Essential Legal Tips When Considering Longterm Care (Part 2)

A gavel and a name plate with the engraving Elder law

This article looks at more legal tips that should be considered in terms of a person’s long-term care needs. The key points around putting your affairs in order while you are still able including safeguarding your assets so they do not contribute to financing your long-term care are reviewed.

Request regular reviews

Your Care Manager should arrange to review your needs and the services you are receiving at least once a year. The review is similar to the initial assessment and will take into account whether your needs have changed and whether you are still eligible for the services being provided. If your situation changes in the meantime you should request an earlier review. Many people who go into care will be eligible for a government contribution to cover the nursing element of care. Over a period of time the nursing care needs may increase so it is essential that you request a review if you think this is the case.

Care in your own home

If you pay for care at home this could delay the need to go into a Care Home. Care Workers can come into your home and help with preparation of meals, dressing and undressing. You could even have full-time care at home or a carer who stays overnight. It is essential that you have your needs assessed before paying for care in your home. If you are cared for at home the value of your property will not be taken into account when the local authorities are undertaking a means tested assessment.

Take legal advice

You should plan for your care needs and take professional advice before you require services. If you or your family are facing the prospect of long-term care then it is essential that you fully understand your entitlements, what the state provides. Many people are not aware of their basic legal entitlements. Being certain about costs and affordability is essential. We can advise you on all aspects long-term care fee planning and we can help our clients to achieve not only their objectives but peace of mind.

Make sure you have Power of Attorney

Put your affairs in order now. If you become mentally incapable of managing your own affairs then it would be too late to put in place Power of Attorney. The whole process would then be much more complicated for your family and you may end up with the Court of Protection looking over your shoulder.

Don’t just give it away

Many people wish to safeguard their assets and they plan to remove them from their estate so that they are not required to sell them to fund the cost of care. If you plan on making a gift you must make sure that you take proper legal advice. By making a gift you could risk your own personal security and compromise your standard of living. If you were to transfer your property to your child and subsequently your child became bankrupt, divorced or dies then you could be left without a home. In addition to this, if the local authorities believe that you have deliberately deprived yourself of assets to avoid the property being taken into to pay for the cost of your care then they will be entitled to apply a notional value to the asset and assess you as if you still owned the asset.