As the average life expectancy increases a greater percentage of people are effected by inheritance tax, care home fees and the need to protect assets.

Taking the decision that a much loved elderly relative has to go into a nursing home can be one of the most difficult faced by any family but unfortunately it is one that all is too common as people are living longer.

Such a decision may not only be emotionally challenging but also financially daunting. Under the present rules if a relative , be it a mum or dad,  who has to go into a home have assets in excess of £23,250,  then they are obliged to pay in full for the nursing home care fees, which can cost up to £500 per week.

Included in the authorities assessment of their assets is the family home, if it is owned jointly or individually, by the affected relative.  It will normally be counted as capital after twelve weeks in a nursing home.

Ultimately, the family home could be subject to a charge by the Health Trust or sold in due course to pay the nursing home fees.

We can offer advice on you and your family’s legal rights in this situation.

Inheritance Tax

Similarly, the state imposes significant taxes on death in the form of Inheritance Tax. It is a tax on the estate of someone who has died and includes their property, assets and savings. It is charged at 40% on your estate if your estate on death is valued in excess of the Inheritance Tax threshold.

The current Inheritance Tax threshold is £325,000.00 which means there is usually no tax to pay if the value of your estate is below this sum.

For married couples, if your estate is worth less than £325,000, you can pass on any unused threshold to your spouse when you die which means their threshold can be as much as £650,000.

You may also, depending on your circumstances, qualify for business relief or agricultural relief, which would allow you to pass on some assets without paying inheritance tax or a reduced bill.

Forward estate planning by way of speaking to an experienced solicitor and drawing up a comprehensive will is not only prudent but essential to protect both you and your family’s assets.  

We can also offer advice on the drafting of powers of attorney, their registration in the Office of Care and Protection in the High Court as well as applications for Controllership Orders in respect of an incapacitated relative.

Mc Atamney Solicitors have considerable experience of this complexities surrounding this evolving area of law, they can guide you and your family through these sensitive issues and advise you how best to plan for your future and legally safeguard family assets.

Our Mr McAtamney has considerable experience dealing with these sensitive and complex matters and can advise clients how best to plan for their future and safeguard family assets.