17 October, 2012
Many people are worried about needing care in the future and how the cost of that care might be met. Whilst it can be a frightening and daunting prospect, forward planning will put you in a better position and allow you to make informed decisions.
There is a fear that if you need care all your assets, including your home, will be taken to pay for that care. This has led to people giving assets away without appreciating the consequences, leaving them in a precarious financial situation and with limited choices if they do need care. In addition, if you give assets away with the intention of obtaining Local Authority funded care, the Local Authority will class this as a "deliberate deprivation" and will treat you as if you still owned those assets.
It is common to focus on the big assets and forget about income. If you have a good income then you may not need to use any of your assets to pay for care. If there is a shortfall then this can be met in many ways including family members agreeing to pay, renting out your home or a specialised care annuity. If you need care because of a health need then it may be that your care will be fully funded by the NHS.
It can be a stressful time when a family member needs care. People often find themselves "swept along" by an unfamiliar system and feel that they have little choice. Planning ahead can make this stressful time easier. For example, appointing attorneys who would be able to deal with your finances or make decisions about your health and welfare.
Even if you have been unable to plan ahead, it is worth taking advice at the time that care is needed as there may be options which you had not considered or which are not immediately offered to you. Taking advice can mean that you secure the care that you need in a way that suits you and your family best.
For advice and help contact one of our Elderly Client specialists, Victoria Motley, Jane Flaherty or Maureen Nicholl on 01772 220022.