Not all this planning for the future malarkey has to be as difficult as you might think.
I saw some clients last night over on sunny West Shore and after 30 minutes, most of what we had
spoken about was pubs, beer and the joys of living on Walney. Did you see us on Countryfile on
I ripped their Wills up whilst I was there as they weren’t appropriate the way they were and it was
cheaper to destroy them than to redo them and since the outcome was the same for them, it
seemed the decent thing to do.
We had a chat about their assets, and discussed which ones are already protected for the future and
which are not. Did you know that some investments are exempt from means testing if you need
care? You have to do them for the right reasons. They have to be the right investments for you and
be done at the right time, but they are exempt. And I don’t mean ISAs which might be tax free but
will be used to pay care costs if it becomes relevant.
Chalets are an issue in terms of what you can do to protect them. Houses can go in to trust and no
one can stop you making a legal transfer for the title deeds, but it is not so easy with a chalet sitting
on a bit of land that you only have a licence to occupy. You need to consider the ownership rules and
look at the age of your ‘children’ to see if a gift is possible. Is it a good idea though? Can you trust
your children? What about their other halves? It can be a can of worms, and you need to make sure
you don’t end up homeless by letting the planning tail wag the dog. And you have to be in good
health with no reasonable prospect of needing care if you are making gifts that you expect not to be
pursued by the Local Authority in the future.
Finally, we spoke about Powers of Attorney. They can be pricey but they are very useful if and when
they are needed, rather than relying on a court application just when things are stressy enough. If
your income is less than £12,000 a year (for either or each, if you are a couple) then the LPA
registration fees are reduced too.
And then off I went in to the warm breeze of a West Shore afternoon. I hope they do invite me back.
Next time I will try to remember where I parked my car.