Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
"The ‘wonderfully outgoing' Margaret Rowe deals with wills and probate and elderly client matters."
Legal 500 Directory
Margaret spent many years’ working as a high level sales manager in retail before deciding on a change of career and moving into law. She obtained her LLB (Hons) Law Degree from Keele University in 2002, before completing the Legal Practice Course at Staffordshire University in 2004. Margaret began her training contract with a Staffordshire law firm and qualified as a Solicitor in 2005. Margaret joined FBC Manby Bowdler as a Partner in the Wills, Probate & Lifetime Planning Department in 2011.
Margaret advises on all aspects of wills and probate work and elderly client matters. As a key member of the Firm's Disputed Probate Team she also advises on the administration of estates and trusts, advice in connection with breach of trust or breach of duty, application of the intestacy rule and obtaining grants of probate and letters of administration.
A well known local private client lawyer, Margaret is a regular contributor to local press articles and public speaker on all aspects of wills, probate and lifetime planning.
“Margaret Rowe dealt with my late mother's estate, she was excellent in every way. I would trust her to do anything for me and my family. Margaret recommended your property department to sell my late mother's apartment. Sara Thomas handled this and was brilliant.”
"My family and I consulted Margaret Rowe on all legal matters concerning my late husband's estate and in the formation of a family trust.
We have utter confidence in the professional services and advice given by Ms. Rowe and were enormously grateful for the detailed and careful way in which she approached our concerns."
image: http://www.expressandstar.com/wpmvc/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Retirement-care.jpgPeople who wish to provide for care in retirement can protect assets by using their wills
That is despite the introduction of the £75,000 fees cap by the Government.
Margaret Rowe, partner at Wolverhampton law firm FBC Manby Bowdler, says that with the Government proposing a lifetime cap on care fee contributions by the elderly to £75,000 plus costs for food and accommodation, couples with homes valued from £250,000 upwards may still be forced to sell up to pay for care.
However, she says that those who wish to provide for care in retirement can protect their assets now by using their wills.
She says: “Anyone with property should start with a well-drafted will, which puts shares in the family home into trust. This is a simple, safe and proven method of limiting one’s liability for residential home fees.
“Most couples buy property as ‘joint tenants’, which ensures that when one party dies, their share goes automatically to the other.
“But by changing their ownership of the property to ‘tenants in common’, each party can leave their share to who they like, which opens the way to leaving their half of the house to their children, or, better still, to place it into a trust.
“If this is done, half the value of the house will be ring-fenced if the surviving spouse needs residential care.”
Mrs Rowe continues: “The government is proposing that from 2017 the threshold for means-tested support will rise to £123,000, but for the next four years it will remain at £23,250.“Many people still do not realise that under the current system, anyone who requires care must pay all the fees out of their own money, unless and until they qualify under means testing. They only get benefits from the state to help with the fees when their capital has been reduced to £23,250.”
According to Mrs Rowe, most people also do not realise that there is no time limit for local authorities when it comes to assessing assets, such as the family home, which they believe were deliberately disposed of, when calculating care home fees.
She says: “If a local authority can prove that an asset was sold, or given away, primarily to avoid paying care home fees, then it can still count this when demanding a contribution from the care home resident and their family, no matter when the asset was disposed of.
“But by planning in advance, there are circumstances in which at least part of the value of the family home can be ring fenced and kept out of the means testing equation.
“Reviewing the provisions of a will should also give many people the chance to look at their inheritance tax provisions.
“With a freeze in the individual zero band limit of £325,000 set to continue until 2019, in order to help fund long-term care provisions, more people will be caught by this tax and should take advice on how to plan for it.”
Mrs Rowe and her team specialise in the preparation of wills, trust and estate planning. The team specialises in providing advice on wills, trusts and estate planning for older people.
Mrs Rowe and FBC Manby Bowdler’s team of specialist solicitors can be contacted on 01902 578000 or via www.fbcmb.co.uk.