Care planning: Not just for elderly people

Man-with-prosthetic-leg-using-crutches-to-walk-down-corridor-000082671341_XXXLarge (1)When you think about care homes and residential homes, you might automatically assume all the residents are elderly. But there are also many younger people receiving care at home or in residential care homes, due to long-term illness or serious personal injury.

Perhaps it’s because of a condition they have lived with since birth, or maybe following an accident or negligence that resulted in a brain injury or other personal injury. You might think it’s only war veterans that have suffered the loss of a limb, but there are many amputees who have lost a limb through other causes. As a business, we support our nominated charity, LimbPower (www.limbpower.co.uk) to help those who have suffered limb loss.

When a serious illness, accident or injury first occurs, seeking financial advice is probably not considered a priority. However, it’s very important. There may be a financial settlement received through the courts or as an inheritance – it is crucial that this money is handled appropriately, as it may have to support the person needing care for many years.

It is important for families to consider their own financial arrangements. For example, we have seen cases where the parents die, and leave their estate to their child who’s receiving care. However, this can affect means-tested benefits, and result in the precious legacy being swallowed up in fees. Taking professional advice in advance could have protected that money.

Many people are unaware that – in some cases – you can set up a Personal Injury Trust to ensure that any settlement is used for its intended purpose. These trusts can protect entitlement to certain means-tested benefits or protect the proceeds of the settlement from other claims. However, they can only be set up within a limited time after a settlement is made, so it is important to take proper legal advice, promptly. Unfortunately, I have seen clients whose personal injury lawyer did not mention it, so the opportunity was lost.

As financial advisers, we cannot provide legal advice. However, we do work closely with solicitors who understand this area and can make sure your arrangements are set up legitimately. We then provide independent financial advice to make sure that money that is intended to provide for care lasts as long as it should, whether this is from a court settlement, a gift, or your own hard-earned savings.

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