I am not sure I have ever seen two high-profile financial planning issues linked so closely by Government before, namely that of Inheritance Tax and care costs for Long Term Care. The recently commissioned Dilnot Report has done much to correctly move the issue of care costs forward.
Both topics are emotive subjects for both families and those in their older ages. They will generate much text over the next few months. The new plans (subject to confirmation and detail) is to cap long term care costs at £75,000 with assessment for this cap starting at a new level of £123,000. With care costs for many running at around £1,000 per week, as an example, you can soon work out that with £52,000 per annum being spent on care costs, it is easy for estate values to fall quickly. Ironically, this has the 'advantage' of reducing future Inheritance Tax liabilities.
The 'generosity' of this change offered by the Government will not be without expense. We are all aware that they have no money and this change will need to be afforded. This is planned to be achieved by freezing Inheritance Tax (IHT) levels until 2019. In George Osborn's Autumn Statement at the end of 2012, the current Inheritance Tax nil rate band allowance for an individual of £325,000 was going to increase to £329,000 from tax year start 2015/2016. This plan has now clearly changed to accommodate this new planning.
The devil may well be in the detail and I am sure there may be a few more changes before these (apparently) now linked allowances are finalised.
No individual advice has been provided during the course of this blog. Both Long Term Care and Inheritance Tax should be planned for carefully and if you would like to receive individual advice for your circumstances, then please contact the team at Chapters Financial Limited on 01483 578800
Keith Churchouse, FPFS
Director, Chapters Financial Limited, Guildford, Surrey
Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, number 402899.