Why some pensioners are falling victim to Asset-protection trusts
Old age pensioners and those approaching retirement have according to reports been sold worthless ‘trust’ schemes that apparently promise to protect their home if they were to go into care. Whitehall guidelines and a tough new approach by local authorities mean that any ‘asset-protection trust’ that has been created to spare people having to sell their home should long-term care be needed will be disregarded. Some of our elderly population have in some cases paid as much as £10,000 to advisers and financial consultants, for what is effectively/ or maybe a worthless piece of paper. With the thinking and hope that this document will help protect them from having to pay their care home fees. The Solicitors Regulation Authority is aware of this practice and if necessary will work with other regulators on this area. For more information on this, please click on: http://www.sra.org.uk/home/home.page Asset-protection trusts have been around for a number of years and have a legitimate role when working with a will, and are used to ensure that a person’s property is managed and when required disposed of in the proper fashion. However, the constant anxiety expressed over the cost of care when old, and the requirement that some people must sell their homes to pay for it. These Asset-protection trusts are being marketed and sold as a method for many to protect their assets from the local authorities and avoid having to sell their property. In fact and according to reports, Asset-protection trusts are being mis-sold if it is claimed that the trust can save on the care costs when you are old. As if Asset-protection trusts are sold this way it is reportedly not true, as legally this would constitute a “deliberate deprivation of assets” as explained below via the following weblinks: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/care-homes/deprivation-of-assets-in-the-means-test-for-care-home-provision/ http://www.ageuk.org.uk/Documents/EN-GB/Factsheets/FS40_deprivation_of_assets_in_the_means_test_for_care_home_provision_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true However, if an Asset-protection trust is set up when the client is ‘fit and healthy’ and as part of lifetime planning this could protect their property from being sold to meet care costs. Another point worth mentioning is that even if the Asset-protection trust does protect a person’s home from sale, they will be unable to top up their care and would then have to accept whatever their local authority was prepared to pay for them when in care. The decision is yours.