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Estate Planning and Care of the Elderly

Did you know by 2040 one in four people will be aged over 65 according to a report from Age UK? With an aging population, a stretched NHS and cash-strapped councils it is increasingly difficult to provide the care required for our elderly.

NHS Digital has estimated nursing home costs are approximately £596 per week whilst residential home costs are approximately £716 per week. That’s £30,992 and £37,232 per annum for each type of care. It can be very complicated to work out who should pay for what and how to claim what you are entitled to.

Many people believe they will have to sell their home to pay for care when the time comes. If you need assistance with assessing how care will be paid for, Flackwoods will be able to advise you on the legislation and procedures to ensure that the person in need claims everything they are entitled to.

The NHS only provides care in cases of urgent need. Local authorities contribute to care costs if a person has assets which are less than the set financial threshold, currently £23,500. If someone has savings and property worth more than this then they must pay the full amount for their care.

With many people disposing of income to avoid inheritance tax and with the rising cost of care, it is important to seek professional advice prior to the disposal of assets by sale, gift or other methods. If you make a gift and then require care within 6 months of making the gift, the local authority could ask for the gift to be returned by the recipient in order to pay for care.

There are steps you can take to protect your assets and ensure funds are available to pay for care when this is required. You can fund care using:

  • capital and savings
  • an investment bond
  • immediate needs annuity

With bonds and annuities, every policy has different terms and conditions and is subject to different tax treatment. It is, therefore, key to seek professional advice before taking measures to try and protect assets to fund care in later life.

It is also very important to ensure you have a lasting power of attorney in place and you can find out more about this on our website.

For initial advice, assistance or for a general chat about planning, whether for you or someone you know, contact Ian on 01403 738777.


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