Are Care Home Fees Voluntary?
Like you and probably 99% of the adults in the UK, myself included, none of us want to be forced to leave our home and live in a care home in our latter years.
We have all heard of families having to sell their parent’s home in order to pay for their care. The average care home fees (April 2022) were £704 per week for residential care only rising to £888 if you need nursing care. Unfortunately, many families that I meet have not made any provision to cover this eventuality. This often means that the family home has to be sold. As people are living longer the average time spent in a care home is on the increase and indeed there are instances of people living in a care home in excess of 5 years. If you have assets over £23,500 you will be made to contribute towards your care, or in many cases pay the full costs from your own resources. I am often asked in meetings how can my children avoid paying these costs and can I protect my home.
Unfortunately, you cannot gift your home to your children as this will be classed as deliberate deprivation of your assets and you will be deemed to still own the home for the purposes of assessing your wealth so far as care home fees are concerned.
However, if you are married or living with someone, it is possible to protect fifty per cent of the value of your home from being assessed when it comes to assessing your wealth, without falling foul of the deliberate deprivation of assets rules. Unlike if you were to gift your property to your children, your property will remain in your names and as such you are fully protected from your children seeking to take a share of the property, which could happen if the property was gifted to them.
Regrettably, space does not allow me to go into great detail as to how this can be achieved, but to put it simply the answer lies in how you structure the wording of your Wills and by owning your property as tenants in common. By planning ahead fifty per cent of your property and any assets that were solely in your partners name can be protected from care home fees.
Speak to our Wills, Trusts and Probate experts
If you would like to find out more information on this subject, please contact one of the members of our Wills, Trusts and Probate to arrange a meeting on 01895 207 910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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