When the Government announced this summer that it had further delayed its Green Paper on social care for older people until the Autumn, it thrust the spiralling cost of adult social care into the limelight again.
But with careful planning you can protect your assets from care fees - Graham Fuller, a Senior Associate in our Wills, Probate and Lifetime Planning team, says its never too early to start planning:
The Green Paper – “to ensure that the care and support system is sustainable in the long term” - was originally mooted in the March 2017 budget and again during the General Election campaign the same year.
It’s been suggested it will look at a cap on contributions to care but its publication has been postponed several times, most recently until later this year.
There is no doubt that debate is needed. The costs of care continue to increase and with a £3.5bn funding gap in social care predicted by 2025, questions rightly surround the future of funding in the sector. And with nearly 5,000 new requests for adult social care every day, pressure on services continues to rise.
So for the foreseeable future, it seems people will be expected to continue to pay for their care. This means that people’s savings and homes remain at risk from care fees but with careful planning, you can protect your assets.
While you have to ensure, quite rightly, that you don’t intentionally deprive yourself of assets, ie deliberately sell or pass on property or cash to avoid paying fees, there are legal ways you can make sure that your assets can be passed on to the next generation through your will.
Each case is different so a consultation with a lawyer with experience is the best way forward to come up with a solution tailored to your personal situation
* Graham deals with a broad range of matters including wills, powers of attorney, care fees, tax planning and probate. He is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly and is studying to become a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate solicitors.