Pandemic creates later life financial planning challenges for those with elderly parents

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Simon Lake, Chartered Financial Planner at Thomas Westcott, says the lockdown restrictions have created considerable challenges for business owners and professionals with elderly parents.

It would be an understatement to say that the restrictions of the last 12 months have created challenges for business owners and professionals. An additional source of stress for many, while they have been trying to keep a business afloat, has been dealing with care arrangements and financial planning for elderly parents.

While facing the considerable pressures of running a business, some have also had the pressure of not being able to see elderly parents for many months. Sadly, some are now faced with the stark reality of parents who have declined in health. This could include, for example, people with dementia whose condition has worsened to a point that they can no longer live independently.

Making arrangements remotely at a time when we are not able to meet face to face is creating additional stress.

Getting the best professional advice is therefore more important than ever.

Thomas Westcott Chartered Financial Planners are authorised and accredited to advise on later life financial planning matters.

This work often centres around care fees and the cost of care for someone later in life.

Moving into a care home, or bringing carers into your home, is not a decision anyone makes lightly.  Ill health and loss of independence can be a very emotional time for everyone concerned.

The challenge of managing financial matters typically falls on attorneys at this time, often children or family members. Taking on this new responsibility, navigating the state funding system and trying to juggle life and other family matters all at once can be exhausting.

Specialist, independent financial advice at this very fragile time can reduce the stress involved and can make a huge difference.

How Can the Thomas Westcott team help here?

We are able to draw upon our considerable experience in this complex area and we can work with you, your family and/or your professional representatives to help you manage your finances during this difficult time. Examples of these could include the following:

  • We will advise as to any financial assistance you may be able to claim from the state.
  • We build cash flow projections to establish the affordability of care fees into the future.
  • We provide independent advice on care fees payment plans, obtaining the best underwritten quotations from the open market, providing guidance as to the value for money they provide and their impact on the affordability of care fees.
  • We design investment strategies aimed at meeting the cost of care while maintaining a suitable investment risk profile, and we undertake any necessary restructuring to ensure the efficiency of investments for taxation purposes.
  • We provide comprehensive inheritance tax and care fees advice for clients planning for the future, helping to ensure that estate planning does not compromise affordability of the best care in later life.

What can you do to make it easier for your family members and yourself in the future?

As a member of SOLLA (the Society of Later Life Advisers), I am fully accredited to provide independent financial advice in this specialist field of financial planning.

It is always a good idea to seek help and advice sooner rather than later; ongoing care fee costs should be taken very seriously and they can quickly drain the value of one’s estate.

If you have a sensible plan in place to generate sufficient levels of income for ongoing expenditure beyond just leaving the money in the bank then we can help you ensure that the money lasts as long as possible so you can help a family member or client with the dignity they deserve later on in life. Good planning could even help ensure an inheritance to leave for the next generation.

I would always also encourage anyone to ensure that they have a valid will in place that meets their wishes coupled with a Lasting Power of Attorney document drafted and registered by the Court of Protection.

This is a vital insurance policy for the future so you can appoint trusted individuals now to manage your affairs in the future (if you cannot) and make important decisions on your behalf. A good lawyer would be able to help here and we are always happy to make a suitable colleague recommendation.

We offer all enquiries a free initial consultation where would be happy to listen to your needs.

Simon Lake will be giving an introduction to later life financial planning at a Thomas Westcott webinar and Q&A on Thursday 11 March 2021. Sign up for this FREE event.