We talk a lot about utilising trusts to protect assets and why this matters, but are you talking to your clients about the possible implications?
Our Vulnerable Client Care Team have recently had the following successful outcomes when dealing with local authorities in relation to financial assessments where assets have been settled into trust:
Case 1 – Mr N
Mr N entered long term care in summer 2020. Half of the property he had been living in had been held in a discretionary Family Trust since 2018, following the death of his late wife.
A financial assessment was completed. The local authority confirmed that because half of the property was owned by Mr N absolutely, they considered that this held a realisable value and would be increasing his financial contribution to his long term care costs.
The client’s son approached Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation Ltd in August to instruct us to act on behalf of the Trust. We disputed the local authority’s position in correspondence on the basis that the Family Trust held a 50% share, deeming the 50% held by Mr N worthless. As part of the correspondence we also obtained a professional valuation of the property, to support the Trust’s argument that the 50% owned by Mr N had a nil value.
Within 2 months, Countrywide achieved the result in favour of the client and the Trust; the Council confirmed that they would disregard the property, and would be contributing towards the client’s care, charging him the lower of the maximum contribution.
Case 2 – Mrs A
Mrs A settled her property into a PPPT with a Money Back Guarantee in 2015. She entered long term care in 2019 and following the outcome of her financial assessment, the Council decided to include the property she had been living in as part of her assets when calculating what she needed to contribute. The Council alleged that she had deliberately deprived herself in settling her property into trust during 2015.
Countrywide responded on behalf of the Trustees defending this claim, explaining that no one could have foreseen that Mrs A would have gone into care in 2015, and therefore settling her property into Trust could not be seen as deliberate deprivation. We asked the council to reconsider their decision on this basis.
The local authority responded overturning their previous decision, concluding that the client’s property was to be disregarded and the original finding of deliberate deprivation was invalid.
As Mrs A had the Money Back Guarantee as part of the PPPT package, the costs of the correspondence were fully covered and no further fees were incurred by the family.
If you need further help or advice in any of these areas on behalf of your clients, please contact the Vulnerable Client Care Team for further assistance.
Want to know more? Why not attend our BRAND-NEW COURSE covering these areas in more detail, next set to be held on Monday the 14th of February 2022 between 9.30am and 1pm:
Lasting Powers of Attorney, Deputyship, Financial Assessments and Challenges.
Click here for more information and to book your place! https://ctt-group.co.uk/training-event/lpas-deputyship-financial-assessments-challenges-feb-2022/
This article was submitted to be published by Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.