Asset Protection Wills

Did you know that it may be possible to protect your assets from being swallowed up in paying for your partner’s care home fees after your death? You could achieve this by making “Asset Protection Wills”

Are Asset Protection Wills suitable for me?

They are suitable for couples (particularly those who own a property jointly) who are concerned that one of them may go into a care home in the future.

How does an Asset Protection Will work?

You would each make a Will gifting your half share of a jointly owned property into a “Life Interest Trust” instead of leaving it to your surviving partner when you die. This means that if your partner goes into long term care after your death (or is already in care when you die), only their own share of the property and/or their own assets will be taken into account when assessing their liability to paying home care fees.

Your share of the house would be protected and would pass directly to your chosen beneficiaries when your partner dies. Provision would be made in your Will for your partner to continue living in the property rent free for the rest of their life. You can also give them the option of moving to a different property. In addition to your half of the house, you can also gift other assets into the trust when you die. Your partner would then receive any income generated by those assets during their lifetime (eg. Interest from savings).

Will I need to change my deeds?

If you decide to make Asset Protection Wills, we will ensure that your title deeds correctly reflect that you jointly own your property as “tenants in common”. If your deeds need to be changed, we can arrange this for you quickly and easily.

can’t I just transfer my house out of my name now?

It is not permissible to transfer your house to a third party or a trust if one of the reasons you are doing so is to avoid the value of your home being assessed for home care fee purposes. There are also many risks and implications of gifting away your property during your lifetime.

Can I gift my share of the Property directly to a third party rather than into a Trust when I die?

Yes you can but there are risks and implications of doing this. The main problems that can arise are due to unforeseen complications relating to the third party’s future bankruptcy, divorce or death.

Are there any downsides to Asset Protection Wills?

The main downside is that you are limiting the assets which your partner will inherit from you when you die. They may prefer to inherit your assets so that they can keep control of them and use or spend them as they wish.

It should also be noted that Asset Protection Wills won’t provide any protection if you both go into a care home before one of you dies as they are only effective on death.

What should I do next?

If you would like more information, please book an appointment to see Lisa Oldhamwho would be happy to discuss the matter with you. An initial half hour appointment will be charged at £75 plus VAT which will be waived if you decide to proceed with making new wills.

The cost of making Asset Protection Wills is £350 plus VAT in total for the two Wills plus a charge of £100 plus VAT if we need to change your title deeds to reflect that you own your house as “tenants in common”.