Deprivation of Assets – Do I have to sell my home to pay for care?

Deprivation of Assets – Do I have to sell my home to pay for care?

What counts as deprivation of assets? How can I protect my home and savings from care fees? What assets are taken into account for care home fees?

This article explains what deprivation of assets is and how you can still protect your property for you and your family.

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Due to insufficient State funds, we are invariably responsible for paying for care home fees if capable of doing so.

With increasing financial pressure on Local Authorities due to decreasing budgets, they are reviewing applications for care funding to determine whether individuals can pay for their care themselves.

•  Means Test

•  How will a Local Authority assess me?

•  What is ‘deprivation of assets’ and is this lawful?

•  How can we help?

Means Test 

Your ability to pay for care will be worked out through a means test. Your home will not be included if you receive care and support at home or if you go into a care home on a short-term or temporary basis.

If you move into a care home permanently, your home will not be included if, for example, your partner still lives there or, in certain circumstances, a relative.

The Care Act 2014 seeks to provide a clear code for the provision of payment for your care home needs.

Your Local Authority has the discretion of interpreting these provisions, meaning that there is a disparity between how different Local Authorities will treat their residents. Interpretations can be more restrictive in areas where there is a more limited budget.

How will a Local Authority assess me?

Your Local Authority will assess the values of the assets you own. That value will determine how much (if any) you need to pay towards your care.

Currently, if your capital is above £23,250 you’re likely to have to pay your care fees in full. If your capital is under £23,250 you might get some help from the local council, but you may still need to contribute towards the fees.

What is ‘deprivation of assets’ and is this lawful?

Many who require care fear they may lose all their hard-earned property to pay for the care home fees themselves.

Depriving yourself of assets by transferring them into trusts or to family members to sidestep the assessment can cause complications and it is crucial to be able to give valid reasons for moving them.

A Local Authority can argue that you have deliberately deprived yourself of your assets to avoid payment of care home fees. This may be by, for example, putting your property in trusts, giving them away or converting them into another type of asset which is not assessable.

In such situations, the Local Authority will need to prove the asset would have been available to you, had you not deprived yourself of it.

To avoid such stressful positions, it is extremely important to consider the timing of your estate planning.

It needs to be demonstratable that your motives for moving your assets were not based on you knowing that care was going to be needed.

How can we help?

Our financial experts are ready to guide you through all the options available so that you can understand fully what can happen to your property and assets should you ever be assessed for care needs.

They can provide you with guidance and support through the whole process, so you and your family have confidence and peace of mind, but most importantly, clarity and understanding about the reality of the situation.

Our team operates on transparency, honesty and integrity. If they ever think a Local Authority ay challenge you over the timing and motive for moving your assets, they will tell you up front and explain all the potential risks.

It is always best to seek legal advice from an experienced specialist on moving property into trusts.

There are no guarantees that your Local Authority would not claim ‘deliberate deprivation’ and challenge the establishment of the Protective Property Trust.

However, for a level of comfort, the trust can be established with a money-back guarantee (for an extra charge) which provides that, should the Trust be challenged and fail, the cost to create the Trust is insured and fully reimbursed to the Settlor.

However, we very rarely recommend this unless there is a known condition because, our financial adviser team has never had a Protective Property Trust fail. Even in the few occasions where such a Trust has been challenged in the Courts by a Local Authority, it has never been revoked.

Get in touch with our team today on 01865 507174 or at info@adewills.co.uk.

How can we help you?

Any questions, comments or just need more information?

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