Home care costs -protect property

  Terry Brown 20:46 13 Jun 2012

We were talking the other day about long term care in a nursing home (something neither of needs yet) and (as far as we can tell) if you have assets - including a house- you have to sell that to pay for nursing care until your assets are down to about £11000.

Is this correct?

Is there a way a trust fund or similar (after all MP's and the Wealthy do it) can be set up so that all your assets are legally protected, or even just 50% so the non- care patient is not brought to their knees and loses all that has been worked for.

Or should we just spend everything and when we are are skint tell the state to lok after us.


  frybluff 22:28 13 Jun 2012

As far as I am aware, if someone has to go into residential care, the property is not considered a "disposable asset", if someone else, over 55, and an existing long term resident (I believe over 6 months), continues to live in it. Unfortunately, again as I understand it, that remaining resident cannot dispose of the property (eg downsize), whilst the other person remains in resdential care, or the property then becomes a "disposable asset".

There are ways to mitigate against the problem, provided you do so, several years before the problem arises, but you would need advice from an accountant, to be sure it was sound.

  Terry Brown 07:16 14 Jun 2012

Thanks Frybluff

The reason I ask is friends of ours , the husband has to go into care (Mental health care- Not life threatening- reasons) and his wife after nearly emptying the bank account was 'advised' by the care home that she would need to sell their house to pay his bills.

This she did-as she needed money quite fast, she sold at below market value- and now that money is dwindling fast and her own health is suffering due the worry of it.

Would it make you think about the future?

I will seek the advice of an accountant to see what they advise.



  Quickbeam 07:17 14 Jun 2012

I've never heard of that over 55 person exclusion frybluff, the nearest to that I can see is for a close relative over 60 living at home. I would presume that as being son or daughter and becoming increasingly an grey area as it expands into third cousin twice removed territory. I'd be interested if you can confirm that 55 ruling frybluff as there is a family member of mine that would be somewhat relieved if that is so.

Your home, your assets and your residential care or nursing home fees

  frybluff 10:41 14 Jun 2012

I can only comment on the way it was explained, to me, by our solicitor, when I raised this issue 3 or 4 years ago.

I had taken early retirement, to live with, and care for, my mother who had Alzheimers. I was 57, and concerned as to what would happen, if I could no longer cope, and mother had to go into residential care. It was explained to me that as I was a long term, related resident, over 55, I could not be "evicted" to sell the property, and it would, therefore, not be regarded as a liquifiable asset. If, however, I left, voluntarily, it would become so. I would not be able to move (eg downsize), or the property could be seized. Provided I was still in the SAME property, when mother "ceased" to be in residential care, her care could not be charged, retrospectively.

I stress that this is my UNDERSTANDING, and strongly advise professional advice. As previously mentioned, there are ways to "plan" for this, but the rules around gifts and "disbursments" are complicated. I also believe the "disregard", in the case of a couple, is a lot higher than the figure given, in original post.

  spuds 10:46 14 Jun 2012

A few months ago I was at a meeting that was discussing the changes that the government 'are going to implement' within the next 2/3 years regarding 'care and help' plus benefits and grants funding.

Our local council have a team of six people who are trying to decipher what changes are going to happen, and there will be some very big changes, that perhaps the public are not aware about.

Perhaps a further pointer, is that our local council were going to sell all its care homes, suggesting various reasons for this, but have since had a rethink since the new guidelines and documents have been released to them. It looks like the care homes have been taken off the for sale or transfer list!.

Possibly a contact with your local council or Aged (Age Concern - Help the Aged) might provide some latest information on this subject?.

  spuds 11:26 14 Jun 2012

"that even the professionals get confused"

And that was exactly the case at the meeting I attended and mentioned. A team of six professional's openly admitted that they were having great problems and difficulties in understanding what the government had stated, and how they have to implement the requirements. They were also in fear that '"getting the correct and honest message' over to the public might even be more difficult" and were expecting a rather large influx of complaints.

When professional's are making these type of statements, then what chance does the public stand in understanding the complexity of this subject?.

  lotvic 17:54 14 Jun 2012
  Terry Brown 07:33 15 Jun 2012

Thank you all for your post. I did not realise what a complicated area this was in regards to Homes,Care - costs etc.

The problem seems to be that she sold their home to pay for the Home costs (on advise from the care home)and so she lost her right to live in her own place- curently living with her daughter.

I have been in contact with my bank (Santander)and there are procedures they can put in place to protect you and your partner- if you know about them and only if you ask.

My advise- Ask you bank for a meeting and see what they can advise- it costs nothing and is part of the service.


  frybluff 11:52 15 Jun 2012

I would suggest exercising some caution, when seeking advice from banks, on these types of subject. They are, obviously, commercial organisations, and not GUARANTEED to give best advice, for clients.

I would have thought the best "first line of attack" would be one of the "age" related charities, who should be able, at least, to recommend a specialist adviser.

At the end of the day, no one can be FORCED to pay a penny, for the care of a relative. The only advantage, in doing so, is to retain CHOICE (type of care, choice of home etc.). Other than that, one is at the "whim" of the local authority, to make those choices. The local authority can require a contribution towards costs, from THE PERSON IN CARE, based upon their LIQUIFIABLE assets, over the disregard, which I had thought was now £26,000 (but I may be wrong about that figure).

  spuds 12:21 15 Jun 2012

Terry Brown, I find it very strange that you are suggesting obtaining advice from a bank, because at the end of the day, and its been proven many times, banks are only interested in themselves and what they can gain. If it involves a mortgage through a bank, or possibly a trustee arrangement, then that might be a different thing.

On a issue like this, then as I previously suggested seek 'free' advice from Aged or even the CAB initially, because they have nothing to gain financially by offering this advice as a service to the public.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

25 book design and illustration tips

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts