A recent article has warned against the dangers of ‘asset protection trusts’ or ‘family protection trusts’. See the article here.
As average care home fees now exceed £1,000 per week, more and more families are looking for ways to try and protect their hard earned assets from the possibility of being eaten up by care home fees. However, families are being placed at risk by unregulated firms promising they can help them avoid the possibility of care home fees and even inheritance tax, often charging hugely inflated fees and sold in a high pressure environment.
Many of the schemes seem very well presented and the advice given can be very convincing, however the reality is that they are very often sold by unregulated and uninsured firms with little or no legal experience.
People are not told that, for the majority, schemes such as these fall outside of local authority rules. If a Local Authority feels you have transferred a property into trust to avoid paying care home fees, this will be classed as ‘deprivation of assets’. In circumstances such as these, the Local Authority has a wide range of powers to overturn these, including treating you as if you still own the property and charging accordingly. There are also strict rules surrounding transferring property and other assets to family members.
If you have been affected by this, or are considering one of these arrangements, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible, even if you have already signed documentation or instructed someone to act.
One of our team can review the documentation and advise you on more suitable ways to plan for the future and look after your assets. We have offices in Newark, Lincoln, Sleaford, Grantham, Boston and Spalding where a member of our team would be happy to help.