Wills Case Study - Care Home Fees

05 August 2015

Client Situation

Mr and Mrs T had read an article about the possibility of their home being sold to pay for any care home fees they might need in their old age, and they wanted to know if there was anything they could do about it.

Mr and Mrs T had worked hard to pay off their mortgage and wanted the house to ultimately go to their children and grandchildren. They did not want to give away their property during their lifetimes and this was their main asset.

They were concerned that their original Wills left everything to each other on the first death, and if the surviving spouse was then unable to cope and had to go into a care home, then the costs would significantly deplete the amount that would ultimately pass to their children.

By making Trust Wills it is possible for a Will to help to reduce the possible impact that care home fees would have on the value of their estate passing to the children.

In order to achieve this, one option would be for Mr and Mrs T to write their Wills to leave their property into a Trust. This could be done by changing the way they owned their property from joint tenants to tenants in common so that they each owned 50% of the property and were free to gift their respective shares within their own individual Wills.

Each Will would then incorporate a Trust which would put both Mr and Mrs T’s individual shares of the property into Trust for their children and grandchildren but, upon the death of the first spouse, the Trust would allow the surviving spouse to benefit from that share of the property for the rest of their lifetime.

Then if the surviving spouse needed to pay for care during their latter years only the half of the property they owned outright would be taken into account by the local authority when assessing that individual’s ability to pay for that care and the other half would be ring-fenced by the Trust for future generations.

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