4th March 2015

Care Home Fees

Article by admin | Legal Updates

Given that we are an aging population, care home fees are becoming more and more of a concern for everyone: whether they will be eligible to pay, how much they will need to pay and whether they can keep their home.

How do care home fees work?

Care home fees are means tested. This means that if you need to move into a home, your local authority will firstly carry out an assessment to see how much you have to pay towards your care home fees. They will assess your capital and your income. Currently, if you own assets worth more than £23,250 then you will have to pay the full cost of your care.

Will I lose my home to pay care home fees?

It is a worry for many people that they will lose their home as a result of going into care. When assessing the level of your assets, if your spouse is to remain in your home then your home will not be taken into account. If another relative is to remain in your home then the local authority have discretion as to whether this is taken into account dependant upon the age of the relative.

How can I avoid care home fees?

If you were to transfer assets out of your name in an attempt to avoid care home fees then it may be viewed by the local authority as an attempt to deprive yourself of assets. The local authority may then take those assets into consideration in any event.

The law is due to change in April 2016 and the upper capital limit is due to rise from £23,250 to £118,000 although this may still result in you needing to pay a capital contribution. There is also due to be a ‘care cap’ implemented whereby no one should pay more than £72,000 for their ‘care’ needs.

If you wish to talk to someone about care home fees then please contact either our Petersfield (01730 268 211) or Midhurst (01730 816 711) office and ask to speak to a member of the Wills, Trusts and Probate team.