Do I need to update my will?
Thousands of wills could need updating as rising care and nursing fees force the elderly to sell their assets to pay for care, warns the Law Society.
The growing trend amongst those requiring care is to sell their home to pay for expensive care fees, but the Law Society points out a person’s home is usually the largest asset they leave to loved ones in their will.
Andrew Holroyd, Law Society President, says:
'Many people get their solicitor to include their home in their will, but with more people selling up to release capital for care fees, many wills will be outdated. There will not be a home to leave to loved ones.'
'People often make a will because they are in a relationship or because they have children, but they then forget about it for many years, during which time their personal situation may have changed. Wills should be reviewed regularly. Someone who might have intended to leave their home to a family member, friend or charity in their will ten or twenty years ago may not want or be able to do so now.'
Research conducted by GfK on behalf of the Law Society in October 2007 revealed that 57 per cent of respondents did not know if they had an up to date will or not.
Government estimates put the average care home fees for elderly care at £450 a week, while at-home care services for the elderly can run into thousands of pounds a year. With many pensions not covering these fees, many people in need of care have to make up the shortfall.
Andrew Holroyd says:
'It is worth asking your solicitor to look again at your will and amend it to include a 'plan B' in case your home has been sold and cannot be passed on, at least that way, if you are forced to sell up, the intended recipients of your estate receive something else.'
'It is not just care fees that could be forcing people to sell up. The uncertain financial climate could also force people to sell other assets. With that in mind, it is important not to forget to review and update your will regularly.'
The Law Society warns that a regular review of your will should be carried out with your solicitor to consider any major change in your circumstances. If you do not have a will and need a solicitor to write one, use the Law Society Find a Solicitor facility on the Law Society website.
This article can be found at The Law Society
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12 April 2013