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We’ve worked hard and saved all our lives, why should the Local Authority have access to everything if one of us needs to go into a care home?” 

Why indeed!

Mirror Wills leaving everything to the surviving spouse on your death for most families is the natural assumption of the right thing to do.

HOWEVER, this means there is no asset protection in having this arrangement and all the matrimonial assets are exposed to being taken in care fees if sadly your health deteriorates and you end up needing full time care.

For a variety of reasons I DO NOT recommend giving your house to your children or putting it into Trust in your lifetime.

You will need to ask yourself, is it a good idea to leave your half share of your home to your surviving spouse/partner on death?  Why not leave your half share for their USE but not actually give it to them?

Helen Gagan Solicitor Property Trust Wills can be drafted to be as flexible as you wish but the most straight forward arrangement is that on your death, if you die first, you leave your half share of your home in a family Trust arrangement for the benefit of, by way of example, your children; but state they are not to receive it during the lifetime of your surviving spouse.

Your half share of the property would then NOT be included in any future means test calculation for care fees.  The surviving spouse can be free to sell the house and move the arrangement to a different property, if they wish.  Your children’s interest in this scenario are secondary to the surviving spouse’s exclusive entitlement to USE your half share of the property for the rest of their life if they wish to do so.

Your children have to wait for their inheritance until the surviving spouse has died just as they would have had to anyway, if you had left your half share to your spouse as an outright gift.  However, the beauty of this arrangement is that your children are guaranteed to inherit something which has been ring-fenced on the first death rather than the situation being left open to chance as to what, if anything, they will inherit.

Trust Wills generally are also a very useful exercise if you have children from a previous marriage or you are worried about a child’s divorce, re-marriage, relationship or financial difficulties.

Free initial consultations are available.  If you have a Will already in place that you would like reviewed in line with your present situation or simply wish to obtain some more detailed information on Asset Protection Trusts, please feel free to email or call the office for an appointment.  01243 867330 or


We are opening the office again!

As we all hope to begin to return to some sort of ‘normal’, it is more important than ever to get our affairs in order and consider what may happen if we become incapacitated through accident or ill health.  If you have not got a Power of Attorney in place and you become unexpectedly ill or incapacitated, then your financial affairs can only be managed with a Court Order.

If you would like the peace of mind of knowing that your affairs can be managed by someone who you wish to act for you by preparing and registering Lasting Power of Attorney documents then, in these uncertain times, Helen is offering her clients a £50 discount on her fee when instructed to prepare both a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney documents at the same time.

Helen is a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the field of Wills, Estate Planning, Trusts and related issues.  Helen will be delighted to help and advise the local community in relation to:

Wills and Trusts- Inheritance Tax - Care Fees Planning - General & Lasting Powers of Attorney – Probate - Administration of Estates

Initial meetings are free of charge and at the moment are being carried out via video or telephone call.  The office will open to the public for face-to-face meetings on Monday 17th May 2021 in line with the government easing of restrictions.    Fees are fixed and agreed so that everyone knows exactly how much the service to be provided will cost from the outset.  Please feel free to telephone Helen’s office if you wish to discuss any of the above matters or to arrange an appointment.