Q1 Will I lose my house and all my savings?
A1 Without planning, making sound decisions and taking action now, your assets, including the value of your property, could be depleted if you live too long whilst receiving care. You may be able to remain living in your home but the cost of care maybe repayable when your house is sold following your death.
Q2 Will my money run out before I die?
A2 This obviously depends on how long you live and what level of social or nursing care you require. Currently you may be able to retain £14,250. However, with judicious planning, a significant greater sum can be "ringfenced" to protect your money.
Q3 Will I have to pay all the full costs myself?
A3 Only if your savings and assets exceed £23,250. Your house is classified as an asset but may, under certain circumstances be disregarded.
Q4 Who will look after me when I'm no longer able to manage on my own? Will it be the NHS or the Local Authority (LA) or Social Services (SS)?
A4 The NHS provides acute and nursing care following hospital admission or assessment. The LA/SS provides funding towards social care when your savings and assets, currently, fall below £23,250.
Q5 Am I entitled to any help and assistance from the State?
A5 Yes. There are benefits to which you are entitled but most are means tested or require a financial or health assessments. Others are universally available and not means tested but require lengthy forms to be completed or interviews and assessments to be carried out.
Q6 Will I be able to choose where I live?
A6 Only whilst you have full Mental Capacity (MC). If you lose MC then by law, the choice is taken away from you and others, who may be not even known to you, will decide where you life. However, you can make provisions now and select people who you trust to act according to your wishes.
Q7 I don't want to be lonely and isolated
A7 If this is a concern for you, then consideration must given to alternative accommodation or, if affordable, ‘live in’ domiciliary care.
Q8 I want to retain my dignity, comfort and security
A8 You can only achieve this state if you plan ahead and keep control of your affairs whilst you are able.
Q9 What is the difference between Social Care and Nursing Care?
A9 There are complicated and confusing statutory definitions between social and nursing care, which needs to be fully understood as they have a significant impact on your legal and financial affairs.
Q10 Do I have statuary rights that will help me with my health and care needs?
A10 Yes. Over a number of years, there have been various Acts of Parliament relating to health and care matters. It is important that you are aware of how these Acts effect your own personal circumstances. Because of the complexity and differing interpretation of these Acts, it is important that you consult with professionals who have the specialist knowledge and practical experience to guide you through this labyrinth of legal information. The three Acts which are likely to be the most relevant to your needs and have the most impact on health and care issues are; The Human Rights Act (HRA 1998), The Mental Capacity Act (2005) and the Care Act (2014).
Q11 Are my legal and financial affairs in order?
A11 It is very important that you regularly review your legal and financial affairs as you progress through later life in order to make sure they are relevant to your changing needs, wishes and circumstances.
Q12 I feel that I am a burden on my family- how can I stop this from upsetting our relationship?
A12 Difficult as it may be, it is imperative that you have an open and frank discussion with your family as you approach later life with the possibility of you requiring care and may be embarking on the journey from independent living through to requiring care. This conversation can be stressful and traumatic and it may help if you engage the sympathetic advice of an independent third party who has the specialist knowledge and practical life experience to act as an advocate and facilitator. If you are single, have no partner nor close family, then this matter becomes even more important to discuss with professionals.
Q13 Succession planning, will I have any money left to pass on to my family and what's the best way to do this?
A13 This question requires considerable thought, discussion and planning and depends on personal circumstances. There are number of strategies and plans that can be arranged in order to protect your assets from erosion and plenty of anecdotal examples where these have been very successfully implemented (see Testimonial page for one such highly effective success story).
Q14 Does belonging to any gender, sexual, relational, ethnic or other culturally diverse or minority groups, including Civil Partnerships, cause any disadvantages?
A14 The rules revolving about this are evolving all the time. Each individual case will have to be discussed and case precedent will be applied where appropriate.
Q15 What is a Living Will?
A 15 This is the term that is commonly used to express your wishes, regarding future medical treatment, should you become unable to communicate your decisions. It is not necessary to engage a solicitor to organise this for you. It is however important that the correct terminology and appropriate witnesses, to your written intentions, are applied to make them legally binding.