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A row of old fashioned microphonesA key part of your later life planning should include protecting all of the things you’ve worked so hard for. Social care is means tested, only the poorest get help from the state towards their costs. Anybody with assets over £23,250 has to pay the full cost of their care. If you are moving into a care home the value of your home can be taken into account. The costs you face may run into tens of thousands of pounds. One in ten people who enter the care system end up paying over £100,000 in fees.
The Government has stated that from 2020 it will make an increased contribution to long-term care in England. However all is not as it first appears.
The care Act 2014 ensures the Government will cap the cost of paying for long-term care. Even people with the ability to pay will get their care paid when they have spent a certain amount on it themselves.
The Problem is how much is it? The cap has been set at £72,000. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that once you’ve spent £72,000 on care the state will step in and pay from that point. A more realistic scenario would entail twice that amount being spent on care home fees before the cap being reached.
The Department of Health explained; If you go into care from 2020 and have the savings/assets to pay for it you can pay your own fees, becoming what is known as a self-funder. You may choose a care home you like that costs a reasonable £720 per week. you calculate that within two years you will have spent £72,000 and therefore it will now become free. Unfortunately you would be wrong.
The cap is not reached when you have spent £72,000. The cap is on the amount of care at the rate the Local Authority would pay for it. If for instance your Local Authority only pays £625 per week for a care home it would take 115 weeks to reach £72,000 and you will have paid £82,800 in that time. Even this is a little misleading because it only covers care costs not those of board and lodging.
The national figure for board and lodging is expected to be fixed at £12,000 by the Government, £230 per week. If you take this £230 from the total Local Authority figure of £625 it leaves £395 as the cost of care the council will pay.
This means £395 is the amount which would count towards the cap and it would take 183 weeks – almost three and a half years to reach £72,000. You will have already paid £131,760 by then.
The story doesn’t end here. Even when you finally reach the cap all of your care fees will not be paid. The state will only pay the amount previously mentioned £395 per week leaving you to pay the additional £325 per week.
The Institute of Actuaries estimates that only 12% of women and 8% of men who go into a care home at the typical age of 85 will benefit from the cap. .
In the United Kingdom somebody develops dementia every 3 minutes. However, if this happens to you do not presume your loved ones can simply go to your bank and have access to your accounts on your behalf.
If you haven’t already set up Power of Attorney, your family will have to apply through the court for a deputyship order, which can be less effective, more expensive and a long winded and stressful process. The mere thought of losing our capacity and ability to make reasoned decisions is daunting and difficult for many people to talk about, but its a reality many of us will have to face. But we should all consider how much more challenging it would be if we were to be the victim of a serious accident, suffer a stroke or develop dementia without a Power of Attorney already in place.
Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful legal document where a person (who still has mental capacity) chooses somebody they trust to manage their affairs if in the future they lose capacity.
There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney. One is for property & financial affairs, the other is for health and welfare matters. Although they offer similar protection, LPA for health and welfare can not be used before a person loses capacity. Here at Secure Legacy we believe everybody should think about and consider Lasting Power of Attorney.
Charity Age UK says:
“There is no particular age you should start to consider Lasting Power of Attorney. People of any age can lose capacity unexpectedly. However, if a person is diagnosed with something that may cause them to lose capacity in the future, it would be wise to consider who they trust to make decisions for them when they are no longer able to do so themselves.”
Secure Legacy will give you the best advice and guide you through the most appropriate ways for to you minimise the impact of future care costs with our Property Protection Trusts and the added all round benefits of our Family Protection Trusts. We can give you long term peace of mind by arranging Lasting Power of Attorney in the comfort of your home, simplifying the entire process from signing to registration.
A row of old fashioned microphonesA report by Life and pensions group Royal London has stated that in the United Kingdom the average cost of a funeral has increased by almost 4% in the last twelve months to over £3,700, despite inflation staying around 0%. Out of that £3,700 the majority is for the funeral directors fees. On average these costs have risen by 5% each year over the last 20 years. On top of these costs are the cremation and burial fees which have risen too at a similar rate. The cost of a cremation is now £683 on average, whilst fees for burial are £1,645. However, once you add other elements such as a reception, headstone and flowers, the cost of all these extras takes the total to over £6,000.
The report also highlights how people on lower incomes are facing the greatest challenges. 10% of the population struggle with these costs and the average amount of debt they find themselves in is £1,318 after a loved ones funeral.
The author of the report Simon Cox explained: “The rising cost of the average funeral in the UK is extremely concerning; it has considerably outstripped inflation for years – comparable to the rise in house prices.”
He added: “The study demonstrates how people are struggling to meet the rise in funeral prices, something they have almost no control over.”

It might seem like a good idea to put a little money aside each month into a savings account to pay for future funeral costs. Unfortunately you might find yourself forever chasing that future cost, or constantly topping up the amount you’ve saved in order to meet an annual price rise you hadn’t accounted for. This is exacerbated by the very poor return on our savings the banks and building societies now offer. A funeral plan is the most effective way to avoid this. In effect you are fixing the cost of your funeral director’s services at the time you take out the plan, meaning that whatever the price rises for these services might be in the future, you and your family will not be affected.

Secure Legacy works with the country’s premier funeral plan providers. We can give you comfort and absolute peace of mind from our range of industry leading plans.
A row of old fashioned microphonesIf you die without a valid Will the rules of intestacy dictate how your assets are distributed. This could mean a partner may receive nothing. A spouse may even be adversely affected and not get the amount of your estate you had wanted. Some people who try to organise their affairs still make basic errors and this can make things just as difficult for those left behind.
There are plenty of D.I.Y Wills available on the internet. For people with simple and uncomplicated affairs this can be deceptively attractive. However, great care must be taken how they are written. The simplest of mistakes can turn out to be the most expensive. The Will you thought you had written correctly could face challenges or even be disregarded entirely. A poorly written will might even leave those left behind with thousands of pounds of legal fees to deal with. A Will must be clear, precise and comprehensive. You must update it if your circumstances change, such as if you get married, the number of children you have changes or you get divorced. It can often be easy to mistakenly overlook factors that can have a huge effect on future outcomes. If for instance you had decided to leave a car to your son and say a caravan to your daughter, and you subsequently sold the car and didn’t amend the will, the son would receive nothing. He would not be entitled to an equivalent financial amount from your estate. Importantly, you must also make sure your friends and family are aware of any changes that you have made to your Will in order to avoid the possibility of disputes.
Many people mistakenly believe that if they die without making a Will their Next of Kin and immediate relatives can decide how to distribute the estate. Unfortunately they are wrong as the rules of intestacy are applied. These rules strictly dictate exactly who inherits what when you die, sometimes it can result in the Government benefitting entirely from a person’s estate rather than the people the deceased had wanted to inherit.
Many couples presume because they have lived together for many years they don’t require a Will because they are common law spouses. Unfortunately when we die, the term common law husband and wife carries no weight. This means that without a Will a loved partner may receive nothing and the deceased’s brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts could inherit everything.
The rules of intestacy are very specific, even if you are married it doesn’t mean you will automatically inherit your spouse’s entire estate. If you are married and your estate is worth more than £125,000 your spouse will automatically inherit the first £125,000, anything above this amount is split amongst any children. If there aren’t any children then parents and siblings could inherit the remainder from an estate of £200,000 or more.
If you haven’t made a Will and have no living relatives the Crown will receive the entirety of your estate.
Our comprehensive estate planning and professional Will writing service includes a home consultation to ensure you are given the correct advice and Will for your circumstances.

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