A will is important for two principal reasons:
- If you die leaving no will, your estate will be distributed according to the rules of intestacy, which may be different to what you want.
- They are important tools as regards saving Inheritance Taxes.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Without established powers of attorney there will be no one who may act for you in the event that you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself. This causes huge problems for a family.
EVERY ADULT SHOULD ESTABLISH LPAs. Why would you not? Accidents happen!
Lasting Powers of Attorney allow your trusted attorney/s to act for you, over Property & Finance, and over Health, Welfare and Care.
CRUCIALLY, YOUR wishes will be adhered to, by medical professionals, and by your family, making financial decisions for you.
Payable, on estates above £500k (including main residence of at least £125k). IHT on £2m joint estate is at least £400k. This can often be mitigated with the right arrangements.
Care Needs Assessments
If you need social care, whether that's home adaptations or a care home, a care needs assessment is the first step. Get in touch with the adult social services department of your local council and ask for a care assessment (also known as a needs assessment). You will explain you need support managing everyday tasks like accessing your community. Everyone is entitled to a care assessment regardless of your finances, and regardless of what your needs are.
Can you just give away your assets and have the State pay for your care?
In a word: No. This is called Deliberate Asset Deprivation. If you do this, the Local Authority will just assess the given away assets as yours, and determine that you pay for your care. If you give your home away they will 'add it back in'. They can go back as long as they want.
Deferred Payment Arrangement
If your total assets, other than your home, are under £23,250 your Local Authority (LA) might be prepared to lend you the funds to pay for care, at an interest rate set, 6-monthly, by central government. On your death, the property will be sold and the LA repaid, plus rolled-up interest.
In many cases, the house is disregarded if a spouse/partner still lives there or someone is receiving care there.
Residential Care and/or Nursing Care
Residential care is for those who can no longer look after themselves and cannot be looked after in their own home. Nursing Care has a higher level medical care nature. Nursing Care can be provided in Residential Care homes. If eligible, the NHS pays for Nursing Care, at £183.92 pw.
This is not to be confused with Continuing Healthcare, where all fees are paid by the NHS, where one's primary care need is healthcare. It is provided to meet severe needs arising because of disability, accident, or illness.
What happens if your money runs out?
Your family may pay for your care.
Or your Local Authority will be required to fund your care. Generally (perhaps always) LA payment levels are materially lower than 'private' fee levels. So, the quality of care home may be lower. You may have to move from one care home to another, perhaps of a lower quality and not of your choosing.
Websites for information :