What happens to your home if you go into care?

Paying for care in old age is many people’s second biggest expense in life, after buying a home. And your home could end up being sold to pay for this care.

As life expectancy increases and the traditional extended family unit becomes less common, a care home is becoming the best option for more and more people in their later years. But a standard care home can cost around £500 per week so who pays for this?

When you are assessed as needing to go into care, you will also have a financial assessment to determine how much you can afford to pay. Any income, such as your state or personal pension and some benefits will be used towards your care home fees, apart from a small allowance of £23.50 per week to pay for personal items.

Your capital will also be assessed, which means any savings, investments and property, including your home. If the value of your assets exceeds £23,250 you will be expected to fund your care in full. This could mean that your home has to be sold to pay for your care. The local authority will only step in to cover some of the costs once the value of your assets falls below £23,250, although you will still have to cover some costs until your assets fall below £14,250.

There are options to protect your assets and this is an area where you really need to get the right legal and financial advice. For example if you just sign your home over to someone else but continue to live there, this would still be included. It is vital that you consider your options well before you need to go into care and don’t leave it until it’s too late.

You may also choose a more expensive care home and decide to fund this yourself, or with assistance from family. The costs need to be looked at very carefully to make sure you do not run out of money and face the awful prospect of having to move to a different care home.

For further advice or information, contact Emma Greer; tel 07885 407604 or e-mail [email protected].

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