Looking Ahead with Confidence – LPAs & Care Home Fees
It’s a difficult prospect to face but, at some point in our lives, we may lose the ability to make decisions for ourselves. This is known as ‘lack of mental capacity’, and perhaps the most common reason these days is one of the illnesses related to old age, like dementia – although it can also come about as the result of an accident, or other illnesses.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets us (the donor) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help us, in case at some time in the future we can’t make our own decisions about how our money is managed, or how we are cared for. An LPA doesn’t come into force until the donor loses the capacity to make decisions for themselves. They are there as a kind of insurance policy for us, to make sure that important financial and healthcare decisions are made by someone we know and trust to have our very best interests at heart.
An attorney must be aged 18 or over, and could be a relative, friend, professional (such as a solicitor) or a husband/wife/partner. They need to be chosen carefully, taking into account how well they look after their own affairs (financial and personal), how well you know and trust them, and how happy they will be to make decisions for you.
With an LPA, you can ensure that your future healthcare and financial situation is in line with your wishes by stipulating your choices in writing. And you can add other things too: one lady, who knew her daughter disapproved of some of her friends, put in the LPA that her daughter would not have the power to tell any future care provider to bar those friends from visiting!
Sometimes people with LPA will need to liaise with local authorities and/or the NHS, to help decide whether a care home or a nursing home is best for their donor, or whether they should stay at home with help from Social Services.
All these options can be expensive, complicated and confusing to negotiate. But a Health and Welfare LPA can help your attorney when applying for continuing care funding on your behalf, by giving extra leverage and an element of control, adhering to your own wishes as far as possible.
If a residential care home is the preferred option, this can have implications for your estate. Currently, if you live in England and your capital (the combined value of your savings and property) is above £23,250, you will need to contribute towards care home fees, though you will be allowed a personal expenses allowance of £24.50 a week. If you live in Wales, the allowable capital threshold is £50,000, with the personal expense allowance being the same at £24.50.
We can help safeguard your interests with advice on choosing the best LPA attorneys, or act as your attorney ourselves. We’ll also advise on how to make the most effective decisions, both financially and practically, when it comes to choosing and paying for care homes. So you can rest assured, look ahead with confidence and get on with enjoying life in the present moment.
TLB Planning specialises in legal affairs, insurances and funeral plans to take you and your loved ones “Through Life and Beyond”.
Our Legal Services staff have extensive experience in the field and are all STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) qualified Will Drafters, so you can be confident that we provide the highest professional standards.
If you would like to talk to us about your plans for Lasting Powers of Attorney, wills, Guardianship Clauses, trusts and other matters, do get in touch on 01792 342 673 or email us at email@example.com