Thursday, 14 February 2013

Care Costs what the new rules mean.

Smoke and Mirrors – How the Government Put a Positive Spin on A Cost Increase.

There has bee a great deal of comment in the last week about paying for long term care will be capped at £75,000. This announcement was initially welcomed with a fanfare in the press, but it has already started to unravel.

What the government has said, and what it means –

  • Nobody will be forced to sell their home to pay for care in their lifetime.

Local Authorities will extend the current deferred payment scheme with legal charges that will be paid off after a person’s death.

  • There will be a cap on Care Costs at £75,000.

This does not acknowledge that ‘Hotel Costs’ will have to be met. The figure of £200 per week for hotel costs was in the original Dilnot report as was a fees cap of £35,000. However the proposed hotel costs cap is now  £12,500 per year indefinitely plus £75,000 per person (which is about 4 years care) means that you will pay out £125,000 in the first 4 years and only £12,500 every year thereafter.

Curiously the last figures I saw that gave an average length of stay in a care home said it was 4 years.

If you contrast the average care home cost of £550 per week at the moment or 114,400 over a four year stay the net loss to the person in care under the new scheme is £10,600.

  • The lower asset limit will be raised to £123,000.

No arguments from me this is a good thing, a rise from £23,500 at present so people will get to keep a bit more of their hard earned cash.

The last thing to say is that these are only proposals at the moment and they won’t come in until 2017 at the earliest (Parliamentary Time and Elections permitting). So you still need to be giving your clients high quality advice on protecting their property, and Writing the Right Will.

Call us in 01778 382723 to see how Will & Probate Services can help you to help your clients.

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Joys and Perils of Cycling - Accidents always happen to someone else.

Sunday morning rushing through the woods near Wansford, the ground is wet, the mud sticky and the roots are slippery, a winter of rain and floods has made the local woods a testy place to ride. The mud is not too deep to go fast but it fills the grooves on your tyres making bike handling a premium lots of sideways action when you hit the roots wits and faith in your own ability is needed to get through today.

Leading the charge is Dave, I am close behind to the rear are ten others sweeping through the woods all having a great time facing Sunday’s biggest challenge. Then it happens, a call through the trees - Paul’s down, haul on the brakes turn back the way you came hope it’s not serious but this time it is. Unconscious and immobile it looks bad and 30mins later as the Air Ambulance lifts off we know it is, eleven guys look at the floor, all thinking it could have been me.

The ride back is slow, over cautious the talk is about what happens next – he will be OK financially because he owns a company with five staff. But we are all concerned for his health, a whack to the head and a neck injury can’t be good.

Days in an induced coma, weeks in the HDU getting better but slowly. Months later he’s out he won’t be riding – he’s sold his bike. His business has closed down, staff redundant, receivers called in not because there was no work but because nobody had the authority to run the business. Whilst he was incapable of making decisions they went unmade, nobody could pay the bills or the staff so they went unpaid, there was nobody to sign new contracts so the went unsigned and elsewhere. He knew a Lasting Power of Attorney could have given the authority to run his business to his Wife or even his manager but he didn’t put one in place.

I asked him why and he said – ‘Accidents always happen to somebody else.’

Even younger people need to think about Lasting Powers of Attorney – don’t put everything at risk because it always happens to someone else. Call us 01778 342723 or we can help.