I sold the house last year and bought a smaller one. The house was in joint names, and I had changed the basis to be tenants in common. I think this is an important thing to do.
I already had a registered EPA for Jan.
I checked the process out with the Alzheimer's Society Help Line, with my solicitor acting in selling the house, and with the Public Guardianship people's help line - to make sure I did everything necessary.
Firstly, I had to find a trustee who would look after Jan's interests during the sale and purchase. This was a family friend who had known both of us for nearly 40 years.
The costs of moving - fees, removals, etc were also split and were taken from the capital difference between sale and purchase price.
Because of downsizing there is likely to be some money left over following the sale - the difference between the sale price and the purchase price, after expenses. That is split 50/50 and Jan's half was put into an account in her name.
The new house was purchased in our joint names, still tenants in common, to protect Jan's equity.
My understanding is that none of the money - except perhaps half of that capital difference - could at this stage have been taken for care costs. A charge could have been placed on Jan's half, to be 'repaid' to SS later - but as she has NHS Continuing Care funding, that was never an issue.
If I were you, I'd be checking in a similar way to my process - our situations may not be identical and it is good to have the ring of confidence from the horses mouth so to speak and totally mix metaphors....
Thanks Bruce the info was very helpful i had not thought it through until some one suggessted maybe i would have to forfiet the difference and as my husband at the moment is self funding prehaps it would be wise to stay put for now.
AFAIK, if property is occupied by the spouse, then it must be ignored when considering the capital assets, no matter what the status of the property - even if it was wholly owned by the person taken into care, then it must still be disregarded.
What is less certain is what happens if it is occupied by a carer who is not the spouse; in that case I think the local authority may disregard it, at their discretion.
They have a duty not to render someone homeless (and therefore requiring housing by the local authority!).
I don't know about Social Services deciding to put a "charge" against property to be recovered at some future date.