Although, statistically, few people have to go into a care home many people have concerns about paying for such accommodation.
Paying for Care Accommodation
If you are assessed as requiring nursing or care accommodation the local authority will assess your financial circumstances to establish whether you are required to pay some or all of the fees. Your income, savings and investments and, possibly, your house will all be included in the assessment.
You will have to pay the full cost of the care if your capital exceeds £23,000 (in England).
The local authority will disregard the value of your house for twelve weeks from the date when you go into care. During the twelve-week period, the local authority will assist with the fees if your remaining capital is below the upper limit. After the twelve-week period they will continue to help with fees but will claim the payments back when the house is sold. The local authority may register a charge against the house to protect the repayments. However, if you are taking reasonable steps to sell your property, Income Support or Minimum Income Guarantee may continue to be paid for up to six months and longer if reasonable.
If you self-funding you may be entitled to claim Attendance Allowance.
Nursing Care Fees
A person who is self-funding and is receiving nursing care may have the nursing element of their care paid for them by the National Health Service. Such payments are made directly to the home
Jointly Owned Assets
If you have to go into a home and your house continues to be occupied by your spouse or civil partner it will not be assessed as part of your capital for care home funding purposes. However, if your spouse or civil partner moves out of the house or dies your share will then become assessable.
If your spouse or civil partner has died and you inherit their share the whole of the house will be assessed as your asset. In these circumstances it may be appropriate for spouses or civil partners to change their ownership to tenants in common so that they can give their share by Will to someone else (perhaps their children) other than the spouse who is resident in the care home.
Similarly, it may be appropriate to divide joint bank accounts or investments and place them in individual names.
This information shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We are not responsible for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in reliance of this information.