Care Home Fees and House in Sole Name

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Lookingafter, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    14
    Evening all, like many others .. one post creates a string of others when you think about it.

    Thinking of moving two elderly relatives into a care home. They have savings in a joint account. So, I know it’ll be 50/50 split when it comes to the £23,250 threshold thinking.

    What happens when the house is in one name only. Does that go towards his care only or should I use it jointly to pay for both their cars. They have been in the house over 50 years.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,895
    Male
    North Manchester
    The value of the house in sole ownership will be included in the owner's financial assessment.
     
  3. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    14
    Thanks for that. I see. Would I be better in getting single bank accounts halving the ‘joint’ money then managing their own pension / AA income on each bank account?

    I can then see MIL money running out sooner in about 14 months. Would anyone recommend a financial advisor?

    Also, in terms of these ‘family top up fees’, is this written in the contract where I have to agree before the home takes them?
     
  4. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,148
    I think that it would be best to have separate bank accounts for them. Is the intention that both parents go into care at exactly the same time, as self-funders, and their house is then sold, prior to either of them needing a financial assessment from the local authority?

    Under those circumstances, personally I would split the proceeds from the house sale between the couple as they have lived together in the same house for 50 years so why shouldn't the wife benefit from the proceeds? They both need their care to be paid for and as self-funders there would a choice available with regards to which home they lived in. With local authority funding they will find a home which meets the wife's needs and is within their budget, which could result in the couple being split up if the intention is to keep them together in the same home if family were not in the position to keep paying a 'top up'. Making them both self-funding for the same length of time would be preferable for them, and half of the proceeds from the house sale going to the wife to pay for her care is unlikely to be considered as 'deprivation of assets' on the part of the husband, particularly as it would have saved the council from having to pay for her care themselves. From personal experience, the longer you can keep away from the need to get involved with social services and the local authority the better as it involves huge amounts of time and stress on the part of the person who is trying to arrange assessments and funding as council departments are not joined up.

    If they are both self-funding when they go into care then there is no need for family to pay 'top up' fees. This would only apply if they were unable to fund the full cost of their care themselves and the local authority were funding the care but there was a shortfall between what the council were paying and the care home fees. From what you have said MIL has enough savings to self fund for at least 14 months - is it the same for the husband? If so that will give you time to sell the house prior to any need for a financial assessment.
     
  5. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    14
    Yes looking to move them both together. Found a nice home for a shared room etc and they’ve agreed to take them.

    Thanks for the good advice.

    My concern is if I sign the contract am I saying when the threshold hits and top ups
    are required from third party Im signing to say this is me, cause this changes everything.
     
  6. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    95
    I would've thought that If the house is owned by just one of them, its a sole ownership. The other person doesn't own any part of the property, is not the legal owner and surely therefore social services should not be allowed to include half of the house in the other persons financial assessment?

    Perhaps the house was bought that way, so the house could be inherited by the children (there could be stepchildren, children from a previous marriage that would be disinherited if the house was jointly owned). Its possible that 50 years ago, the wife wasn't working/earning and the house was bought in the husbands name a she was paying for it. I understand from my own family people did in those days.
     
  7. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    95
    Why do you have to be responsible for paying top-ups? Can you refuse? if you cant afford to - and lets be realistic, who can! I didn't know family were expected to pay top-ups. Surely them taking every penny off the person with dementia and the proceeds of sale from their home would be enough?
     
  8. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,790
    Female
    Scotland
    Don’t pay a financial advisor to tell you what is pretty well laid out above. Two accounts with half of joint savings and pensions in each. House sold and then make the decision if it all goes into the husbands account or gets divided. In a divorce the wife would be entitled to half so personally I would think she is entitled but the law may say something else. You’re not at that stage yet so who knows one or both may die before then.

    Put the moneys in safe accessible accounts and/or premium bonds - no fancy investments.
     
  9. Lookingafter

    Lookingafter Registered User

    Aug 21, 2019
    14
    The wealth of information here is amazing. I feel so much better and should manage some sleep tonight. Thank you all.
     
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,232
    Female
    South coast
    When someone moves into a care home and they have under £25,000 savings (and no property to sell) the Local Authority will start putting funding towards the fees. Once that persons savings are under £14,000 the Local Authority will be paying up to their maximum, but many (most?) care homes have fees which are higher than this maximum, so the care home will require "top-up" fees. It is illegal for the top-up fees to be paid by the person in the care home, so it has to be paid for by a third party - usually the relatives.

    You dont have to pay top-ups, but this will mean that the person moving into a care home will be restricted to homes that will accept the Local Authority rate. They are not all bad - if mum had outlived her savings then her care home would not have asked for top-up fees - but they may not be as nice looking or convenient to visit as other homes and there is very little choice. The Local Authority only has to find one care home that will meet their needs and will accept LA rates for the LA to have met their legal duty..
     
  11. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,895
    Male
    North Manchester
    #11 nitram, Aug 22, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
    I agree the joint account should be split 50/50 into two sole accounts.

    I think the legal position is that if the sale proceeds are split the LA can regard it as deliberation of assets in any future financial assessment.

    You don't say how long 50% of the joint account is likely to last in either case before the upper limit is reached.
    Before this limit is reached the LA will have little interest in finances.

    If the house proceeds are split both will reach the upper limit at approx. the same time, if not split one will reach it long before the other.

     
  12. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    95
    Hi Canary,

    Oh my goodness I had no idea about the family being expected to pay top ups. Our family certainly cannot afford to pay anything at all towards Mum's care. We are struggling to pay our own mortgage and bills and help our adult children with life's basics. So we would have to just accept whatever home they put Mum in.
     

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