A major concern for many people is that their home may be used to fund care costs in later life. This may happen if you have just made a simple mirror Will. On first death, your home will default to the survivor. If the survivor then goes into care and no other assets are available to fund care costs, the Local Authority will means-test 100% of the property value and may request sale of the property. A Protective Property Trust (PPT) can help you protect your share of the home and ensure that it is passed on to the people you care about.
Care costs range from £750 – £1200 per week. A PPT can protect your share of the property from being used to fund care home fees.
If you die and your partner were to remarry, your children’s inheritance could pass to a stranger’s family. This is known as sideways disinheritance. A PPT will protect your share of the property, keeping it in the bloodline
Most people own their property jointly as Beneficial Joint Tenants, meaning that typically the house passes to their spouse on first death and to their children or beneficiaries on second death.
A PPT has to be created whilst both partners are alive. The joint tenancy of the property is severed, meaning that Mr and Mrs will then own 50% of the property each, known as ‘Tenants in Common’.
Following this procedure, we will then create a new Will with the PPT incorporated, meaning that upon 1st death, instead of leaving the share of the property to the surviving spouse, their half will be held in trust for the beneficiaries (usually the children) of the Will. Therefore if they go into care, the Local Authority can only means-test the other 50% of the property value. The surviving spouse has a ‘life interest’ or ‘right of occupancy’ and can live in the property for life or substitute it for another one.
With average residential care fees often well in excess of £750 per week, it does not take long to erode the value of your estate. Currently, anyone with assets above £23,250 in England and £50,000 in Wales may not receive state help with care costs, meaning that many families would have to sell their home to fund care. If a PPT has been established, then half the value of the property is automatically protected on first death and the deceased’s share will not be used to fund care costs for the survivor.
Yes. If the surviving partner remarries, the deceased’s part of the Will cannot be changed, thereby protecting the beneficiaries’ inheritance by preventing the deceased’s share passing to a new family, which is known as sideways disinheritance. A PPT is also very useful for couples who have children from different partners. A PPT will ensure each partner’s share passes to their child or named beneficiary whilst the surviving partner has the legal right to remain in the property for the rest of their life.
To support causes close to our hearts, 5 years ago we decided that we would no longer charge for writing Wills, instead asking clients to make a recommended donation of £40 to charity. We were so confident that people would be happy with our Will-Writing service that we believed they would come back in the future for other legal services, at which point we could charge our usual fees. This has proved true, and over 63% of clients do come back for further advice.
We are proud to have raised over £2,000.000 in upfront donations, supporting fantastic causes up and down the country.