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Legal Advice with Russell & Russell

Russell and Russell Solicitors can deal with all the legal aspects of your new life together. Whether you’re buying or selling a property, looking to protect your assets, thinking about starting a family or want to leave your possessions to those you care about, we can help.

We’ve nine offices across the North West; in Bolton, Atherton, Bury, Chester, Farnworth, Horwich and Middleton. And, because anything can happen at any time, we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call us on 0800 103 2600 or visit

Giving away or selling your home to avoid care fees isn’t always in your best interests. Read why here..

The issue of care home fees has become a thorny subject in recent years. While some accept it as a part and parcel of getting older, others view it as a drain on years of hard earned saving.

But, whatever your view, the reality is that if you posses a significant asset, such as a home, it gives you a distinct advantage when it comes to care. Having a property you can draw funds from allows you the benefit of choosing how comfortable you want to be if residential care ends up being your destiny.

There are lots of people out there who profess that they can help you avoid paying care home fees, but much of that simply isn’t true. It’s a hugely complex area and people can easily fall foul of the law if they don’t take advice from a qualified and regulated professional.

If you’re having difficulty looking after yourself, the local council will assess whether you need social care. This can be anything from having more support at home, right through to moving into a residential care home.

Currently, if you have assets worth more than £23,250 you are liable for all your costs. If you have less than £23,250 in capital, the council will pay for all or part of your care. How much you pay is calculated on a sliding scale via a means test, which takes into account your savings and any income you may be in receipt of. Of course, there could be other factors involved, for example, if you’re already in living in residential social care or a nursing home, whether there’s a dependent relative living with you or if you have dementia and are living at home, but the broad thrust of it is that if you need to be moved in to full time residential care, the council can also include your property in the value of your assets.

Deliberately reducing your assets to avoid paying for care fees is known as ‘deprivation of assets’. Your assets can include money, property or any income you receive. It has been known for people to give their money or home away so that they’re not included in the means test, but if your local authority comes to the conclusion that you’ve done this on purpose, it will view it as a deprivation of assets. As such, even if you no longer have the asset, the council can still include the value of it when calculating your contribution towards the cost of your care fees.

The local authority will base its decision on whether you’ve engaged in a deliberate deprivation of assets by taking into consideration two key factors. Firstly, it will decide if you knew you may need care or support and, secondly, that you’ve intentionally got rid of your assets to avoid paying for care.

And it’s not just about whether you’ve sold your home or transferred the title deeds of your property to someone else that the council will look in to. It will investigate whether you’ve given away large sums of money or you’ve started spending much more than you would do normally. It also looks in to whether you’ve gambled your money away or if you’ve spent your money on buying jewellery or cars which are exempt from the means test.

This may appear harsh; after all who wants to give up the home and possessions they’ve worked so hard to acquire, but it’s all part of paying for care in the 21st Century. This is why timing is critical.

Local authorities will make exceptions if you gave up your home or assets at a time when you genuinely thought you wouldn’t need care or support. In these instances, the council will review your situation and ascertain what reasons you had for doing it. If it deems that, at the time of giving away your assets, you were fit and healthy and didn’t for one minute think you would end up needing care, the council may view that deprivation of assets don’t apply.

While you may believe this is desperately unfair, if you think about it, you’re not really losing your asset, you’re just transferring the value of it in to something else that can help you buy a better life for yourself. Isn’t that exactly why you save in the first place?

Russell and Russell can provide advice and guidance on residential care home fees. The firm offers a free, no obligation consultation so you can decide what’s right for you.

Read more here

Published on - Tue, 17 Apr 2018

Pay as you go family law help.How can this help you?

Restrictions on access to legal aid have resulted in many people having to represent themselves in court. Navigating the complexities of the law by yourself is not only daunting, but can also not help your cause. So, to help guide you and keep costs down, we’re offering an unbundled service for family law matters.

This is a facility where we help you with parts of the legal process that you’re unable to deal with, without incurring the full cost of us handling the whole matter on your behalf.

This may involve representing you at court, preparing legal documents or drafting letters. The key benefit here is that we can ‘dip in and out’ of your case so that you have access to the legal expertise of a solicitor as well as saving money.

In the first instance, a family law solicitor from Russell and Russell will meet with you so you can agree what parts of your case you want us to work on while you get on with other, less complex or routine tasks. We then act on an hourly rate, invoicing you after each stage so there are no unexpected charges.  

Solicitors charge for each action they carry out on a file. This can be anything from sending letters, making calls, reading through and/or preparing documents and advising you on the issues. All this time adds up. If you’re able to do the ‘leg work’ we can advise or act on the specialist areas so that you’re controlling the cost.

We can help with an unbundled service, whether you’re a cohabitee or a spouse, on finances and children matters including child arrangements or relocation issues, divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships.

During the process, if you find that you don’t want to continue on this basis, we can take on the whole case for you and will provide an estimate of our fees.
Learn more at

Published on - Tue, 10 Apr 2018

Bury Pride 2018.Are you going? We will be there and look forward to meeting you.

Once again, Russell and Russell will be attending Bury Pride.
This year, the firm is sponsoring the Gin Bar, which will be located on the balcony of the Elizabethan suite at Bury Town Hall. It will also house a Prosecco bar for all the non-gin lovers out there.
The bar itself will overlook the Elizabethan stage which is hosting an acoustic set featuring a variety of performances from local bands. As a proud supporter of the LGBT+ community, we’d like to invite everyone to help us celebrate.
The party starts at 11.00am, with the Walking Rainbow Parade, lead by Mayor, Cllr Dorothy Gunther, taking place at one o’clock. The route will go through the town centre, up to the Rock and then back down past the Millgate shopping centre, into the market before returning to the Elizabethan Suite.

After the parade there’s an afternoon packed full of entertainment, finishing with the headline act, pop icon, Toyah Willcox taking to the main stage.

So, if you’re out and about tomorrow, why not show your support and pop over to Bury to join us for a tipple? See you there!

Published on - Fri, 06 Apr 2018

Horse Riders and Road Traffic Accidents.. What are the facts?

The British Horse Society (BHS) has welcomed a drop in the number of road traffic accidents involving riders and their horses on Britain’s roads.

Between 2017 and 2018 there were 5% fewer incidents than in 2016 to 2017- 404 compared to 426 the previous year. Despite the good news, however, it’s still too many and more than a quarter those who reported incidents suffered some form of road rage or abuse.

The main reason behind the figures is that cars drive too fast and/or too close to horses. The situation has not been helped by the reduction in the number of bridleways as a result of losing their official public status and being lost to developers.

BHS is working with a number of road safety partners, including mounted police, the Driving Instructors Association and charity, IAM RoadSmart on its Dead Slow campaign, which was launched in 2016 urging drivers to reduce speeds to 15mph when they encounter a horse and rider on a road.

Millions of people up and down the country ride horses, so it isn’t surprising that equestrian road traffic accidents are so frequent. Horse riding accidents can be extremely serious, causing life changing injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries and, unfortunately, can be fatal for both horse and rider.

More here

Published on - Thu, 22 Mar 2018