Later Life Care Lottery

Providing care for our elderly and infirm has become one of the major biggest factors in our community today, particularly after and during the current pandemic crisis.

In our experience few things cause more problems and anxiety amongst families, than decisions about provision and funding for after life care.

Over 400,000 older people live in care homes, including 1 in 7 Britain’s over the age of 85 years of age.

Although successive Conservative and Labour party manifestos have set out ambitious claims, as how to deal with the provision and care and in particular the funding, these remain unobtainable, and some would say the current care that’s provided is in crisis as to its funding.

Later life care costs are expensive, and fall unevenly in the sense that some people may have a disability disease such as dementia, and require long term care, and some may have such things as strokes, which cause care provision but eventually sure to death.

The costs of moving into a home on a permanent basis, typically starts at £700 per week (£39,000 a year), and it may be necessary to pay much more to avoid ending up in a more basic home.

The current rules are that you must pay the bill if you have savings above £23,500. The value of your house is usually taken into account in this situation, unless your partner still lives there.

The impact of the current assessment means that many people find this unfair, as they want to preserve an inheritance for their children, and often that inheritance is in fact the family home.

It is very important that families make provision for later life care, if you can. It’s not a particularly nice subject to discuss, but death will come to us all.

When we are approached by clients to consider these matters, our first piece of advice is to put into place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

There are two sorts, Financial and Health. These will give your loved one’s authority to act on your behalf if you are incapacitated. There are certain criteria that you have to abide by in order to have a LPA, the obvious one is that you need to be of sound mind when you make them. So again, our advice and experience is, do not wait until you have, or your relatives have, fallen into a situation when they are of unsound mind. In those circumstances, you may be faced with having to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order, which is expensive and time consuming, and sometimes very stressful.

The next piece of advice is if you haven’t made a will, make one, If you have made a will  make sure that it is up to date. Again, this needs to be done while you have capacity.

If you need advice please contact us.