Alder Wills
Alder Wills

How to avoid losing your home to pay for long term care

As current legislation stands, if somebody has to go into long term care the Local Authority has the power to seize all but £20,000 of their assets as a contribution towards the cost of that care.

A common problem is how to protect the family home from being seized in such a manner – and as official government statistics show that some 69,000 homes are sold every year to fund long term care (which is equivalent to one home being sold every four minutes) this is a big issue - but it easily be addressed by making the correct type of Wills.

First of all, though, it is important to understand that whilst you are both alive if one of you goes into long term care then the Local Council cannot force the sale of the property provided that it is in both your names (e.g. owned 50-50) – they can only force the sale if the person going into long term care owns the property 100% outright.

But what if one of you dies? You need to ensure that the ‘survivor’ never owns the property 100% outright. This is achieved by the first to die having a Will leaving his/her share of the property to the eventual heirs of your estate after you have both died, but specifying that the survivor of you has a lifetime right to live in the property (a ‘Life Interest’). Thus the survivor only owns 50% of the property and its sale cannot be forced to fund long term care.

In reality, you do not know which of you is going to die first and so you both need such a Will. Such Wills are often referred to as ‘Protective Property Trust’ Wills or ‘Life Interest’ Wills. To make them, you must both be alive now.

HERE’S HOW WE WRITE ‘PROTECTIVE PROPERTY TRUST’ WILLS FOR YOU: -

1. We ensure that you both own the home as ‘Tenants in Common’ in equal shares and not as ‘Joint Tenants.
2. We write your Wills such that the surviving partner is left with his/her 50% ownership of the home plus a ‘Life Interest’ in the remaining 50%.

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