Protect Your Property From The Cost Of Care Home Fees

With the cost of residential care currently being as much as £1,000 per week for any person with assets of more than £23,250,it is not surprising that people are keen to protect their property to pass on to their family.

When it becomes necessary for a person to move into residential care, a financial assessment is undertaken and any assets in that person’s sole name will normally be used to pay for their care. A share of joint assets will also normally be taken into account. However, the value of a home will be disregarded while a spouse (or certain other relatives) continues to live in the property.

However, if one spouse dies and the surviving spouse requires residential care, the full value of the house will be available and will be taken into account in assessing the funding of residential care fees.

An effective way to protect a share of a jointly owned property is for a couple to make Wills which include Life Interest Trusts.  Trusts of this type allow a share of a jointly owned property to be held for the surviving spouse to have full use of it during a specified period (often for the whole of the survivor’s lifetime).

In practice, this enables the surviving joint owner to benefit from the whole property during his or her lifetime, whilst preserving a share of the capital value to pass to other named beneficiaries (often the couple’s children) following the death of the surviving joint owner.

The trust protects the surviving joint owner, giving him or her the right to live in and make use of the property for as long as they wish to do so. If the survivor wishes to downsize, he or she will usually be free to do so. Similarly, if the survivor is not able to continue living in the property, he or she may receive any income (after expenses) generated from the share of the property held in the trust. 

The surviving joint owner does not own the share of the property held in the trust but has the right to occupy it or receive an income from it. As such, the share of the property held within the trust will be protected for the ultimate beneficiaries and will not be taken into account if the surviving joint owner requires residential care.

If you would be interested in discussing this with one of our members of staff, please contact us on 0844 567 2222 by email at or visit our website  We have offices in St. Neots, St. Ives and Huntingdon.



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