Local authorities now need to ‘signpost’ people to financial advice over long-term care planning

Local authorities will have to signpost people to financial advice, which makes long-term care planning essential, the director of the Society of Later Life Advisers has said.

Speaking at the Personal Finance Society conference in Birmingham, Tish Hanifan, founder and joint chairman of the Society of Later Life Advisers, said: “Advisers need to engage more fully with clients in planning for care costs.”

Ms Hanifan was delivering a keynote speech at the conference – and commented on the implications of the Care Act 2014, which now provides a new legal framework for the delivery of care.

The government decided to include local authorities, which, according to the Act, should actively help and direct a person to an FCA-regulated, accredited financial adviser and ensure it is on a transparent basis.

Ms Hanifan said the average cost of care today is £38,000 a year – £732 a week.

This year’s legislation introduced changes to the care assessment and funding system, national eligibility criteria, charging procedures, ‘hotel’ costs, the care cap and deferred payment schemes.

The deferred payment scheme comes into effect in April 2015.