Over the last 5 years over one million people have lost their homes to pay for care and a lot of people say to me:
“I have worked hard all my life to buy my own home and save for retirement and I want my children to benefit from it. Is there something I can do to ensure they inherit?”
The first thing I must tell you is that if you do anything to deliberately deprive the local council of payment for care fees it is called deliberate deprivation of assets and will not work. This includes giving your home away or putting it in trust specifically to avoid care fees.
There are however many good reasons to put your home in trust. One good reason is that property in trust does not need probate when you die, thus saving probate costs which can be substantial if a professional person is used to obtain probate. Putting your property into trust also means less stress for the people left behind because they can deal with the property straight away instead of waiting typically 6 to 12 months for probate before they can do anything. Another good reason is that with so many wills contested these days under the 1975 inheritance act, property in trust cannot be contested in this way, ensuring those that you want to inherit do actually inherit.
An interesting fact is that If you put your home into trust for any of these good reasons your property is automatically protected against all unforeseen eventualities, whatever they may be. It must also be remembered that not everyone goes into care in old age; in fact it is only about 1 in 4, although I must admit that is a lot.
Normally if you do go into care you are only allowed to keep £17,250 of your total assets including the value of your home, after which you have to make a contribution to care costs, and if your assets total over £23,250 you will usually be asked to pay the entire cost.
This is a complicated subject and not every case is the same. We are always more than happy to discuss your particular circumstances in order to advise you.
For more information and a free consultation please telephone South West Asset Protection on 0800 014 8031. South West Asset Protection is fully regulated, insured and approved by Devon Trading Standards