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Striking the balance between parents' financial interests

ganymede

Registered User
Apr 28, 2021
56
0
Hi there TP folks,

Since Mum's recent diagnosis of moderate dementia, as a family we all want our parents to move to live closer to myself and my sister. We live in outer London, so retirement properties are more expensive than where they currently live.

We're aware that at some stage we will almost certainly need to fund residential care for Mum - we are thinking within1-2 years if she continues to deteriorate at her current rate.

Dad has physical disabilities and has become frailer recently too. We are trying to strike the right balance between funding good care for Mum, initially at home then residential when the time comes, and Dad having enough left when his own care needs increase.

They are currently well above the assessment threshold, with bank balance (mostly in joint accounts) and ISAs. My sister has suggested it might be sensible to invest more of their cash in their main home, so that it doesn't all get eaten away for Mum's care leaving nothing for Dad. That would potentially enable us to find them a London flat with nearly equivalent space/standard of living to the one they chose where they currently live - otherwise it would be pretty boxy.
  1. If they can meet service charges and live within their income in their new place, how much cash would it be sensible to leave in the bank as a cushion against Mum's residential care?
  2. Irrespective of the above, would it be sensible to disaggregate their cash from mainly joint accounts into sole name accounts at this point? Could this help to protect Dad's assets to make sure that we are able to afford to fund care for him in a few years' time - and how do you go about demonstrating to the authorities that you've done it fairly? They both have LPAs in place, with each other and me as Joint & Several Attornies and my younger sister as Reserve (about to be activated for Dad, as Mum no longer has capacity). I presume Dad couldn't act as Mum's Attorney in this instance, so it would have to be me acting for Mum and Dad/sister for Dad.
N.B. My sister and I are both homeowners and financially independent, so we aren't motivated to protect their assets for inheritance, we'd rather they were both well looked after within their means.

Thanks for your thoughts and tips.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
10,624
0
Yorkshire
personally, @ganymede
I would act now to do what is best for your parents right now, rather than looking too much to a future which is uncertain

if they wish to move to be near you, help them to do that .... their money is theirs to spend as they wish and being on a comfortable, safe environment is important

then, when all is settled, split any joint monies and have separate accounts, possibly keeping a joint current account so each pay in to cover shared expenses .... I really wouldn't worry about what any financial assessment might bring up, you aren't trying to cheat anyone
 

ganymede

Registered User
Apr 28, 2021
56
0
personally, @ganymede
I would act now to do what is best for your parents right now, rather than looking too much to a future which is uncertain

if they wish to move to be near you, help them to do that .... their money is theirs to spend as they wish and being on a comfortable, safe environment is important

then, when all is settled, split any joint monies and have separate accounts, possibly keeping a joint current account so each pay in to cover shared expenses .... I really wouldn't worry about what any financial assessment might bring up, you aren't trying to cheat anyone
Thanks, @Shedrech that’s very sensible advice to look at good quality of life right now and not second-guess the future too much, we do tend to be overthinkers!

We might be moving them into a London borough that’s in Section 114 bankruptcy, though - so if anyone does have experience on planning for the cost of residential care, I’d be grateful for it.
 

ganymede

Registered User
Apr 28, 2021
56
0
I should have said - Mum has symptoms in Stage 5-6 on the 7 stage model.
 

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