With the rising cost of caring for an ageing population, it can seem as though we are locked in a battle between savers and homeowners trying to protect their assets, and the government trying to clamp down on care cost avoidance and fund the ever growing social care bill.
When the Conservative government announced a cap on care home costs, to come into effect in April 2016, many people felt that the need to carefully plan for the future had eased somewhat.
But now that the proposed cap of £72,000 has been delayed to at least April 2020, it is more important than ever to assess your potential exposure to costs, should the need arise for you or your spouse to go into full-time care.
Planning effectively for care costs is a minefield and many of the routes that people have previously taken to protect their assets have been shut down under the ‘Deliberate Deprivation’ Rule – a legal block brought in expressly to prevent the disposal of assets for the purpose of avoiding care costs.
So you would be mistaken if you thought that signing over your house or giving your children any ‘inheritance in advance’ will definitely protect your estate. In fact, if you were to give large chunks of your estate away and your family subsequently disposed of those assets in turn, they could find themselves liable for your care costs and with nothing to pay them with!
And while trusts set up to protect your home and other assets (so that they can be passed to your children and grandchildren) may have the inadvertent benefit of shielding your assets from care home fees claims, a trust should not be set up expressly to avoid care home fees.
So if you are considering taking any action in the hope of better planning for care fees in the future, our best advice would be to come and speak to one of our team of legal experts so that you can plan your estate – for your lifetime and beyond – legally.
If you’d like to book a free consultation with one of our legal experts, book online or call 01342 477 102 and quote ‘Care Fees Cap Blog’.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.