Q.1 If I have to move into a care home in the future, will I have to pay for the full cost of care?
Generally speaking, everyone who moves into residential care has to undergo a financial assessment to determine the level of fees they need to pay. If the person has over £23,250 in assets, they will be liable for the cost of their care. The local authority where the person lives will carry out the assessment.
Q.2Can I receive home care and are there charges for that?
A care and needs assessment will normally be undertaken by a professional to determine whether home care is appropriate. If it is, then the same rule applies in that a financial assessment will be undertaken by the local authority. If you have funds over £23,250, then you will have to pay for the full cost. If your assets are below this figure, then only capital and income will be taken into account?.
Q.3 Will I have to sell my home to fund my care?
Not necessarily. There are certain exemptions/disregards in respect of property for financial assessments. At Bromleys, we can provide expert advice on this matter as well as on the option of deferred payment agreements, which local authorities offer under the Care Act.
Q.4 Can I transfer my property to my children to avoid paying the costs of care?
Effectively the answer is no. There are certain rules regarding the disposal of a property which will be taken into account by a local authority. They will request confirmation of the date and price of any sale or disposal. If they believe that there was a ‘deliberate deprivation of capital or assets’, they may seek to recover them or place a charge against the property to recover the costs of care. There are alternative steps to try to mitigate the future cost of care in respect of a property and we can advise on these.
Q.5 Are there any exemptions to paying for care costs?
Yes – and other funding options are available if you meet the criteria, such as:
A need for health care, where by you are funded by the NHS. However, the criteria for this are demanding and are generally limited to certain complex health needs;
Local authorities have certain exemptions which may reduce the liability of care costs, such as a spouse exemption on a property. These depend on individual circumstances;
Mental health issues may determine that a client is also funded under the Mental Health Act. This funding is very limited but may be appropriate in certain situations;
Limited assets – if a client does not own a property, and their assets are less than £23,250, an application can be made to the local authority for funding to mitigate the full cost.
Our team at Bromleys is experienced in dealing with all the above exemptions, making the relevant applications for such funding and offering appropriate advice where required, tailored to each individual’s situation.
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The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.