Financial & Legal News

Planning ahead for later life Care with Wills and LPAs

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We always advise our clients to plan ahead for every eventuality and what better time of year than Spring to think about life planning.

Spring is a great time of year to consider making a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney, which in turn can bring comfort and relief to your family at a time when the last thing they want to think about is finances.

Later Life Care

It’s also never too early to think about how you might pay for care in later life, either your own care, your partner's or indeed any parents or family members.

Care is costly and we have all read horror stories about families losing everything to simply care for loved ones, and inheritances lost to care homes.

When it comes to our older years if long-term care is needed many people presume they have to fund some, or all of it, themselves. Last year residential care home fees rose by 11% to an average of over £46,000 a year – that’s without nursing costs - so it’s a worry and could be a drain on your savings making a significant impact on how you plan your estate and the eventual size of it.

However, with forethought and careful planning that certainly does not have to be the case.

Our private client legal adviser, Lucy Roughley, takes clients through their Wills on a day-to-day basis, she likes the reassurance this gives them, the feeling that they are preparing ahead, making provisions for loved ones and above all else making sure any money goes to those it is intended for.

Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare

Similarly, an LPA gives added peace of mind.  An accident or unexpected change in health or mental capacity could catch us all out putting your family under unnecessary financial pressure. A member of our team had a head injury accident recently and only then did he realise that his family would be unable to access crucial bank accounts and documents had he been more severely incapacitated for a longer period – he has thankfully made a speedy and full recovery but it has prompted him to make an LPA in his 30’s.

If you are reaching your senior years, or have relatives whose affairs you might need to manage in the future, either health and welfare decisions or financial ones, then an LPA is essential.

“Lasting Powers of Attorney are great ways to plan for any eventuality and can of course be changed and adapted along the way,” advised Lucy, who works in our busy Private Client department.

“Getting one if there’s a sudden change in the circumstances or health of a family member can be a lengthy process and of course capacity is needed in the first instance when making the application.  If an LPA is not in place family members will not have access to funds or be able to make crucial decisions on your behalf during this period,” she added.

Continuing Care Allowance

When it comes to care home provision there is a wealth of advice on offer.  Some primary care needs can be met by continuing care allowances, either in your own home or a nursing home.

If you reside in England, own a house and have assets of more than £23,250 your local authority will probably not fund your long-term care. However, your home is taken out of the maths if you continue to live there and have home care, your spouse lives there, or an eligible relative resides there (another family member over the age of 60, dependent children under the age of 16 or a dependent relative with a disability).

Wills and Estate Planning

Careful estate planning by families (such as spouses who own property and other assets jointly and separately) can help reduce how much is spent on care fees. Receiving tailored advice can result in at least half of your property and money being protected from care home fees for your family to inherit and enjoy. This is achieved through comprehensive Wills.

By creating both financial and health & care LPAs, your chosen family members can manage your assets if you lose capacity and can also make arrangements for your care. The LPAs allow your family to arrange for you to be cared for at home as opposed to a nursing home or decide to let your property out whilst you reside in a nursing home to generate rent which can help cover care fees.

The LPAs allow these types of decisions to be made by your loved ones and keeps such decisions within the family. If you do not make LPAs, other professionals will decide what is in your best interests.

“One’s mortality is something we don’t talk about a great deal, but if you can it’s a good idea to share your plans with family, prepare and plan together if possible so there are no nasty surprises along the way,” advised Lucy.

“I come across clients every week who find this a difficult and emotional discussion, but I understand both the practical and the emotional side of it and I am here to help, guide and support whether it’s with a Will, an LPA or pointing them to a colleague who can provide more in depth financial or later life planning advice. Above all else, we can provide peace of mind and right now, there’s no better time to spring into action.”

How can we help?

If you need legal advice on LPAs, Estate Planning or making a Will contact our specialist Private Client Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

Written by Lucy Roughley


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