After years of uncertainty and growing fears about England’s social care sector, the Dilnot report was unveiled this week, proposing changes to the future of social care.  The report sets out a number of proposals for changing the current care system, including a £35,000 cap on individual liability for care costs. The report has raised questions about where the balance should lie between the government and the individual and who will end up footing the bill.

In response to this our team has outlined what measures you can take to protect your assets, and why to consider your options sooner rather than later.

Whether to you are contemplating your future care arrangements, or whether you think that you may have to help arrange care for parents or an elderly relative, it is vital that you consider your circumstances sooner rather than later.

Some facts -

  • We’re living longer and its is getting longer every year. Life expectancy for a man is now 88 and a woman 92. ( Office of National Statistics 2009)  
  • 130,000 people go into long term care each year. (YouGov poll 2010)  
  • Average care home fees in London and the South East are £31,000 per annum and due to double over the next 20 years (SAGA)  
  • Last year 20,000 elderly people sold their homes to pay for their residential care. (Age Concern)  

Present position –

  • Capital savings of £23,350 are taken into account when assessing funding for care home fees and there are complicated and changing rules as to what is capital and what can be disregarded  
  • It is in Local Authority discretion to take into account or disregard the value of your home depending on various factors  

Your options –

  • Gifts in your lifetime, there are benefits but pitfalls which must be considered and safe guarded against  
  • A carefully drafted Will, there are easy to understand but effective ways of protecting your assets for your partner and family by provisions in your Will