Very few people in this country are entitled to long-term fully-funded state care. Mostly, long-term care is funded by the individual in care.
Having said that, if you or a loved one goes into care, you should ask for an assessment to be carried out. You will need to make sure that the financial contribution you make is correct and that the Local Authority are not taking more than they should.
If your care needs are short-term, involve mental health issues or terminal illness, there may be other funding packages available that should also be explored.
It is important to be aware that there is certain property that the Local Authority must disregard when assessing how much you will pay. For instance, if you are living with a relative who is over the age of 60, then the value of your home should not be included in the assessment. If the house is sold and another bought whilst you are receiving care, be very careful to confirm that the disregard will continue.
The rules on income also include some disregard rules, but, in principle, income cannot be
reduced to less than £24.90 a week.
In addition to your current financial picture, the Local Authority will look backwards when assessing the contributions required by any individual. They may treat any large gift or ‘excessive’ spending as a deliberate deprivation of assets and charge you accordingly. There is no time limit and they may look back some considerable way.
Most people know that care is a contentious topic in today’s society and that this government has made proposals to change the way care is funded. At the moment, if you have capital over £23,250, you will pay for your care in full (subject to disregards etc.). If you have less than £14,250, you won’t pay for your care at all.
There are many legal matters that sometimes need to be decided within the context of care. Whilst Miller Sands do not specialise in care dispute work, we can discuss care fees more generally in relation to other matters.
Examples of when you might need to think about how your decisions could affect the care costs you will pay:
• When you are writing your Wills
• When you or a spouse or partner goes into care
• When buying a property with someone
• When you or someone you own a property with needs care
• When you gift money or property to someone
• When you are an attorney or deputy for someone who needs care
• When carrying out your own estate planning
• When choosing to vary an inheritance you have received
If you want to find out more about any of the above, please contact us on 01223 202345 or click the link to email Ann Smith, our Private Client secretary directly.