Private Client
By Conal McGarrity
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Navigating Care Home Fees – What do I Have to Pay?

Navigating the complicated area of care home fees can often be an overwhelming exercise. Recent surveys have found that care home fees have risen to an average of £1000 per week in the UK, in some cases people are paying £1500 on a weekly basis. Fees for self-funding residents of care homes have been rising steadily for some time, causing concern for many as to how they are going to fund their own care or that of a loved one.

The recent introduction of the new living wage will inevitably cause care home fees to continue to rise. It has never been as important to plan for the future care of yourself and your family. The first step to take in dealing with care home fees is to find out whether or not you are eligible for state funded care. The general rule is that if your assets are below £23,250 you will fall within the threshold of state funded care. If your capital is below £14,250 you will be entitled to maximum support.

If your assets amount to more than £23,250 you will be expected to pay for your care privately. If you are self-funding you should be aware of other forms of financial assistance which will alleviate the pressure on you or your family to pay for the full care home fees. For example, many of our client’s ask for advise on selling or letting their property if they have to move into a care home. There are a wide range of advantages and disadvantages to using this method to pay for your care. If you choose to rent your property you will receive a steady income to contribute to your care costs.

However, you will still be responsible for the maintenance of the property and any associated costs which may not be practical. Another viable option would be to seek non means tested financial help such as Attendance Allowance or NHS Funded Nursing Care. This would certainly help to alleviate the burden of paying for your care home fees in full.

A common question is what happens if I am privately paying and run out of money. Our solicitors will advise you that if you are self-funding your care home fees from your own capital and after some time your total capital falls below £23,250 you should then be entitled to state funded care. It is important to plan ahead for the costs of care home fees for yourself and your loved ones.

At PA Duffy and Company our Wills and Probate team can provide services which may help you to plan ahead. We provide expert advise on will making, inheritance tax planning, protective trusts, estate administration and lasting powers of attorney. Our expert solicitors will always advise our clients to make provisions for the possibility of care home needs in the future for yourself or your family members.

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