Worried about having to sell your home to pay care fees? Concerned that your children might end up with no inheritance at all? Did you know that there IS a way to make sure that they will at least inherit something?
All you need is the right Will
Many people’s wills simply leave all their assets to their spouse. This sounds fine and straightforward, but it means that when one spouse dies the survivor ends up with all the assets, including the whole house. If the survivor needs care then the whole joint estate is forfeit and everything over £23,250 must be used to pay the fees. The house must be sold and the children may get only a pittance when the survivor dies. With a care fee will the half of the house owned by the first to die doesn’t go to the survivor. It goes into a trust fund separate from the survivor’s estate and therefore not liable to be used to pay the fees. This much at least will without question be inherited by the children come what may.
Deliberate Deprivation and care fees
You may have heard of this rule which says that, any attempt the care-receiver has made to place assets beyond the reach of the local authority can be overturned The beauty of a care fee will is that it is not the care receiver who disposes of the assets to the trust – it is their Spouse, so no accusation can be made and the asset values are safe. Everyone concerned about the effects of care fees on their shoulders should consider making care fee wills. They’re not all expensive considering the enormous potential savings if care is ever needed.
DEMYSTIFYING THE JARGON
Whenever a couple buys a property together, they need to say whether they want to own it as tenants in common or joint tenants.
What is the difference.
If you choose to own as joint tenants then on your death your home passes automatically to your fellow joint tenant. It does this regardless of what your Will might say, so be careful. If you chose to be tenants in common then your share does pass under your Will to your chosen beneficiary, or to a trust if this is what your Will specifies.
If you have a trust will, it is very important to make sure that you choose to continue to be tenants in common or your Will may be ineffective.
Many people become tenants in common so they can leave their share of the property to a trust which can protect if being used to pay fees or from being left away from your children if your spouse remarries after you die.
Talk to us if you are concerned you may have to sell your home to pay care fees.