Need to know the differences between Joint Wills, Mutual Wills and Mirror Wills? In this article our Wills, Trusts + Probate team explain more…
Protect your home + assets against care fees
An ageing population and increased life expectancy will inevitably mean that more and more of us will require care in our later years.
Family aren’t always able to meet these care needs, so if you’ve been cautious with your money, own your property or have savings, it’s likely that you’ll be liable to pay at least some of this yourself.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need to sell your home as there are simple steps you can take to protect your assets, such as having an effective Will.
The cost of long-term care can be a significant worry for many, but by planning ahead you can ensure that you leave items of value in your Will, as demonstrated in this case study.
Our clients, Mr and Mrs Weston, are married with three adult children and two grandchildren. They jointly own their home, have joint savings and had capital to invest from Mr Weston’s retirement pot.
With Mr Weston due to retire, the couple wanted to put their financial and legal affairs in order. This included a review of their Wills and setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney.
During their review, we advised Mr and Mrs Weston to make Wills that would safeguard half of the value in their property against paying long-term care fees. This would also ensure that they could leave a legacy to their children and grandchildren.
We severed the joint tenancy on their property and constructed their Wills so that upon the first spouse’s death, the survivor was able to remain in their home until their death.
By changing the property ownership to tenants-in-common, the first spouse to die would leave their share of the home to their children or grandchildren. So if the surviving spouse needed long-term care – in a care home, for example – they could only be assessed as owning half the property. The remaining half would be protected against being used to fund care costs.
If the surviving spouse doesn’t need to fund long-term care costs, the property will pass to the beneficiaries as outlined in their Will.
We were also able to reassure Mr and Mrs Weston that inheritance tax wouldn’t be payable upon the first death and, due to the transferable nil rate band, it was unlikely to be an issue upon the second death.
Protecting assets and safeguarding your home and property against care fees is often a key driver for people updating their Will or making a Will for the first time.