Take early action to reduce the risk to family wealth from Care Home fees
Those who fund their own care pay hundreds of pounds more a week than state-funded residents. This typically results in family's assets having to find £10,000 more a year than a Local Authority pays. This occurs because of the bargaining power of the Local Authority.
Taken together with the fact that the average annual cost of nursing care now exceeds £43,000 a year, it represents a major threat to family wealth. In the South the average is closer to £50,000 a year.
According to analysts LaingBuisson, those who have to use their assets to pay for their care have seen an increase from £445 per week in 1998 to £845 per week today.
Since the typical stay in a good care home is 3 years, the average cost to family wealth can easily exceed £100,000.
Key to protecting family wealth is to cleverly structure how assets are owned and inherited within the rules. Will Trusts and Lifetime Trusts are key to this.
People with assets under £23,250 at the time of requiring a Care Home can claim Local Authority support, but others must fund the fees themselves.
We all need to recognise the stark reality that most families will see an elderly relative spend time in a care home. The risks of entering a care home are rising and are already a 1 in 3 chance of requiring a Care Home for people who have reached 60 years old and are as high as 4 in 10 for women who reach 80 years of age.
Therefore, for anyone with relatives in their 60s or older, planning for these issues is an essential action and the earlier it is done, the more effective will be the outcomes.