Care and the Conservatives- General Election 2017

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With the General Election looming over us and the election polls ever-shifting, nobody knows which way the scales will tip on 8th June. However, there have been some interesting topics for discussion raised in the recent weeks. As many will have seen in the recent press, care and the ‘capping’ of care costs is a hot topic for discussion on the Tories manifesto, not without the controversy to ensue, naturally. In this report, we will look at exactly what has been discussed, and what it may mean for us.

What are the proposals?

Our PM, Theresa May, has promised that her party will embed an absolute limit on the amount of personal savings that will be protected for individuals in receipt of care services. Theresa’s proposal is set to guarantee that each person in receipt of care will have, in her words, ‘the confidence to pass £100,000 of savings to their children’. The current limit being merely £23,250. As attractive as this sounds, the people were somewhat confused as to what exactly happened to the previously proposed £72,000 cap on care spends. This would have meant that the maximum an individual could have spent on social care in their lifetime was this amount, had it not been scrapped. Following a dip in the polls, leaving the Tories only single figures over Labour, Theresa announced on Monday that there will again also be a cap on the amount of money an individual will pay for social care, with the intention that they will not end up spending ‘hundreds of thousands’. The figure on this cap remains undecided.

Another key point to the Tories social care manifesto is that there will be a change to the way that domiciliary care is means-tested. The house will become an assessable asset and the payment calculation for people in receipt of care in their own home will consider this. The people who fall into this category will still receive the aforementioned benefit of retaining £100,000 of savings, and the spend cap. Although this means that more people being cared for in their homes will pay for their care, it is a promise of the PM that they will never be asked to move from their home, should it be over £100,000 and a debt raised against it. The home will, however have to be sold after the death of the owner to release the care debt, much the same as it is now.

What does this mean for us?

Care and the costs are often a popular topic of discussion with clients. So, how could we use these proposals to their maximum benefit? Of course, £100,000 is a large sum of cash, however if you had the opportunity to protect even more than that for your family, would you not do it? There are ways of protecting assets through your Will which include the use of Immediate Post Death Interest trusts (IPDIs), in a nutshell, this creates a wrapper around certain assets of yours once you have passed away, allowing your spouse to enjoy an interest in them whilst not becoming an assessable part of his or her estate if they should require care. This means that, if these proposals do come into place, there is the opportunity to protect conserve at least another £100,000 worth of savings for the survivor on top of this, which may be a significant size of the original joint estate.


Alf and Barb own together a property worth £100,000 and each have £50,000 worth of savings. Alf dies, leaving all of his assets into IPDI trust for the benefit off Barb. Barb requires residential care in the future, as her assessable assets are her own £50,000 share in the property and her own £50,000 in savings, there are no assessable assets within her estate to pay for care and no debt can be charged against the property. This leaves the entire estate of both Alf and Barb free to pass to their children.

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