If a loved one is moving into a care home, you may be wondering if their home will need to be sold to pay for their care home fees. Depending on the individual’s financial circumstances, they may or may not need to sell their home.
In this article, our experienced Wills and Probate Solicitors explain if you need to sell a home to pay for care home fees.
Do I Have to Sell my Home to Pay for Care Home Fees?
Whether an individual needs to pay for their care in a care home will depend on their circumstances.
The local authority will assess an individual’s finances through a means test. A means test will work out who is responsible for paying for long-term care by looking into the value of that individual’s assets. The value of the assets (which includes bank accounts, savings, investments, the house etc.) will then determine if the local authority will pay towards the individual’s care home fees. If you have more than £23,250 then you will pay in full for your own care.
If an individual owns a house, they will generally need to pay for their own care home fees as their assets will exceed £23,250 in value. However, there are occasions where the home will not be included in the financial assessment even if you are not living in it, this is known as property disregard. Examples of when the house may be disregarded are:
- You move into a care home on a short-term or temporary basis
- You move into a care home permanently, but your spouse, partner or civil partner still lives there
- Your close relative aged 60 or over lives in the house
- Your close relative under 16 whom you are legally responsible for lives in the house
- Your close relative is disabled and lives in the house
Please note, this is not a definitive list there may be other reasons a property is disregarded.
Currently, if you have less than £23,250 in savings you will be eligible for the local authority to pay towards your care home fees. How much the local authority will pay towards the cost of your care depends on what care you need and how much you can afford to pay yourself, as your income is taken into account.
On the other hand, if you have more than £23,250 in assets you will need to pay for your care fees in full until they dwindle below that level.
How to Avoid Selling a Home to Pay for Care Home Fees?
As mentioned above, if your spouse, partner, civil partner (or certain other people) wants to continue living in your house, whilst you go into a care home, then you don’t need to sell the house to pay for care. However, you will pay for the care yourself if the value of your other assets exceeds the figure of £23,250.
Alternative Ways to Pay for Care Home Fees
Paying for residential care in a care home is expensive. The fees will depend on the area, the individual’s care requirements and the care home itself. In the UK the average cost of living in a care home is £704 per week, whilst the cost of living in a nursing home is £888 per week. To estimate the care costs in your area, use the cost of care and eligibility in England tool.
If you are unable to, or you don’t want to sell your home, there are alternative ways to pay for care home fees such as NHS funding, deferred payment agreements, bridging loans and payment plans etc.
For further information on the alternative ways to pay for care home fees, please call us on 033 3344 9600 or simply email [email protected].
Specialist Wills and Estate Solicitors
Morrish Solicitors is a long-established law firm in West Yorkshire with a strong national presence. We have a team of friendly and professional wills and estate solicitors who are experienced in all areas of wills, probate, lasting powers of attorney, care home fees and other related services.
As members of Solicitors For The Elderly, we can help you plan ahead for the future and give your loved ones peace of mind you are prepared.
If you need clear, honest and professional legal advice about care home fees, call our wills and estate team on 033 3344 9609 or email [email protected] with the details of your request.
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