Landmark case could affect inheritances

EMILY Youngman scrimped and saved all her life to ensure she had something to pass on to her family.But now thousands of people could face losing their inheritance if a landmark ruling is made against the 91-year-old Suffolk pensioner who is being sued by Suffolk County Council.

EMILY Youngman scrimped and saved all her life to ensure she had something to pass on to her family.

But now thousands of people could face losing their inheritance if a landmark ruling is made against the 91-year-old Suffolk pensioner who is being sued by Suffolk County Council.

The OAP stands accused of giving her home away to avoid paying nursing home fees.

Today a nursing home manager has branded what could be a High Court test case as disgraceful but a leading solicitor believes the council could have a strong case against the elderly widow.


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Solicitor David Day warned that if the authority could prove that the family intended to avoid paying for Mrs Youngman's care then it would probably succeed.

He added there were an increasing number of inquiries from people worried over how to avoid selling their home to pay for care.

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Officials from the council and from leading charity Age Concern have both insisted that the rules are clear.

But Suffolk nursing home manager Mike O'Neill said it was disgraceful.

He operates a two tier system where private residents pay £450 a week and yet the council only provides £351 a week for their residents who are being given the same care. He wants to see more money given for all residents.

He said: "At the end of the day these people have paid their dues in life and have been give promises to look after them if they need it, but they have not got it.

"It is ridiculous – most people work all their lives to pass something on to their families but that is not allowed if you have to go into care."

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