Month: December 2016

Adult Social Care

Crisis In Adult Social Care.

It was reported in the Sunday Times this week that Local Authorities are tightening their budget on the amount of money available for adult Social Care. Consequently, a lot of care facilities are being forced to close through lack of money and new Care and Retirement Homes are not being built.

According to a report by the Care Quality Commission, the number of Care Homes in England fell from 18,068 in 2010 to 16,614 in July 2016. With the number of older people increasing, we are going to need more Care facilities in the future, so this paints a very grave picture.

Age UK, estimates that one million older people who are unable to feed, bathe or dress themselves are receiving no care whatsoever. Many of the worst cases end up on Emergency Wards in Hospital, which is far from ideal and, with the Winter Season upon us, the situation will only get worse.

Some of the problems have been blamed on the Government increasing the National Minimum Wage which means that employment costs have risen significantly. Other causes are the increase in building materials and overheads making the building of affordable care facilities out of the question.

Where previously a large proportion of older people would have been cared for within family networks, roles, families and society have changed making this no longer possible for many older people.

Whilst LCS are unable to make a big enough difference to the bigger picture, we can help our clients with affordable Wills and Trusts, and future Care Planning.

Contact LCS now on 0345 017 8250 to find out how we can help you.

Advertisements

Give Your Family The Best Gift This Christmas.

At LCS we generally see a rise in deaths over the Christmas and Winter period. Any death is a sad event, but this can bring so much additional pain to families where a loved one has died without making a Will or putting their affairs in order.

Here are a few suggestions of what to deal with before it really is too late.

  1. Make a Will – This easy step makes life so much easier for those you leave behind. This gives clear instructions about what you want to happen and whom you wish to benefit from your estate.
  2. Lasting Powers of Attorney – These are vital documents to have in case you lose the ability to make decisions or act for yourself in the future.
  3. Estate Planning – This enables you to plan for the future, prepare for retirement and minimise your Inheritance Tax liability.
  4. Plan your Funeral– Having a pre-paid Funeral Plan in place means that you have the funeral that you want, and, the financial burden of this is not placed upon your family.
  5. Care for your pets – What happens if you die before them? Who will care for them, and where will the money come from to provide for them. This can all be dealt with in your Will.
  6. Organ donation – If this is something that is important to you, you should register on the National Register, carry a donor card and inform your family of your wishes.
  7. Be practical – Someone will have to deal with your estate when you die. It would make this task easier if you have kept clear records prior to your death.
  8. Talk to your family – Inform them where important documents, including your Will, Funeral Plan, and Powers of Attorney are kept. Discussing death is often not an easy subject, but it is so important that your loved ones know what your wishes are.

Have peace of mind this Christmas knowing that you have given the best gift to your loved ones.

Call LCS today on 0345 017 8250 to arrange an appointment and take advantage of our special offers.

Why Are Our Older Generation’s Homes Being Seized For Care Fees?

Yesterday, the Sunday Times reported that Local Authorities have placed thousands of legal charges on homes owned by the elderly who are now in care.

If an older person needed care and where there is a spouse still living in the home, the home cannot, at that point, be sold to pay for the Care Fees. However, the Local Authority now has the ability to place a charge against the home for the cost of the Care Fees, which will be paid to the Local Authority upon the deaths of the owners.

This scheme is known as a “Deferred Payment Agreement” (DPA) and older people may surrender their home to a Council to eventually cover the cost of care where they do not have savings to fund this.

Initial figures published by NHS Digital show that 55 councils currently have 2,895 DPAs’. The total value of the agreements disclosed was £72.4 million, but the actual figure will realistically be higher as only one third of Local Authorities responded.

Although there were discussions about capping Care Fees at £72,000 for every person above State Pension age, such proposals have now been postponed until 2020. This means that even more of our older generation will be forced to use their home to pay their bills.

The report also states, that whilst losing their homes, older people entering into a DPA are likely to be penalised further by having to pay elevated rates of up to £200 per week more for their care. AGE UK is reported to have called this additional money “Back Door Tax” which is ultimately used to subsidise those who cannot pay, or do not own their own home.

A recent report by the Family and Childcare Trust discovered that in some areas of the UK, self-funders would use up the value of their home in less than four years.

It is not however, all bad news. 

Talk to LCS Legal now on 0345 017 8250 to discuss what options, including Asset Protection Trusts, we have to help you and your family.