Heledd Wyn, partner in the private client team at Shakespeare Martineau, which is part of Ampa, attended Anthropy 22. Here, she discusses how the UK’s ageing population should plan for future care.
No one wants to think they may need care in their life as we would all like to remain independent. However, it is estimated that in the next 25 years, the number of people older than 85 will double to 2.5 million – meaning an increasing number of the population could require additional support.
If care does become a reality, paying for it can be a daunting task; if your assets exceed £23,250 in England or £50,000 in Wales, you will be required to make a contribution towards your care. If care is imminent, making sure all the appropriate benefits – such as the NHS Continuing Health Care Funding or NHS Funded Nursing Care – are requested is important. Checking whether the value of your home should be taken into account is also a useful exercise.
When it comes to thinking about the future, early planning is crucial to ensure all the options available can be properly explored – for example, making sure your will is written in the most efficient way or the use of trusts to maximise monies being passed down to the next generation.
Shockingly, in a poll conducted by Lime Solicitors, which is also part of Ampa, only 33% of British adults had spoken to those closest to them about their wishes for after they die. Will disputes are on the rise and disputes that proceed to a final trial can put huge financial strain on people – potentially escalating to sums in excess of £100,000, in addition to the emotional pressure.
End of life wishes have been a taboo subject for too long. And as the country faces an increasingly ageing population, it is vital people seek proper advice and plan early in order to ensure their wishes are implemented and care costs are mitigated.