How can I avoid Care Fees? Frequently asked questions
How can I avoid paying Care Fees?
The best way to look into your options is to get professional advice from a qualified Solicitor as early as possible. They will look at your individual situation and will be able to provide advice to support your situation. Our team can support you with this. Simply call us on 01623 45 11 11 for further information and a free consultation.
If I put my house as tenants in common, will it reduce my Care Fees?
Changing your property to tenants in common, or joint tenants, has no effect unless:
You create a Trust in your Will, so that half of your house can be protected
You make your house tenants in common in unequal shares (eg 60-40, or even 90-10). So that if the person with the lower value share goes into care, they own less of the property.
This is not always guaranteed to work, as the Local Authority consider other factors in how you own property and may decide that you to own a half share in your property, regardless of whether it is tenants in common or joint tenants.
If I give my property to my children does that mean that I won’t pay Care Fees?
The Local Authority have the power to overturn something you have done if they feel you have done it to deliberately deprive yourself of capital, or a benefit of some kind, or income. It’s called ‘deliberate deprivation’. They will look at your reasons for doing something, and when you did it. If you cannot provide evidence for why you gave your property away for nothing, then the Local Authority can argue that you did it to minimise or avoid your liability for Care Fees. They can then ignore whatever you have done, and calculate your care fees as though you own the asset anyway.
If I give my property away and don’t go into care for 7 years, will I pay Care Fees?
The seven year rule applies to Inheritance Tax (IHT), where you make a gift and if you survive 7 years, it is no longer part of your estate when it is valued for IHT. There are also some rules relating to insolvency, and bankruptcy, which have specific time limits on them.
But in relation to Care Fees, there is no fixed time scale. As a general rule the Local Authority only usually go back around 2 years, but they have the ability where something is suspicious to them, to investigate much further back.
How much do I have to pay for Care Fees?
According to a recent market survey, the average cost of residential care in England was £600-£800 per week, so the Care Fees could total around £416,000 for 10 years of care.
Do I have to sell my home to pay for Care Fees?
The Local Authority will make a decision on how much you will pay or contribute to Care Fees costs based on your capital and income. We know many people are worried about losing their property to pay for Care Fees. In some situations this can be avoided if the value of your property is exempt because of other people living in your property such as relatives and children.
A company called me recently and said that if I put my property into Trust I won’t pay Care Fees. Is this true?
There are numerous companies (not Lawyers) who cold call people, leaflet drop, and generally try to persuade people to pay around £3,000 for a Trust on the grounds that it will guarantee that the property cannot be considered for Care Fees assessments. If you are contacted by one of these companies then please seek some qualified legal advice before going ahead with anything. We have known clients have large unexpected tax bills, and some clients even lose their right to stay in their own property. The Local Authority, as we have mentioned above, will still be able to ignore these trusts if they find them suspicious.
Can I put my money into a Trust instead of paying for Care Fees?
A Trust can help protect your property and your family, dependent on your circumstances. For further advice relevant to your personal situation, we encourage you to get in touch with us.
How can I get advice about Care Fees?
If you are concerned about Care Fees and have started to wonder if you or a relative will need to pay for care, please get in touch. Our experienced and specialist team will give you detailed advice specifically tailored to your individual situation.
We offer a free consultation, please call us on 01623 45 11 11 or email email@example.com to make an appointment. We can arrange an appointment to suit you; by phone, in person, by video call or in the comfort of your own home.