It is very common for married couples and civil partners to have a will leaving everything to each other, their children or other beneficiaries. However, if the surviving spouse or civil partner has to go into care, their beneficiaries could in fact receive very little of their estate.
Unless they are eligible for NHS Continuing Care, they will have to use their own monies for care home fees until their estate is reduced to £23,250, when they can be assessed for Social Services contributions to fees. The value of their house will be taken into account during the means-assessment process.
As long as both parties to the marriage or civil partnership are alive and have sufficient mental capacity, Farnfields can prepare a will incorporating a life interest trust whereby their respective shares of the home are left to their beneficiaries, subject to the surviving spouse or civil partner having the use of it for their lifetime. Thus, the capital of that half-share would not be taken into account in a means-test calculation for contributions to care home fees.
If you would like to find out more, give one of our expert solicitors a call today on 01747 825432.