We’d rather die than see care homes take our children’s inheritance, say more parents

Former pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann
Former pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann
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A GROWING number of ageing parents are signing legal documents effectively saying they would rather die than see “excessive” care home fees plunder their children’s inheritance, lawyers claimed today.

Paul Gotch, a lawyer with JMW Solicitors, said concerns over care costs were raised by nearly all the firm’s clients this year who signed lasting power of attorney documents.

He said: “Without doubt, the most common theme in discussions is a desire to refuse prospective treatment should they become incapacitated because they realise how the costs of care could drastically affect the amounts which they can pass on to their families.

“It amounts to a declaration that they would rather end their lives than become a financial burden to their loved ones.”

His comments came as a Yorkshire MP joined calls to prioritise funding for Britain’s “third world” social care system over the foreign aid budget.

Shipley MP Philip Davies said: “Charity begins at home and we should make sure we are spending enough on social care for our vulnerable older and disabled constituents before we send money abroad.”

Conservative peer and ex-pensions minister Ros Altmannalso urged a rethink on the UK’s commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid while the elderly at home are in need.

She said: “The needs of our vulnerable elderly must come first before prioritising the needs of people elsewhere.

“It is important for us to be a global leader in helping poverty-stricken and Third World countries - but what we mustn’t forget is that we have the equivalent of poverty-stricken and Third World social care here.”

Yesterday, town hall chiefs said they had discussed proposals with ministers to increase council tax bills in England to fill a black hole in funding for adult social care which could otherwise reach £2.6 billion by 2020.

The Times said Theresa May was now giving her backing to changes which could give town halls the freedom to increase the 2% “social care precept” by as much as was needed to solve the crisis.