For many people, their biggest concern in later life is what will happen if they can no longer look after themselves in their own homes. The prospect of moving into a nursing home or care home can be highly overwhelming, both emotionally and in terms of the logistics that must be considered. These issues are often only catalysed by the worries associated with the fees.
Care home fees can be expensive, and many people will face concerns about wiping out any wealth they have by selling their property or eating into the inheritance that they intend to leave their loved ones.
As our population ages and with an increasing number of people over 65 requiring 24-hour care, it is becoming increasingly vital to plan and carefully consider how your future care fee costs will be managed as early as possible.
In this article, Bridge McFarland’s private client team considers some common questions you might have and asks you to consider what you can do to protect your home and assets.
How much will my care cost?
Although many factors will affect the cost of your care or nursing home, the average monthly cost of residential care in the UK is £3290, whilst in a care home, the average figure is £4160. Based on these figures, it is common for those requiring nursing care to pay around £50,000 per year.
Some factors that affect the cost of the care include:
- Where you live.
- The type of care you require.
- The care home provider.
- Your financial situation, including your savings and property.
Please click here for a more comprehensive breakdown of how much you will likely pay in fees.
How much do I need to pay for my care?
Your local council will first undertake a care needs assessment to determine the kind of care that will suit your needs – for example, whether it would be best if your property was adapted or if you should be moved to sheltered accommodation.
Following this, a care and support plan will be agreed upon, and there will be a financial assessment (a ‘means test’), whereby the council will enquire about your finances, assets and income to determine how much you will contribute to your care.
Currently, in the UK, with assets worth more than £23,250, you must pay for your own care in a care home. If the care needs assessment determines that you require care in your own home, the £23,250 limit remains but no longer includes the value of your home.
If your assets are worth less than £23,250 but more than £14,250, you will be charged a proportion of your care, calculated on a sliding scale.
Do I need to sell my property to fund my fees?
If planned appropriately and in advance, there are several steps to be taken to help finance care home fees without having to sell your home. Some options include:
- Utilising other payment options such as care annuities, deferred payment schemes, equity release or renting out your property to generate income.
- Make a financial gift. Although this option might seem obvious, several issues can arise. During your care needs assessment, your council will consider the value of any capital, property or other assets that it thinks has been deliberately given away. Find out more here.
Solicitors to Assist With Care Home Fee Planning
Determining which estate planning tool is best for your personal circumstances can be a minefield, as each option has advantages and disadvantages. Seeking the appropriate specialist advice is essential ahead of making any changes.
At Bridge McFarland, we understand how overwhelming this step can be. However, we cannot stress enough how important it is to plan ahead of time and speak to a trusted legal professional to ensure that your wishes are met and your best interests are prioritised.
Our solicitors will take the time to understand your situation, help protect your assets and ensure that you are comfortable and well-informed throughout the process.
To speak to a member of our team, please call 0800 987 8800. Alternatively, email email@example.com or fill in this contact form.
Private Client Solicitors UK
Having worked with clients across England and Wales for many years, we understand the complexities that can be brought by working with older and vulnerable clients and, as a result, provide empathetic, practical and cost-effective advice across a range of specialisms, including: