care home fees LA panic

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Lhg, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. Lhg

    Lhg Registered User

    Dec 28, 2012
    42
    Hi,

    I hope someone can give me advice. I'm afraid this is ongoing, so apologies for repeating myself. I was a carer for both parents until 2010 when my father passed away and looked after my mother who has severe Alzheimer's. I'm afraid because of the stress of dealing with the situation I took the drastic decision of taking my mother abroad (my father had close friends abroad who said they would help, but then didn't). After a couple of years my mother's conditioned worsened and the stress of the situation and dealing with living in a foreign country without support got on top of me so we moved back to the UK. However, in the meantime I had renovated/extensive repairs were carried out on my mother's house so we could rent it out, which paid for carers etc (though carers weren't always reliable, and my mother needed someone to sit with her at night so I wasn't able to work). I also put most of my savings into the trip.

    Unfortunately when we returned, my mother had a high risk of pressure sores and was moved to a care home last May (the councils decision). A couple of months ago they said they had carried out a financial assessment (without input from me), and demanded payment of thousands of pounds. They also questioned my joint ownership of the house. They've also been asking for closed accounts over the last five years.

    I hired a lawyer. I am aware of CRAG and TOLATA and of course will argue this. But the lawyer seems fairly negative, she seems to emphasise doing some kind of deal with them (because I used my mother's money for the repairs - so they could question my claim, I think). She's asking them to do a proper financial assessment.

    I haven't been able to find work and she's saying that they could claim salary if I do to pay them, but I have a student loan that will need paying and no pension. It's a fairly dire situation, not helped by relentless demands for payment from the Council. so would very much appreciate any advice or experiences of those in a similar situation (I'm under 60).
     
  2. WILLIAMR

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    1,079
    Hello Lhg

    My first question is why are they questioning your joint ownership of the house?.

    If your half was inherited from your father you are definitely a joint owner but from personal experience I know LA's do not seem to understand this.

    William
     
  3. Lhg

    Lhg Registered User

    Dec 28, 2012
    42
    Hi William,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I only registered my name last year on the land registry as wasn't aware that I had to before the care home fees issue arose. Unbeknownst to me the LA had check with the Land Registry (before notifying me of the financial assessment) and then questioned why I'd only registered last year. There was a snide reference to a deprivation of assets in the email I received too, which set alarm bells ringing. The lawyer's sent them all the documents, so they won't be able to question the joint ownership, but the lawyer said they could question my handling of my mother's financial affairs and as I said the house renovation could be argued against me. The lawyer doesn't seem to be fighting anything, but just following procedure (but that could be my paranoia!). It's making me absolutely miserable (not to say edgy).
     
  4. WILLIAMR

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    1,079
    Hi. Lhg

    I think the LA is trying to say that using your mother's money for house repairs was deprivation of assets.
    I know somebody who used some of his father's money to rewire their jointly owned house and for a new bathroom / kitchen when care was not on the cards and this did not count as deprivation of assets.
    If the money had been spent when care was on the cards it may have counted as deprivation.

    William
     
  5. Lhg

    Lhg Registered User

    Dec 28, 2012
    42
    Thanks. That's what I thought. Definitely wasn't a deprivation of assets, we weren't in the country and it was the opposite, I wanted to use the rental income so my mum would be able to afford home care. If we'd stayed abroad my mum would have been making a profit. But the lawyer seems negative, she's already mentioned deferred payments etc. It feels like a foregone conclusion. I have had terrible experiences with lawyers in the past and have little heart to change lawyers, but not sure if she's going to fight my corner. Btw, it's a firm of solicitors who are well known for representing clients with this sort of case.
     
  6. Lhg

    Lhg Registered User

    Dec 28, 2012
    42
    Just to say, the LA hasn't said anything yet as they don't have the information, but this is coming from the lawyer. Thanks again for your input.
     

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