Long-term care.

This is a specialist area of financial planning so a good starting point when searching for advice is to consult a Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) member. Members are required to demonstrate that they are fully qualified to advise in all areas relating to care, and that they keep up to date with legislation and current events that impact on this complex area.

For further information, please see: https://societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk/

Long-term care may be required in many situations and, while it is not always for age related reasons, primarily this is the case. Often family members become involved with caring for, or arranging care for, elderly relatives, for reasons not immediately obvious to others. Sometimes it is helpful when a Lasting Power of Attorney has been granted so that decisions on welfare or finances can be made by someone that regards the patient as the centre of their concerns. In addition, any legal work involved with Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney should be undertaken by a qualified solicitor. In my opinion, the risk of ‘doing it yourself’ can be dangerous.

The cost of care can be very expensive. Therefore good decisions should be made when the maximum range of options are available – don’t leave it too late! Many patients have valuable assets, for example a property and pension income, but these can soon be exhausted when care is costing £1,000 or more per week.

Those providing care should be financially recognised and it is important that any allowances are used to offset costs. Ignorance of the system can be both expensive and potentially illegal.

My message this month is, if you are struggling to understand how your finances, or those of someone you care about, will pan out, speak with a specialist Independent Financial Adviser, who is a member of a recognised body, such as SOLLA.