Specialist legal advice crucial in relation to care home fees, trusts and IHT

An increasing number of British families are falling victim to ‘risky’ unregulated advice in relation to care home fees and Inheritance Tax (IHT) matters, a report in The Telegraph suggests.

It claims that in recent months, several unregulated firms have been encouraging Britons to participate in unlawful IHT avoidance schemes, or to consider ‘risky’ approaches to paying for care in later life.

The newspaper is warning that unregulated advisers – who usually push such schemes at “high pressure” seminars – will often overlook the finer details of complex legal matters and may sometimes even land their clients in trouble with the law.

One example cited in the report involves a scheme which encourages individuals to place their main residential property into a trust. In exchange for “extortionate fees,” individuals are reportedly being promised that such activities will enable them to avoid paying care fees in later life.

Many individuals have been duped by this scheme, which sounds attractive at first glance due to the ever-rising cost of care home fees in the UK.

However, experts are warning that attempts to avoid care fees in this way may be considered unlawful and could even land individuals in trouble with their local council.

In many cases, this is because unregulated advisers have a tendency to overlook the finer details of the law.

Similarly, reports reveal that such companies have been advertising seemingly unlawful IHT avoidance schemes, which are often targeted at individuals whose assets are unlikely to be worth more than the tax-free threshold of £325,000 in the first place.

The Telegraph is warning British families to be on the lookout for shady schemes and to always consult a specialist, regulated solicitor when seeking advice in relation to care home fees, trusts and IHT.

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Nigel is the firm’s Managing Partner and joint Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution at Mackrell Turner Garrett’s London office. He is widely experienced in complex litigation matters, and various forms of dispute resolution.