Care Home Fees – should you be forced to sell your home?

When an individual moves into a care home it can be a very stressful time for both the individual and his or her family members. Not only will there be an element of emotional stress, but also financial stress which revolves around funding care home fees.

The Local Authority will conduct a financial assessment to assess whether or not the individual concerned has sufficient financial means to fund his or her care home fees, whether in whole or part. Generally the Local Authority is not required to provide funding for those with assets over the threshold value of £23,250 as the individuals are required to fund their care home fees themselves. In some cases the Local Authority may disregard the property when conducting a financial assessment.

In 2015 the government introduced Deferred Payment Agreements as part of a commitment that people should not be forced to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care home fees.

Under this agreement and the Local Authority would loan money to an individual to fund the care home fees, which would normally be paid directly to the care home. In such cases a charge is registered against the property, and the loan is repaid at a later date, for example on the death of the individual or an earlier sale of the property.

The Local Authority does set a requirement for individuals (or their attorneys or deputies if they are acting on behalf of the individuals) to obtain legal advice on the matter before the Deferred Payment Agreement and Legal Charge are signed. If you are been in the process of entering a Deferred Payment Agreement and wish to obtain legal advice on the matter please let us know.