Care home fees is a complex area and local authorities can often overcharge or incorrectly apply the relevant regulations. Our highly experienced team can not only advise clients on the charging framework, but can also help to ensure that charges are being applied correctly and look at funding alternatives, in order to protect the family’s wealth.
Local authorities charge on the basis of detailed rules for the treatment of capital and income, potentially including the value of a person’s home.
A person’s capital will generally include all assets, although some assets may be disregarded in certain circumstances. In general terms, any capital below the lower limit of £14,250 is disregarded, capital between the lower limit and the upper limit of £23,250 is taken into account on a sliding scale and capital in excess of the upper limit precludes financial assistance. This means that the person is required to pull the full cost of their accommodation fees.
Good long term planning can offer a person the security of knowing that they will be adequately provided for whilst protecting wealth for the next generation. However, it is a sad fact that many people come to us when residential accommodation is current or imminent. In such circumstances, the scope for effective planning is limited. This is typically because if the local authority believes that the resident has intentionally deprived himself or herself of capital to avoid fees, the assets concerned may be recovered or the persons may, in any event, be treated as having ‘notional capital’ against which they are assessed.