If you own assets over £23,250 (including the value of your home), you are usually expected to pay for all of your own care. When you go into care your Local Authority will carry out a financial assessment to see if you are entitled to any state funding. With the threshold being as low as it is, many people do not qualify and will be expected to pay the full fees, and with the average weekly cost of care being £600, many people are taking steps to ensure that care home fees do not use up their hard-earned cash, or their loved one’s future inheritance.
It might seem that the magic solution to this is to give away the majority of your assets during your lifetime, but this is definitely not a route to pursue. You may find later find that you have been accused of intentionally reducing your assets as a way to avoid care home fees – this is known as a deprivation of assets and local authorities do have the power to recover the assets where it has been ruled that a person has deliberately reduced their level of assets to avoid care home fees. Moreover, if it has been deemed that a person has deliberately deprived themselves of assets the local authority can include the value of the assets disposed of when undertaking their financial assessment – potentially leaving you vulnerable, so it is imperative you take specialist advice if you are worried about care home fees.
BBS are on hand to help you protect your assets and will tailor our advice to your set of circumstances to achieve the best outcome for you. We are able to advise you on how to restructure your assets where necessary, and are happy to undertake further estate planning through the use of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
We are also capable of exploring other care home fee planning opportunities that may suit your needs.