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Paying for care

The good news is that most of us are living longer. The less welcome news is that these extra years can cost us more in terms of paying for care, potentially leaving our children with little or no inheritance. Even when leaving an inheritance is not the number one priority, protecting your independence, dignity and self-respect will be high on the agenda.

No question, the rules around funding and paying for care are complex when assessing how much an individual should be paying. Sympathetic, understanding, and experienced in elderly care law, our team of specialists can help you better understand the entire process.

We care about correct assessment

If you are unable to look after yourself and you require care either in your home or in a residential home, your Local Authority will assess your care needs and your financial needs. If your capital amounts to more than £23,250, which includes the value of your home, you will not be entitled to any financial assistance unless your health needs entitle you to continuing NHS healthcare funding. However, it is important to ensure you don’t overpay for care and unnecessarily compromise your family’s security, which is where our expertise can be applied.

Jointly owned property and care home fees

If one of a married couple goes into care, and the other remains living in the house, the local authority disregards the value of the house when assessing the contribution to care fees. However, if one member of a couple dies and the house passes to the survivor, who then goes into care, the whole of the value of the house will be available to pay for care fees.

This can be avoided. Instead of allowing your home to pass to your partner outright when you die in your Will, you can leave your share in your home “on trust” for your partner during his or her lifetime.

Your partner will be able to continue living in your home or to move to another property, which will be jointly owned by your partner and the Trustees of your Will. If your partner goes into care, your home can be sold, and your half share can be invested to provide income for your partner. When you have both died, your half share will be paid to the people named in your Will.

You will remain able to move to a new house or change your Wills at all times.

Looking after your needs

We understand that issues such as these can be worrying, which is why we have specialists who can help you work out what is best for you. If you’d like to talk about paying for care and the rules around funding, with our Wills, trusts and probate team please get in touch.