Rise in council charges on houses to recoup care costs

By Lenore Rice

Local councils are registering a legal charge on 8 properties a day to recoup elderly care costs according to new data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

NFU Mutual requested the information, which revealed that legal charges have been registered against 15,000 properties since 2009, with income from care home residents jumping by 18 per cent in England. In many cases, elderly people are forced to sell their property in order to fund their care, or enter into a scheme under which they can live in the house during their lifetime, with proceeds from the sale going to the council afterward.

In separate research carried out for NFU Mutual it was revealed that 51 per cent of adults in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are worried about how funding their care in old age will impact on their future wealth.

While it is difficult for any of us to estimate how much care we will require in the future when planning our finances, there are certain steps that can be taken to protect savings and keep the amount of inheritance tax payable on your estate to a minimum. Good financial planning can increase the amount available to you to leave as an inheritance to your family.

For information about making a Will, inheritance tax, enduring powers of attorney, gifting, or general tax planning, contact one of the probate solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Northern Ireland by calling 0800 840 9293.