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Charge advise for care home fee's

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Knockster, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Knockster

    Knockster Registered User

    Feb 16, 2015
    5
    Hi

    Well just coming up to a year before my father went into care and I thought I had this all right in my head, but my mother has just asked me a question that I would be grateful if anyone could clear up!

    To summarise, my father went into care and is self funding, so I advised my mum that the house they own jointly cannot be taken into consideration for his care all the while she lives in the house, also a charge cannot be placed on the house once his savings drop below the threshold and he requires assistance with the funding. Is that correct?

    Also, last year, she changed her will so that her half of the house will be passed down to myself and now she is asking that should she pre-decease my father, can a charge be made on my fathers half if he is still alive and in care while I own the other half. No one would be living in the house. Could anyone clarify?

    Thank you for any assistance.

    Knockster.
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,025
    Male
    North Manchester
    It comes down to the open market value of half a house when the co-owner is unwilling to sell.

    CRAG contained a statement that the half value would be virtually zero, this has been omitted from the Care Act Guidance which supersedes CRAG. I feel a legal challenge and court case may soon ensue.
     
  3. Knockster

    Knockster Registered User

    Feb 16, 2015
    5
    Thanks for your reply.

    So, my first part, my understanding is correct?

    But the second question, it's possible a charge could be made due to a recent change?
     
  4. uklizzie

    uklizzie Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    2
    I am also interested in this question. It is my understanding that there won't be any future charge and it is disregarded. Does anyone know of a free helpline for independent advice on financial issues. I would rather not phone the council. Thanks
     
  5. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,025
    Male
    North Manchester
    "But the second question, it's possible a charge could be made due to a recent change?"

    No, before the change your father owned half a house and after the change he also owned half a house.
     
  6. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    First of all a charge cannot be placed on a property without consent of all the owners or a court ordering it.

    So the first part of your question is correct. Once the savings drop below the threshold the LA will have to fund what could be their very small part depending on their budget and your Father's Pensions/benefits. If the home he is currently in is more than the budget a top up will have to be paid unless the LA can offer another home that can meet his needs.

    The change of your Mother's will could be a problem depending on her current health and there are 2 scenarios that I think may happen if she dies first.

    If it was previously obvious she might also may have needed care then the LA could decide that the will was changed for the deliberate deprivation of assets to avoid care costs and challenge it in court. If they are successful then the whole house would be counted as your Father's assets making him self funding.

    With the changes/omissions in The New Care Act the LA may be happy with the value of half of the house as being enough for your Father to self fund for the duration and ask you to agree to this. If you do not then I would imagine they would seek court action to force you and since you say no one would be living in it they would have a good chance.

    The advantage of a property NOT being disregarded to your parents is that a Deferred Payment Agreement can be offered by the LA that may well cover all costs till death. That debt can be repaid by any means so may not mean you having to sell.

    Hope that helps.
    :)
     
  7. Nellybell

    Nellybell Registered User

    Feb 5, 2016
    28
    I have a similar situation to yours but not exactly the same. I am a co-owner of mine and my dads house, this has been the case for 16 years. I live in it with my son and partner along with my dad. It looks as if he may have to go into a care home soon but it is not clear whether there will be a value placed on his share of the house under this new care act - it all seems a very grey area at present. He will be having his care assessment soon which should then be followed by his financial assessment so I will have to wait and see what the LA say about it. As far as the LA go I will be saying I do not want to sell my share as it is my present family home. In reality I would sell to provide my father with quality care if needs be but they don't need to know this. As nitram says a court case needs to come up so as we have some idea how property should be looked at in these situations. I wish I could say I would be that person but don't think that I could afford the legal fees or be able to handle the extra stress this would bring. I will let you know the outcome of the financial assessment when it happens.
     
  8. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    #8 Pete R, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
    As I said above a charge cannot be placed on a property without consent of all the owners or a court ordering it.

    If someone living in a disregarded property subsequently dies the LA cannot reclaim costs they have already paid. There would have to be a new Financial Assessment and going on from there.

    :)
     
  9. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108
    I am not sure if your parents' property is in joint ownership or tenants in common. If joint, and your mother dies, I understand your dad automatically inherits the whole house. If you want to ensure, in the event of your mum's death that you inherit her 50% share of the property, you might want to have her change to tenants in common. But you should confirm this with a solicitor.
     
  10. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,781
    Salford
    I agree with the above, the OP says "that the house they own jointly" which implies joint ownership, they then say "her half of the house will be passed down to myself" which implies they're tenants in common. I think you need to establish with the land registry what the status of the tenancy exactly.
    If it is joint tenancy then on the death of one partner the whole of the house goes to the surviving spouse irrespective of what it says in anyone's will.
    If they're tenants in common and your mother was to die first then the council could put a charge on your dad's half and you would inherit her half.
    Pete R eludes to an interesting question brought up by the new care act, could changing a will or a tenancy from joint to in common be seen as a deprivation of assets.
    Legally I doubt it but as Pete says until there is no legal ruling on this it's bit of a possible grey area but the implication of this would impact on many other areas of law like divorcing couples (for example). That said it's pretty simple to change a tenancy so you could do it anyway as it might help in the future just serve a notice of severance.
    First off though you need to establish legally what the tenancy at the moment.
    K
     

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