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Elderly Client Q&As
A friend of mine tells me she has given her property to her children in order to protect it from nursing home fees. Will this work and how can I do it
If you need to go into a nursing home and if you do not have any capital assets then the local authority are duty bound to house you. They will however, means test you. If you own a property or have significant assets then you will have to pay the fees yourself. You are currently allowed to hold £23,000. It may be possible to transfer capital and assets (in particular your house) to the next generation. This is done by transferring the property across and usually making a Trust Deed to guarantee your right to remain living at the property. There are no guarantees however, because if the local authority can prove that an asset was given away with the intention of depriving them of it they can take it back into account. The longer the length of time between the gift of the property and the requirement for the nursing home fees the better. The issue is somewhat complex and would benefit an initial consultation if you are interested in this.
Do I need a Power of Attorney and who will look after my affairs if I become unwell or mentally incompetent
If you are unable to look after your own affairs then a Lasting Power of Attorney is essential. This is a document which gives power to a third party (usually children, for instance) and enables them to deal with your property and affairs even welfare issues. Such documents need to be put into place before you become unwell. There are two types:-
(a) A Property and Affairs Power which enables someone to deal with your finances, payment of bills, collection of funds and sale of assets.
(b) A Welfare Power which is designed to give someone power to make decisions about where you live, medical treatment you receive and other related issues.
The documents are reasonably straight forward to put in place but a little bureaucratic and technical and can take up to three months before finalisation. If you are interested we would be pleased to offer an initial free consultation.
I have no family living close by who will look after me if I become unwell.
We can assist you by becoming your Attorneys under a Lasting Power of Attorney document. We have a number of clients who we look after financially ensuring that their investments are looked after properly, their pensions are collected, nursing home fees paid and financial needs and requirements met.