3rd Apr, 2020

Beware the small print when it comes to care costs says Redditch law firm

Correspondent 19th Mar, 2018

A REDDITCH law firm is warning elderly people against gifting their homes to relatives while they are still alive.

Experts at Kerwoods Solicitors in Church Road say couples often mistakenly believe they can avoid future care home fees by passing ownership of their homes to children or other family.

But the Care Act 2014 allows local authorities to investigate whether such gifts can be considered as ‘deprivation of assets’, with no time limit on when gifts were made.

Jan Thompson, a partner at Kerwoods Solicitors with expertise in elderly clients, said: “There’s a myth that gifts made more than seven years ago are exempt from a local authority’s financial assessment of eligibility for state funding for residential care.

“But that seven-year timeline only relates to inheritance tax, and has nothing to do with care fees.

“When you go into care, you’re asked whether you own or have ever owned a property, and if you have this is part of the financial assessment – regardless of how long ago you might have gifted your home away.”

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