Protecting your assets and your loved ones is important to you (and, therefore, us).
Most people want to ensure that their assets can pass to their loved ones without the risk of those assets falling outside of the family.
Divorce, financial difficulties, spendthrift Beneficiaries, vulnerable Beneficiaries and premature death are all examples of circumstances that can put our assets at risk. However, with expert advice and careful planning, most risks can be mitigated.
Trusts are commonly used to protect assets and Beneficiaries. We can help you create Trusts in your lifetime and/or in your Will.
Clients often ask us if they should give away their home (usually to children) during their lifetime. A good solicitor should always advise their client against this. There are serious risks in giving away your home or an asset of this nature. Even if you trust the recipient to look after you and always allow you to continue living in the property (and there are no guarantees!) things may happen to the recipient which are outside of their control. For example, the recipient may get divorced, experience financial difficulties or die prematurely. Such things would put your occupation of the property at risk.
Furthermore, did you know that if you give away an asset/money in your lifetime that the Local Authority can either ask that person to give it back or treat you as still owning it so that you can pay for the costs of your care?
The Local Authority, when making an assessment for care fees can look back at any gifts you have made during your lifetime to see if you have deliberately deprived yourself of assets to avoid paying for your care. They will consider all of the circumstances at the time you made the gift and in particular whether there was a foreseeable risk of you needing care.
However, there are still options available to you if you want to protect your assets from the potential costs of care. One option is to prepare a Flexible Life Interest Trust Will. You can leave your share in the family home and also any solely owned assets into a Trust. Your surviving spouse will not then own these assets and they cannot be taken into account by the Local Authority when assessing fees. This means that the entire estate of the first spouse to die could be protected.
Select from one of our qualified Solicitors to help you with your legal issue.