When the topic of care home fees arises, the question that immediately comes to mind is: how do I protect my life savings? There is no “cookie-cutter” answer to this because every individual’s situation is unique. In this blog post, we will go through some strategies to protect your assets from care home fees and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
We will look at the option of converting to Tenants in Common and creating a Trust, disposing of possessions, entering into a Deferred Payment Agreement with the local authority, and transferring property or capital into a Trust. We will also cover exemptions for care home fees and discuss how to protect your savings.
Hopefully, these insights will help you identify a strategy that works for you.
Do tenants in common avoid care home fees?
Converting to Tenants in Common and developing a Trust are strategies that have been known to relieve the strain of Care Home costs on one’s half of a property. It is vital, however, that this course of action is agreed upon mutually by the couple involved, considering the possibility of complications
Can a jointly owned house be sold to pay for care?
If you are worried about covering fees related to a care home, you may have to dispose of your possessions. You can also examine the potential for a Deferred Payment Agreement with your local authority. This system allows you to be lent funds based on the value of your property, which will be repaid from the sale of your estate after you pass away.
Nonetheless, there are charges for this option as well as interest that accumulates over time. To be considered for this agreement, your belongings must be under the upper means limit. If you are interested, you can consult with your local authority to see if you qualify.
Can I put my house in Trust to avoid care home fees in the UK?
The local authority may take action if they have grounds to suspect you of transferring property or capital into a Trust fund with the primary intent of avoiding paying care fees. This can be judged as deliberately depriving yourself of an asset, which can be challenged.
It is possible that they will exercise their right to view the asset in question as if it still belongs to you, reclaim it from the person who accepted the asset, and potentially pursue bankruptcy proceedings or file for a judgement debt at the County Court.
It is also common for high legal and/or court costs to be incurred by the individual in these kinds of cases, as well as the possibility of criminal charges.
Can you transfer ownership of a house to avoid care home fees?
You may not be able to avoid paying care fees by gifting property or transferring a home into a Trust, which is known as asset deprivation. However, there are legal ways to do this. If you make such a transfer, the local authority may pursue you and the beneficiary of the asset transfer for what is owed. There are ways to reduce this risk.
If you give away your home, it may be seen as deliberate asset deprivation, and the property may still be taken into account when assessing your resources.
However, there are legitimate reasons why you can distribute your resources without fear of it being used to pay for your care. It is allowed to pass your home into a Trust and give it to someone else, such as a family member, but the reasons for doing this must be proven to be other than trying to delay payment of care fees.
What are the disadvantages of tenants in common UK? What are the risks of tenancy in common?
If you are looking to sidestep potential Tenancy in Common problems, several risks must be taken into account. There is a simplicity to joint ownership which does not require a strategic allocation of shares. If anyone with an ownership stake passes away without a will in place, their share of the property is subject to the probate process: a costly and drawn-out adventure which may mean inheritors do not receive their due quickly.
Furthermore, married couples often find no additional benefit, as if one spouse dies the other will receive the entire property regardless. If a co-owner wishes to sell while different parties do not agree, one tenant may invoke a Partition Action and be forced to put the property up for sale, whether all parties agree to the transaction or not.
There can also be potential for disputes between the deceased’s family and the remaining individual upon the passing of a joint holder.
What assets are exempt from care home fees?
One’s own property, such as jewellery, artwork, heirlooms, vehicles, or any other individual property, is excluded from evaluation, unless the Local Authority suspects the acquisitions were deliberately done in an effort to decrease one’s capital.
How can I protect my savings from care home fees? Is there a way to avoid care home fees?
Consulting with a lawyer to protect your possessions can be a challenging task. Many times, people think that gifting their residence to relatives or friends or spending money is a smart idea, but it puts them at a disadvantage. To preserve their possessions, it is essential that they promptly seek assistance with the legal aspect from an expert.
In order to prevent this event, you might also decide to place some or all of your home in a Trust. It is necessary to start organizing this several years prior to when you may require care in order to avoid running into affliction regulations.
You must be sure that there is an alternate purpose for establishing the property into a Trust, such as preserving it in the family and preventing it from being sold or to facilitate one or more of your children to reside there. However, this could create its own difficulties.
Can I be forced to sell my home to pay for care?
It doesn’t have to be the way it is – you won’t be compelled to give up your house in exchange for care services. However, many people will need to pay some of their care fees as they get older, sometimes even all of them. This is largely due to the fact that our population is living longer.
Tenants in common, Trusts, and deferred payment agreements can be helpful strategies for those who wish to lessen the burden of care home costs. However, it is essential to be aware that there are risks and downsides involved with them.
It is important to weigh all of the expenses, implications, and potential legal issues before attempting any asset transfers. Discussing these issues with an attorney can help you make an informed and engaging decision. Ultimately, it is always ideal to have a comprehensive plan well in advance, in order to best ensure one’s financial security and future peace of mind.