but what if it does?  Here are some statistics for you:</p> <ul> <li>1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men over 65 currently go into care.</li> <li>with our ageing population, this figure could rise to as many as 1 in 2 of us in the near future (source: Help the Aged).</li> <li>average care home fees cost somewhere between £20,000 and £50,000 p.a.</li> <li>currently, to be eligible for care funding, your assets must not be worth more than £14,000 (2009/10) and that includes the value of your home.</li> <li>70,000 homes were sold in 2007 to pay for care costs alone (source: The Guardian).</li> </ul> <p>If you <strong>wait until you actually need care, it will be too late to protect anything</strong>, you will have to pay your own way. In addition, in time, your estate will probably face hefty Probate costs and time delays to pay out and your beneficiaries will get a lot less than they had expected.</p> <p>With the political parties heading for an <strong>election next year</strong>, there has been a lot of hype in the news recently. You only have to search for ‘care home fees’ on the BBC website and there’s a raft of stories and information on this very topic. No matter how much you read about it though, the fact remains that most of us will end up paying something, whether it is through a payroll tax like PAYE, a lump sum from your pension pot when you retire or via the Local Authority placing a charge on your estate so that you pay for it after you’ve left this World.</p> <p><strong>Voting Labour</strong> - they have said they will do everything they can to help you stay in your own home. That’s great isn’t it and probably what all of us would prefer? However, this does mean that the Local Authorities will have the financial burden (and not central Government) and so when they realise they cannot actually afford this, they will simply encourage more people into care homes so that they will have to pay their own way.</p> <p><strong>Voting Conservative</strong> – they have suggested that they will provide you with the option of paying a one-off voluntary fee of £8,000 each to avoid residential or nursing fees later in life. First, you may be the lucky one that never needs to go into care and second, how is £8,000 going to cover the costs? The figures just do not stack up or am I missing something here?</p> <p>You may have some questions at this point like <strong>“Is there another way?”</strong> and the answer to this is <strong>a resounding, yes!</strong>  Then you might ask “Then why hasn’t anyone told me about it before then?”  Don’t know the answer to that but here goes, let me see if I can explain in brief …</p> <p>There are a number of things you can do with your assets but you need to be very careful because when the Local Authority means tests you they can claim ‘deliberate deprivation’.  In other words, they will say that <strong>you have deliberately attempted to deprive them of using your money!</strong>  Then they will ignore what you have done and apply ‘notional capital rules’ and assume you still have the assets and can go after whoever now owns your assets for the money.  It is by no means easy to steer your way around the ‘rule book’ but it can be done.  <strong>An effective way to protect your home and assets would be to put them into a Trust.</strong>  This is a specialist area of course and so I would encourage you to first book yourself onto one of our forthcoming and FREE presentations so that you can find out more about it before you do anything.</p> <p>If you are concerned that a trust sounds expensive and think that they are only for rich people then don’t be concerned. Yes, there will be costs but not anywhere near the Conservative’s £8,000.  In fact, the whole thing can actually be self-funding in the long run because if you protect your estate in a Trust then you can also avoid the cost of Probate on your estate when you do eventually die.  This can typically save you £8,000 (based on a 2.5% probate fee on an estate worth £320,000). Yes, you do have to pay for a Trust upfront but after that there are no on-going costs to managing the Trust and you will have full access and control of your Trust assets and income via your nominated and professional trustees.</p> <p>It is your choice but my advice would be to pick up the phone now and reserve your place on one of our presentations – Hinckley on the 29 October 09 and Nuneaton on the 12 November 09.  They’re FREE; you will get up-to-date and valuable information without any obligations at all and you will then be in a position to <strong>make an informed choice.  Contact us now, places are limited and so don’t put it off, book now - Telephone 01455 615 100.</strong></p> <p>Rob Abell and <strong><em>Will Planning Solutions Ltd</em></strong> are specialists in the field of Will Writing, Trusts and Estate Planning and would of course be delighted to provide you with further guidance on these very important issues in your home if you prefer.  Simply call 01455 268 677 for an appointment.</p>/4b30333d-229f-4efd-a5d6-e41c3e4f2a08.jpg/b6a4e889-d827-4c72-a020-0dcf276cef83.jpg
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