It is estimated that one in five men and one in three women will need to enter a care home at some time in the future and many others will need help with everyday living in their own homes.
Local authorities are responsible for assessing your care needs and cost will depend on where you live. Residential care costs anything up to £1,000 and more in the South, and up to £700-£800 a week in the North-West and Scotland. The NHS will only pay in full for people with the most serious illnesses. Any NHS support or care, be it in your own home or a residential care home, is subject to a means test by the local authority.
Heather Varley, as Associate in our Wills & Tax Team is experienced in dealing with wills, powers of attorney and the general affairs of the elderly. She says “More and more people are having to fund all or part of their own care and think they will have to sell the family home to pay for it. This is not always the case – there are many options available and it makes sense to plan ahead for all eventualities. Only those people with assets below £23,250 are eligible for State help and once your assets fall below £14,250 your care is funded in full.”
Providing that a spouse or civil partner still lives in the family home the value of the property is not counted during the 12 weeks after the date that a person enters into permanent care. An individual in care can be considered a temporary resident for up to 52 weeks.
Many issues have to be considered – inheritance tax, ‘gifting’ your property to a relative, capital gains, equity release, and annuities. This is a complex area and it is advisable to take some sound advice before rushing into selling your home.
If you would like to discuss these options, please call 01202 499255 to arrange a free initial meeting and Heather or a member of the Wills & Tax Team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.