PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM CARE FEES

Take a look at our jargon-free video, which explains how April Wills® can help protect your home from future care fees and your child's inheritance against financial creditors, divorce and other predatory third parties. April Wills® are designed to keep your estate in the family bloodline.

Home-owning couples should act now to protect their children's inheritance

Have you made standard “Mirror Wills” leaving everything to each other and then to the children? Or have you been meaning to make a will but just haven’t gotten around to it?

If so, then by leaving everything to each other, you are inadvertently putting all your assets at risk should the survivor of you require care in the future. There are things you can do to plan ahead; here we talk about the new style of April Wills®…

You are both healthy and perhaps think that care fees are nothing to be concerned about at this time, but there are some very important steps you can take now to safeguard your children’s inheritance.

These steps are time-sensitive – You must act now to protect all your years of hard work.

 

Your free, no-obligation information pack explains:

tick Avoiding care home fees: How to legally ensure nearly all of your hard-earned assets are not used for care fees.
tick How April Wills® can ensure your estate is inherited by family, not ex-partners or predatory third parties.
tick If you have an estranged child and want to safeguard your other children’s inheritance from a legal challenge.
tick How to nominate in advance someone you trust to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so.

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As we grow older, long-term care costs can become a substantial financial concern for many families...

Some individuals may consider transferring their property to their children in an effort to avoid paying care fees. However, this tactic can have unintended consequences, as it may be regarded as a deliberate deprivation of assets. We’ll delve into the law surrounding this matter and the legitimate solutions offered by April King.

A lot of people are still unaware that if they need care in later life, their assets will be means-tested by the local authority to help pay for these services. This goes back to the Community Care Act 1990, which came into force in 1993.

If someone requires social care in later life, the local authority will look to use the assets of a person until they get down to a lower limit, when the local authority will take over the fees.

Head of April King Legal, Paul King knows this all too well from personal experience.

My own grandmother sadly passed away recently at the age of 92. My grandfather had died many years earlier and he left everything to her.  When she needed care in the last six years of her life, the house and all the estate were counted in the local authority’s means test because my grandfather had left everything to her.

Just as she died, her assets had gone down to that lower limit – and that’s all that her children inherited. My grandfather sadly passed before care fees became an issue, he left everything to my grandmother who years later needed care. The value of the home and estate was then included in a Local Authority means test and used to fund her care. By the time of her passing the estate had dwindled to very little.

Had my Grandfather known what was on the horizon with care fees he could have changed the way he planned to leave his half of the home to my grandmother. He could have said in his will, “I leave my half of our home to our children, but they can’t have it whilst my wife is alive”. My grandmother’s half would of course have still been exposed to the means test but at least my grandfather’s half would have not been included and therefore protected”.

 

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There are many myths about how people can protect their assets from being used to fund future care..

The main one is that a parent should simply sign their house over to the children (or a Living Trust) now, so it won’t be taken into consideration for means testing. This is simply not true.

Local authorities will actually look to see if you’ve ‘deliberately deprived’ yourself of an asset by giving property away, going back over any period in time.

Under our April Wills legitimate plan, you are not depriving yourself because you are simply protecting the half of the spouse/partner that died first and didn’t receive care.

Sometimes people think if the gift is made seven years prior then the house is safe..

This isn’t the case. The seven-year rule only applies to Inheritance Tax and not local authority care. The solution is for couples to simply not leave everything to each other in the first place.

‘Why should he have to contribute his half when he didn’t receive any care?’

The important factor is that couples need to act in advance. Once one party dies or loses mental capacity, through a stroke, for example, they are no longer in a position to undertake this legitimate and straightforward type of planning. It is therefore important for couples to act now, even if they may not foresee care fees being an issue.

Paul also explains that most clients he sees are surprised to learn that remarriage usually cancels a Will and makes the new spouse next in line to inherit, ahead of their own children!

Protecting your half of the house with an April Will®, he suggests, ensure that your children ultimately inherit when the survivor dies.

“Had my grandmother remarried after the death of my grandfather the whole estate could have passed sideways out of the family”, says Paul. It’s another important reason for home-owning couples to upgrade to April Wills®.

On average, our April Wills® protect up to £144,909* from future care fees of a surviving partner.

*The figure for average protection from April Wills is £144,909, based on the average UK House Price Index as of January 2023. This calculation assumes joint ownership of the house. Please note that the care fee upper capital limit is £23,250, which is correct for England as of March 2020. Figures may vary in other parts of the UK. These calculations are for illustrative purposes only.

What’s more, our bespoke April Wills also help to protect your children’s inheritance from their future divorce, remarriages or financial difficulties.