If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is – Asset Protection
The average annual cost of a stay in a care home now stands at £30,000 and £40,000 for a nursing home. If you have more than £23,250 of assets, the general rule is that you are required to pay for your own care. The situation can be different if you have a health need which may make you eligible for funding from the NHS.
There have been numerous proposals to reform this area over the last few years but, so far, none have been put into effect and we remain in the situation where if you have assets, generally speaking, you are expected to pay for your own care. In certain circumstances assets, like your home, can be disregarded depending on your personal circumstances.
As a result of the potentially high care and nursing fees, many people are lured into arrangements that are aggressively marketed by unregulated companies with unqualified staff. They often give the impression they are qualified to provide legal advice but in reality they are not. Many people often end up paying thousands of pounds for new wills and trusts which are totally unnecessary and, in many cases, do not end up protecting property or assets from care fees.
The rules surrounding this area are incredibly complex involving Deprivation of Capital, taxation implications and estate planning implications. Putting your house in a trust can be suitable but all of the implications from a tax perspective need to be carefully considered and understood before proceeding. You also need to be sure why you are putting a property into trust and the timing is important too.
There are steps that can be taken to help protect assets but they need to be fully explained and dealt with by a qualified legal professional. We at Dickinson Parker Hill can advise on these issues and we would recommend that you always speak to a solicitor about this type of matter rather than an unqualified person. Usually, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For further information, please call our offices on 01695 574 201 or contact Michael Prendergast.