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Latest News

Latest News

October 12
Debunking the Myth of Care Home Costs

 

care-homeConcerns around paying for the costs of residential and nursing care are increasing for many people. The loss of the family home is uppermost in most people’s minds and when considering the options available to you, it is essential to seek expert advice.

  1. Will they just take my house?

 No, there are a number of factors to consider before this becomes a possibility. For instance, consideration would be given to whether there are funds elsewhere to pay for the costs; could the property be rented out to provide an income; who else lives in the property and whether any other arrangement around deferred costs could be agreed with the local authority who are dealing with the move into care.

  1. Can I not just give my house to the children?

 This is a possibility. However, you should note that if you gift your house to your children for the sole purpose of avoiding care costs, you are likely to still be liable for the costs nonetheless. This is because the local authority can look at these gifts and conduct an assessment of your circumstances as if you still owned the property. Such a gift may also have some unintended Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax consequences.  You should also consider the fact that if any of your children were to subsequently divorce or be made bankrupt, you could be at risk of losing your home.

  1. What about giving my home to a trust in my lifetime?

Again, if the sole purpose (or one of the main reasons) is to avoid paying care home fees, then it is unlikely to be effective. In this scenario, you also have to appoint Trustees who will have control over your home and will need to be consulted if you wanted to sell or even re-mortgage.

  1. What Options Do I Have?

 If your home is still occupied by your spouse when you go into care, under the current legislation, the Local authority cannot claim against it.  You can draft your Will in such a way as to ensure that at least a half share of the value of your home is protected if the survivor were to ever require care.

It is also worth considering that if you are contributing towards your own care, you will also be able to have more of an influence over the choice of care or nursing home.

For more information or to discuss your options in more detail please contact any member of our Private Client Team either via email at wills-probate@arnoldthomson.com or call us on 01327 350 266. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.