None of us want to get to a stage in life where we have to be cared for by professionals. But the reality is that it’s an issue many have to face. Reading the headlines about
the cost of professional care is sobering stuff, especially when it becomes clear that it could wipe out a lot of your savings. Some people try to circumnavigate this high price by gifting money to
their family and loved ones, in a bid to fall until the cap of over £23,250 in savings and assets that means you have to pay for your own care. But there are serious consequences for those caught trying to play the system.
If it was as easy as moving money into the accounts of your children or other beneficeries, everyone would be at it. That’s
why the local authority is always thorough in investigating your financial status. As well as looking at your current assets, they’ll also look at those you used to own. If they can see that you
owned a house and the amount you sold it for is conspiculously absent in your finances, serious questions will be asked.
They class this as deliberate deprivation.
It’s not just handing over property that will get you in trouble, they’ll also check that you sold your property for a fair price (in line with
the market value). So it’s no good knocking thousands off the price so you can sell it to your family member, they’ll find out and you’ll be investigated for deliberate deprivation.
How is deliberate deprivation calculated?
The questions asked will be:
What was your apparent motive for the gift (money or property)
The timing of your gift (i.e the time between you realising you need care and when you disposed of the asset)
The amount of assets involved.
You’d be less likely to be investigated if you gave away £500 than if you handed over £50,000.
If they deem that you deliberately deprived yourself of assets, their value may be considered in the financial assessment they make for you. If the local authority does fund someone’s care costs,
and later discover the individual deprived themselves of assets, they can pursue that asset transferee in order to recover some of those care costs.
It’s not just during your life that you need to carefully plan how to hand your assets over to your loved ones. It’s also vital to put together a
plan for what happens after you die – and that means getting a professional will in place. Here at Anglian Will Writing, we’re ready to help you make those arrangements and give you advice about your
later life planning.