March 16th, 2020
Helen* and her sister held power of attorney for their father, George*, who could no longer live at home independently. A number of suitable alternatives were explored and, with the support of his daughters, George was able to make the informed decision to move into a care home.
The Challenge: Helen and her sister were overwhelmed to suddenly find themselves in charge of their father’s affairs alongside their own work and family commitments.
Only too aware of the cost of good quality care, they wanted to maximise their father’s assets ensuring he was supported for as long as he needed to be.
Having two sets of outgoings (the family home and care home) would soon deplete their father’s assets. His house also needed some updating to make it suitable for the rental market.
Helen comments “We realised that there was potential for our father’s home to be rented out, thus generating income to pay towards the care home fees. We also understood that there would be tax implications on the rent.
Whilst this solution would cover day-to-day costs, my sister and I wanted to make sure there was an additional pot of money available to cover updating the house and any other eventualities.
We needed to ensure our father’s money was working as hard as it could for him. However we have limited financial skills and knowledge, so sought a neutral opinion from a financial specialist”.
Working towards a solution together: Culverhouse & Co. were recommended to Helen and her sister by a local solicitor. Initially they met with John who listened to their challenges and ideas.
They then met Claire who spent some getting to know them to fully understand their objectives before creating a bespoke Financial Plan with a number of recommendations. This helped to crystallise a plan of action for George and his finances.
Claire implemented the plan on their behalf, and David, one of the firm’s Chartered Accountants, assisted with the tax returns on the property rental income. “This process gave us a feeling of security during a turbulent and stressful time. The plan ensured our father’s day-to-day costs were met, his house updated plus a ‘pot’ of money was still growing to
cover any other eventualities.
It was good to work with another pair of ‘trained' eyes to make sure we hadn’t missed anything.
We felt involved throughout the process.
The team are very approachable and we found having ongoing reviews of our father’s finances very useful. It was good to know that Claire is always at the end of
the phone to answer any questions.
It was helpful that both our financial planning and accountancy needs could be met by one organisation. I really valued being able to provide David with all the paperwork and not have to worry”.
Helen summarises “Once we knew our father’s finances were working in the optimum way for him, I could focus on the important things like spending time with my father and family”.
Helen took time to reflect on her experiences and added:
“I think that people are sometimes quite reserved when it comes to asking for help with finances. I can safely say that engaging with an experienced voice is very helpful.
I’m lucky that my sister and I agreed on things when it came to our father, but it is even more important to seek help with financial planning if this isn’t the case.
An independent ‘friend’ can help you to see all angles of a situation”.
Subsequent to working with Helen and her sister on their father’s affairs, the relationship continues to expand with Claire and the team now also assisting Helen and her husband with their own financial affairs.
* Not their real names.