Care Home Fees & Older Clients
At Sills & Betteridge Solicitors we have a great deal of experience in helping our clients structure their affairs to ensure that they mitigate the impact of care home fees on their estate. We find that many of our clients are deeply concerned about the impact that care home fees may have on the size of their estate. Often this worry is borne by a general lack of understanding, often propogated by the ‘scare mongering’ that surrounds this topic.
You should be aware that:
- If your capital assets total more than £23,250.00 you will most likely have to pay your own care home fees unless your specific circumstances qualify you for an exemption (which is rare)
- If you are living with a spouse/civil partner; a close relative over the age of 60; a close relative who is incapacitated; a child under the age of 18 years; or your carer at the time that you move into a care home, the Local Authority will disregard the capaital that you have in your property in their financial assessment
- It is illegal to deliberately deprive yourself of assets that would otherwise be used for the payment of care home fees, which means that the Local Authority can ignore any gifts that you make
- There is no time limit as to how far back the Local Authority can go when considering whether you have given away assets to prevent the payment of care home fees
The anti-avoidance rules regarding deliberate deprivation render any planning involving lifetime gifts extremely risky, and probably destined to failure. Whilst we would be happy to consider these options with you, our experience shows that this type of planning is not appropriate for the vast majority of our clients. Where this type of planning is not appropriate we can prepare Wills for owners of a jointly held property that have the effect of saving half of the family home from capital assessment. Any members of our team would be happy to discuss this with you to enable you to decide whether this is right for you.
Our team would be happy to meet with you at any of our offices, or where necessary they can visit you at home.