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When Should I Not Have to Pay Care Home Fees for My Parents?

If one or both of your parents are moving into a care home, you will probably have mixed emotions. On the one hand, you will feel assured that they will receive around the clock care, rather than be left at home on their own. But on the other hand, you may be very worried about the fees involved. Indeed, care homes can be very expensive, and the children of residents are often left to foot the bill.

So if your parents are going into a care home, what fees are you likely to face, and is there any chance you will not have to pay?

The answer will depend almost entirely on the results of a financial assessment. Your local authority will look at your parents’ income (including pensions and benefits) and capital (including savings, investments and the value of property) to decide whether they are required to pay care home fees. Currently, if you live in England and the total is:

  • More than £23,250, your parents will be asked to pay the entire fee.
  • Between £14,250 and £23,250, your parents will be asked to pay £1 for every £250 of capital between these two figures;
  • Less £14,250, your parents will receive the maximum financial support from your local authority. Your parents will still be required to contribute their pension, minus £23.50 per week which is safeguarded.

However, this could all be set to change, as the Government recently announced plans to increase the threshold from £23,250 to £123,000. It also intends to cap what people have to spend on care home fees at £75,000 by 2017.

Either way, if your parents have few savings, it is possible they will be exempt from paying their care home fees. This will also be true if they are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, whereby the NHS will cover the cost of care home fees. It is intended for people who require on-going care outside of hospital – for example, those who have a complex medical condition that requires considerable care and support, need specialised nursing support or have a terminal health condition. If you believe your parents may be eligible, you need to ask a medical professional to carry out an assessment.

If you are not sure whether you need to pay care home fees for your parents, or you need financial advice as to how to afford care home fees, get in touch with a legal expert. A solicitor who specialises in this area of the law will be able to clarify your position, helping you understand how much you need to pay, what support is available, and what your funding options involve.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our Wills, Probate & Trusts services (including Care home fees recovery and powers of attorney), please call us on 01772 424999 or email enquiries@solicitordirect.com or why not book an appointment. We will be delighted to help you and remember we do not charge you for initial advice.

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