If you own your own home and are wondering about entering residential care, you’re probably extremely worried about the potential costs of care fees and their likely impact. Many older people have substantial equity locked into their homes and hope to pass this accrued wealth on as inheritances after they die. However, care home fees can have a considerable impact on wealth and the equity tied up in your home, so it’s important to look at all available solutions.

Should I Put My Home Into A Trust?

Many elderly people have been targeted by companies offering to put help them set up trust funds using the equity in their homes. Basically, this entails gifting your property to the trust for the remainder of your life. Although this type of scheme is not illegal, it could be classed as questionable at the time you need to move to residential care. For example, your local council will take a detailed look at your assets when you move into care, and if it’s considered that you have made an attempt to avoid paying fees this is termed deprivation of assets.

What Is Deprivation Of Assets?

The intentional reduction of personal assets, such as property, money, or income is known as the deprivation of assets. Your council will conduct an assessment of your financial circumstances at the time you move into residential care, or at the time you start to need social care services within your home. This is a means-tested assessment to work out whether you should pay anything towards the costs of your care. If your local council feels you deliberately reduced your wealth so you didn’t need to pay for residential care or care services, they could still present you with a bill for care based on the original values of assets owned.

The way social care is allocated in the UK is extremely complex, and this means it is important to seek professional advice before taking any actions that could later be construed as deliberate deprivation of assets. If you’ve been approached by any organisation claiming they can cut your potential liability to residential care costs, don’t just take their word for it! These companies can charge in excess of £4,000 for their services, yet they are often unqualified and don’t understand all the legal ramifications surrounding the advice provided.

If you live in Leicestershire or the Leicester city area, I can call out at any time to discuss your worries about residential care fees. I’m a non-practising solicitor with over 18 years’ extensive experience in inheritance tax, care fees, wills, probate and Lasting Power of Attorney and can help smooth the path to your relaxing retirement and reduce any concerns you may have.