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  • Writer's picturePatrick Murphy

Long Term Care - Why Advice Matters

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, we never really know what is around the corner, and for the vast majority of us, planning for the future is an uncertain event. It’s an odd concept but we find it much easier to visualise the here and now and the further forward we look the much more difficult it becomes to picture.

Looking back ten years, my plan then was to get married, have children, reduce debt and try to get onto the property ladder. So how did the past ten years actually pan out?

Actually, I was pretty close. Except for one key aspect, I took on the roles of caring for my grandmother and Power of Attorney to her sister. I didn’t really make a conscious decision to do this, it just happened.

These unforeseen events can have a massive impact on your own plans, whether you like it or not. Looking after a loved one, either in a personal capacity or as their legal representative is time consuming, it is important to understand what you are getting yourselves into.

Many of the families I work with have the same key message, “I don’t have enough time”, and they’re probably right in their initial thinking; taking on the care of a loved one is a massive commitment, one I am not ashamed to say I grossly under estimated.

I’ve learnt that is vitally important for you to get help and guidance as soon as possible and in all honesty you can never have too much. But, it is also important that you involve all appropriate members of the family, as well as being sensitive to the dynamics. The sooner you ask for help, the better the plans and/or solutions.

Whilst many focus on contact with their Local Authority and care providers, other professionals such as solicitors, financial advisers and accountants can help to provide security and peace of mind for both you and your loved ones over the short term and long term.

It is important that you lean on the skills of others to ensure:

  1. You know what the different care options available to you are. - This will enable you to select the most appropriate care package, whether this is at home, or a more formal care provider.

  2. You know what funding you will need to make and what state support is available. - Funding differs depending on your selected care option and location. it is important to understand the financial implications of each decisions so that you are in an informed position.

  3. You understand the legislation and how it applies to the person needing care - You are confident you are claiming the right State Benefits and you understand your eligibility for NHS support.

  4. You and your loved one can fund the care wanted, not necessarily the care offered. - Sometimes, the cheapest option isn’t the right one, you might find out something previously unknown to you. After all, “we don’t know, what we don’t know.”

These are just some of the areas where seeking professional advice can really add value.

As an objective outsider, it is my belief that professional advice can really help you plan for the future, not just worry about the here and now. Those really important questions which no doubt will go through your minds (many times second guessing the wishes of others) can be daunting:

  • How am I going to pay for the care – it appears so expensive?

  • What will happen to the property, will I have to sell it?

  • What about a will and wanting to leave a financial legacy?

  • I don’t want to be a burden to my family?

  • What happens if I run out of money?

  • Is there a way of ensuring I never have to move?

  • I worry about what will happen if we don’t do something?

  • What happens if I lose mental capacity to make my own choices?

We offer a free initial consultation which can help to provide context to many of these questions. For further reading, you can request a free copy of our care handbook by visiting here and filling in a short form.

Symponia Care Fees Planning Handbook

All views and opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily the views shared by Zen Wealth LLP.

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