Sarah Patrick, partner at Caesar and Howie poses four questions she feels Scottish families should be able to answer.  The questions are First,  How much does residential care cost in Scotland?  Second, Could you afford to pay for a family member going into care?  Third, How many houses are sold each year to pay for care costs?  Fourth, Is there any way of avoiding care costs?  Sadly, Sarah thinks many Scots families do not know the answer to these questions – nor do they even think about them.  “Actually the answers are quite scary” says Sarah.  “Residential care costs can exceed £600 per week and to be honest I do not think many families can afford to pay for that without selling assets.  In fact it is estimated that thousands of houses are sold in the UK each year which I think should be a worry for families.  But, the good news is in answer to the fourth question, there is at the moment a method available which has a good chance of stopping houses being sold to pay for care costs.  It is called a Discretionary Family Trust and we are finding that once families apply their minds to this difficult subject more and more are seeking to mitigate the effects of having to pay for care.  These trusts are therefore becoming more common.  Setting up a family trust early – before care costs are being incurred is what needs to be done.  I would urge all families with elderly members to think about this subject and plan for the future”. For a completely free consultation on the legal issues about care costs please telephone  o845 855 3300  And ask for Sarah, Lesley or Martin