Can I Protect my Home from Care Costs?
Protecting our homes from care costs is at the forefront of many people’s minds.
It is important to be aware that there are many unregulated providers in the market offering asset protection to protect your home from care fees. Some of the arrangements are successful but it is a lottery.
If North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) believe that your home or your money have been given away deliberately to avoid paying care fees, then they have the power to recover any money that they are owed. This may mean that if the property has been put into a trust, NYCC may ask for the care fees to be paid by the trustees.
However, you are entitled to a free needs assessment to consider what help can be provided to help you stay in your own home.
A needs assessment is a discussion between you (or the person you look after if you are a carer) and a trained person, either from NYCC or another organisation that they work with. You will talk about the care and support needs you have and how these affect your wellbeing. This will include identifying any physical needs, such as whether you need help to wash or dress, get in and out of bed or keep your home safe to live in. The assessment will also look at your mental and emotional needs and ask what is important to you in how you live your life, such as being able to carry on working or volunteering, or being able to meet your friends.
A needs assessment won’t ask about your finances.
To discuss an assessment with the Local Authority, contact:
Email: email@example.com or Phone 01609 780780
Paying for Care
Different ways to pay for care and support are available, so people should not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.
A Deferred Payment Agreement is an arrangement with NYCC that will enable people to use the value of their homes to help pay for care home costs. If you are eligible, NYCC will help to pay your care home bills on your behalf. You can delay repaying them until you choose to sell your home, or until after your death.
You might choose to rent out your home and use the income to reduce the amount you asked to defer.
Your home and your money still belong to you if you have a Deferred Payment Agreement, so you can make gifts to your children. But a Deferred Payment Agreement for care costs will always need to be repaid – either by the sale of your home after your death, by someone else, or by something like the pay-out from a life assurance policy.
Carers and families can help people to make decisions about their care and how to pay for it. If NYCC are concerned that the person applying for the Deferred Payment Agreement does not have the capacity to understand, or won’t have capacity to understand in the near future, then another person may need to represent them. Only a person that is properly authorised, like someone with legal power of attorney, can represent someone in applying for a Deferred Payment Agreement.
For an informal chat or to discuss legal powers of attorney, contact Dawn on 01969 623092.
Dawn Clarkson – Wills and Estate Planning Ltd, Thornborough Hall, Leyburn.
(Sister Company to Dawn Clarkson Associates)
Drop in sessions: Reeth Memorial Hall, 1st Friday of every month – 9am to 12pm from April 2018
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 01969 623092