This page covers:

  • Reasons why people made or revised wills when thinking about care,
  • Who people asked for expert advice.

Making a will is important for everyone. It is crucial to get legal advice about making a will as it’s easy to get things wrong. Frances told us that her local Age UK had a solicitor who visited every month and gave half hour consultations for free.

Not many of the people we spoke to mentioned wills in relation to paying for care. Those who did said that when their spouse started to need a lot more care, this prompted them to review their wills. They told us that the reason for reviewing their wills was because they wanted to leave some inheritance for their children and were worried that it would all be spent on care. However, most people said that their children just wanted them to spend what they needed on care or anything else they wanted to do.

When a couple make wills, they often leave everything to each other. A few people told us that they had changed their will to leave everything to their children rather than their spouse or partner. They told us that to make this happen they first had to change the ownership of their home to something called ‘tenants in common’.

For example, Frances’ mother made a will stating that her half of the value of the house she owned with her husband would be left to their daughters but her husband could continue living in the house or buy another property with the money during his lifetime.

Frances and her father used the money to buy a house together so that he could live with her.

Age at interview 52

Gender Female

View profile

It is important to talk things through with experts such as a solicitor or a specialist later life financial adviser to find out what options there are for wills and ownership of property. Changing ownership of property can be subject to taxation and can be looked at in a local council financial assessment (see What is a financial assessment?).

Margaret told us that when her husband moved into a care home, she changed her will so she left her half of the house to her children. This would mean they would have an inheritance and her husband would have money to pay for care from his half of the house.

Margaret was able to change her will after her husband moved into residential care.

Gender Female

View profile

People can make a will at any time as long as they have the mental capacity to do so. If a person does not have mental capacity, for example if they are living with dementia, they may not be able to change their will.

Lasting Powers of Attorney

This page covers: What is meant by Lasting Power of Attorney, Setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney and getting the timing right, Benefits of a...