Paying for carer accommodation in a nursing home is an issue that concerns many people. It appears unfair that money that has been accumulated through hard work can be taken away by a local authority for the purpose of nursing home care when others who have not acquired sufficient funds have their care provided at the expense of the state. It is of particular concern to find that the family home may have to be sold after the death of one spouse or cohabitee where the survivor requires admission to a residential or nursing home due to the fact that their prime carer is no longer available and the family home is therefore empty.
The good news is that the situation may be avoided by careful planning including structuring the ownership of the family home correctly and preparing appropriately worded wills.
In order to be able to protect the family home and property from care home fees it is first necessary to ensure that a married or cohabiting couple own the property jointly in the correct way. This is called Tenants in Common. Our Wills Department will be able to advise you in detail on this process and if it is necessary to change the joint ownership then this can be done quickly and inexpensively.
Once the ownership is correctly structured it would then be possible for wills to be made whereby the first partner to die leaves his or her half share to the surviving partner in a life interest trust. This means that the surviving spouse can remain living at home for as long as they choose without any threat from any local authority or other party. On the death of the second partner the life interest trust comes to an end and the share of the first partner to die reverts back to their estate and is directed to other nominated members of the family such as children or other family members. This prevents that share from being taken into account in the assessment of the surviving partner’s care assessment.
Our expert staff will be able to explain the procedure to you either in person or on the telephone.
This type of will may save your family many thousands of pounds and much anxiety.
If you would like to discuss life interest wills or indeed any other aspect of will writing or estate taxation then please contact one of our will writing specialists (0208 859 9089).