One of the key concerns many clients have at the moment is losing their property to pay for care costs, especially if there are people still living in the home - whether that be spouse or children.
For the purposes of this blog we will just concentrate on the property and ignore any other income or capital owned by the person. That can be a post for another day!
Whether or not a person has to pay for care relates to their capital when the local authority does a financial assessment. Capital is widely defined as savings, investments and property. However, certain capital is disregarded which means the local authority are unable to include it in the financial assessment.
In terms of a person's home, if a certain relative occupies the property as their main and only home, and this arrangement has been in place before the care home admission, the home should be disregarded.
a spouse, partner or civil partner
a close relative aged 60 or over
a close relative who is:
receiving Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Armed Forces Independent Payments, Constant Attendance Allowance or a similar benefit, or
not receiving one of these benefits but would meet the criteria for one of them.
There may be other disregards too, depending on the individual's situation so it's always best to take professional advice before just accepting the local authority's position.
If you would like any advice on getting some robust estate planning in place do please get in touch.