SOLLA News and Views

23 October 2020

Views: Case study from SOLLA member Nick Sanderson

Nick Sanderson - Adviser at Mint Wealth Management, and SOLLA member since 2011

I started to get an understanding of the care system after my late father was diagnosed with vascular dementia. I was heavily involved in securing him healthcare support and funding and wanted to continue helping vulnerable people, which is what motivated me to achieve SOLLA Accreditation.

I’ve now been a SOLLA Member for eight years and it’s been one of the most fulfilling stages of my career, with a particular case that really stands out.

A couple in their late-80s were referred to me by one of my clients. The couple lived in a retirement village where they could receive the level of care they needed, while still retaining their independence. Sadly, as their health deteriorated, they were having to rely more on care providers, which was proving expensive.

After an initial meeting with the couple, I carried out a full financial review. This immediately highlighted they were not claiming Attendance Allowance, despite being eligible. I applied for this on their behalf, successfully securing them £4,000 a year each to help with the cost of care.

At the same time, I arranged registration of their enduring power of attorney. This ensured they appointed a trusted person to make legal decisions on their behalf should they lack the capacity to do so in the future.

The majority of the couple’s money was sat in bank and building society accounts, earning very little interest. Where appropriate, I transferred some of their cash ISAs to stocks and shares ISAs in order to provide a higher level of tax-efficient income and some growth.

The couple also had money tied up in fixed-term bonds. These couldn’t be accessed immediately, so I advised waiting for them to mature before we invested a total of £405,000 in a Discounted Gift Trust (DGT).

The couple had never invested before, but my SOLLA Accreditation put them at ease – SOLLA is a really trusted organisation and SOLLA Accreditation is seen as the gold standard in later life advising. The family members who they had appointed as their attorneys were also kept fully involved in all the decisions being made, which provided further reassurance.

The DGT investment really paid off, providing the couple with a regular income for the rest of their lives and reducing their inheritance tax (IHT) liability.

Once all their income needs were met, I placed part of their remaining money in an AIM Portfolio in the husband’s name, the value of which fell outside his estate for IHT purposes after two years.

Not so long after the death of his wife, the husband moved into a care home. When visiting him, I noticed how his health had deteriorated. I believed he met the requirements for NHS Continuing Healthcare and managed to secure this for him. In total, he received more than £21,000, which covered the complete cost of his healthcare needs until his death.

It was hugely rewarding to be able to help provide the couple with both financial security and peace of mind in their later years.