Can we protect the Family home from Nursing home fees?

10 July 2012

Escalating costs of Nursing home fees prompt the question of whether Partners or children will be forced to sell the Family home

My elderly parents’ health is deteriorating. If they have to go into a care home, do they lose their house?

The first thing I would advise is to voice your concerns with your parents as the issues are primarily theirs to consider. Often as solicitors we come across situations where the agenda of the children can be different to that of the parents. Clear instructions are of paramount importance and if elderly clients appear confused then written confirmation of mental capacity from the family GP is essential before advice can be given. Decisions relating to the family home can be very stressful and can cause much angst among family members.

As age increases decision making can often get harder and so discussing the importance of an enduring Power of Attorney and the ability of the family to help in the future could be a useful exercise. If you live in Northern Ireland and have over £23, 250 in capital (savings and property including the value of your home) your local Trust will assess you as being able to meet the full cost of your residential care or nursing home.

If you own your home it may be counted as capital twelve weeks after you move into a residential home or nursing home on a permanent basis. It will however not be counted as capital if the following people remain there:

1)Your husband, wife or partner.

2)A close relative over 60 or under 16.

3)Your ex-husband, ex-unit/ex-partner if they are a lone parent.

Click on the link below to view the Charging for Residential Accommodation Guide (CRAG).

Please note this article incorporates general legal principles.  If you are worried about any of the issues raised in this article, or want advice on family trusts you should seek specialist legal advice.

Huw Worthington is a member of the Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners, the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the field of estates, trusts and related matters. Our Wills and Estates department provide specialist advice on all matters relating to Wills and Estate planning solutions, as well as the administration of estates, contested Wills, Intestacy and Inheritance tax advice.




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