The average weekly cost of residential care in the South West is £592, rising to £792 when additional nursing care is required. As Beth Cudmore of Mogers Drewett explains, it helps the transition if you have planned ahead and considered the likely costs and options available before the time comes to make the change. There are key steps you can take to help the process.
Obtain details of all the financial assets and speak to your solicitor and financial adviser about funding options.
Organise a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to take over the person’s affairs if they are unable to do so themselves. An LPA can only be made while the person is capable of understanding what the documents mean, so usually, the sooner an LPA is made, the better. There are two types of LPA; one for property and finances, and another for health and welfare.
Review the Will. There are ways to ‘ring-fence’ some of a couple’s assets in their Wills to ensure that not all of their property or money is used to pay for care. For example, a Property Protection Trust applies when a spouse or civil partner dies and the survivor requires care. A Trust of this kind can be particularly useful when it applies to a part of the home; if the home is sold to pay for care, the half that belonged to the partner that died first can pass to the beneficiaries named in their Will (usually the children).
A great deal of flexibility can be built into the Trust, so it can provide for alternative scenarios, such as your partner requiring ‘top-up fees’ to pay for a higher standard of care, or ensuring that there is money available to pay for care at home if they prefer.