Speaking to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance and Financial Services yesterday evening (Wednesday 5 June), LEBC Group’s Kay Ingram asked MPs to ensure that advice on later life planning, as required by the Care Bill, be provided only by regulated independent specialist advisers.
Attending the Equity Release Council's presentation at the House of Commons to MPs and Peers, Ingram explained that “few individuals plan ahead for care, and decisions affecting the wellbeing of elderly relatives were often made in a hurry without information on all the options and with issues of capacity and family conflicts to the fore. “Only independent regulated holistic advice should be required to be made available to help families and their legal advisers to make informed decisions. The Bill’s requirement for local authorities to make this available was unlikely to be realistic as it was outside their skill set. Such advice would not be independent and without regulation could produce poor consumer outcomes.”
LEBC Group is launching a service to assist other non specialist IFAs to offer appropriate advice to their older clients which will consider all options and take full account of benefits and local authority funding. MPs had expressed concerns that some elderly clients might not be able to afford advice fees. In response, Ingram asked them to “consider a simple amendment to the Bill to make fees for care planning advice VAT exempt. That would cut the cost and potentially save the Treasury £billions if it meant more got good advice.”