Worried about care fees
We were approached by a married couple from Woodbridge, in Suffolk who explained that they had had friends in Dereham in Norfolk, where the husband went to hospital suddenly and passed away. He was the primary carer for his wife who had lost capacity.
There was no alternative but for the wife to go into a care home in Norfolk.
The couple were concerned because the wife who had lost capacity received the entire estate from her husband and that money was now being used to pay for her care at £4,000.00 per month. These clients did not want to be in the same financial position, as they had children and wanted to protect as much of the property as possible.
These clients had a house worth £685,000 held as joint tenants and had very basic wills in place, leaving everything to each other.
“have a professional look at your affairs, before it’s too late”Mr and Mrs L – Woodbridge, Suffolk
After explaining that the circumstances of their friends in Norfolk was all too common, we advised that they have new Wills drafted which contained a Flexible Life Interest Trust, and following the first death, the survivor could use the assets of the deceased, but those assets were held separately in the Will Trust.
Having severed the joint tenancy for their house in Suffolk, converting it to ‘Tenants in Common’ this meant that on the death of the first spouse, their half shares would be re-directed into their respective Will Trusts, rather, on first death passing to the survivor, thereby increasing their estate which would adversely affect them financially, upon any future assessment by the local authority should the survivor require care, much like in their friend in Dereham.
If the surviving spouse later went into care only their assets would be eligible for assessment by the Local Authority, meaning the half held by the Will Trust is fully protected and cannot be used to pay for care fees.
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Cohen Knights LLP offers expert legal advice in relation to Wills, Lasting Power of Attorneys, Probate, Trusts, Trust Management and other legal services.
Making a Will – what to consider?
By making a Will you can:-
- Appoint people (called Executors) to carry out the terms of your Will.
- Appoint Guardians you trust to look after your children.
- Leave gifts of specific items or fixed sums of money
- Name the people or charities you want to benefit from your estate.
- Include Trusts to help protect your assets for your children.
Even if you have a Will it is crucial to review it at regular intervals; certainly every five years, and sooner if there have been a major life-changing events such as divorce, remarriage or the death of a partner, then your Will should be reviewed.
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