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How to stop the local authority from taking your house to cover care costs

With the ever-increasing cost of care, you can get the right legal assistance to protect your home from care costs as far as reasonably possible. However, this is not always guaranteed. 

The current higher capital limit for funding care is £23,250.00 which is set by the government. This means that if you own assets above this limit (and you’re not eligible for NHS funding), you will be responsible for the full cost of your care in a care home. 

If you own assets between the capital limits of £14,250.00 and £23,250.00 you will be required to pay what you can afford, with the local authority ‘topping up’ the shortfall.*

*The UK government have recently announced reforms to the adult social care system. The capital limits and fees discussed above are currently under review by the government prior to their intended release circa October 2023. 

Eligibility for the NHS continuing healthcare system to pay for your care

The responsibility of paying for your care is subject to your eligibility for the NHS continuing healthcare system.

If you are not eligible and are concerned about losing your house to fund your future care, there are simple steps you can take. You can create a Will using certain trust structures, provided that you are fit, healthy and have capacity at the time of the instruction. 

Creating a Will to pay for your care costs

Creating a Will trust relevant to your property can provide your partner/spouse/civil partner with a right to occupy (live in and enjoy) your half share of the house whilst ultimately gifting it to your chosen beneficiaries. Ringfencing your half share of the house like this will reduce the wealth that passes to your partner/spouse/civil partner upon your death. This reduces the capital that the local authority will assess on the survivor of you, whilst still ensuring that your chosen beneficiaries inherit your 50% share of the house. 

How do you make this Will effective?

You must own your home with your partner/spouse/civil partner as tenants in common (i.e. own respective percentages in the house typically 50% each) rather than as joint tenants (i.e. collective ownership as one). 

We can check on your behalf and prepare the necessary paperwork to change your ownership to tenants in common if needed. 

The local authority may still expect you to contribute to your care costs

It is important to note that if the local authority considers that you are gifting your assets away solely to avoid paying for your own care (i.e. deliberately depriving your assets) and it was a reasonable expectation that you contribute to your care at the time of the gift/disposal, the local authority can treat you as still owning such asset when assessing you. 

Want more information about covering care costs?

Not to worry. Simply contact our specialist team if you want to know about alternative lifetime options, using trust structures within your Will to include additional assets of your estate and more. 

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