Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
My mother is due to go in to care home- do I have to sell her house to pay for funds or can my brother who lives in a council house move in and take over house. I have to complete a Financial assesment this morning to determine what my mum will pay towarsd her care. Mr XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
I am sorry to hear your mother needs to go into care. May I ask if she is the sole owner of the property please?
Does anyone else live there?
Mother is sole owner of property
No one elso lives there.
Do you or anyone else have power of attorney for your mother?
Thank you. Unfortunately if your mother owns the property absolutely then if your mother has to enter care the property will become available to the local authority to be treated as capital in respect of your mothers care. The home would be disregarded if a relative over the age of 60 or under 16 lived with her but from what you say this does not seem to be the case here
Unfortunately if your mother has been advised she is likely or will have to enter care it is too late to change the ownership structure now as any attempt to do so will be caught by the deprivation of capital rules which allow a council to challenge and reverse any attempt to reduce the available capital to them once someone knows they must go into care. However the property will be disregarded for the first 12 weeks of your mothers care if she does have to go into permanent care. This gives you a period to look at options.
There are products called "immediate care needs plans". These are specialist products which operate a little like an annuity - in return for a one off premium the policy will pay out an agreed amount each month for the rest of your mothers life. This can be attractive because it means that having agreed the premium, you know that your mothers care needs will be covered for the rest of her life. They are not for everyone but they can be very attractive to some and it is worth looking at them in any event. In order to investigate immediate care needs plans and other potential financial solutions you can contact a local adviser that operates under the Symponia umbrella. They will offer you a free initial consultation on a no obligations basis and you will come away with some further options to consider. http://www.symponia.co.uk/
There is another option the council may be prepared to offer known as the deferred payment agreement and interest would not usually be charged on the amount the council pay for care until 56 days following your mothers passing at which time they will seek repayment of the amount due to them. The deferred payment scheme can be made available to person that qualify - typically your mother would need less than £23,500 of capital apart from the property in order to qualify but each council will have their own criteria so you would need to contact them to confirm if this is something they could offer. The property could be potentially let out to provide an income to go towards care fees to reduce the impact on your mothers capital.
When your mother passes away or otherwise care fees are no longer payable, the property may be sold to repay the council any debt. However you would not necessarily have to sell. It depends upon the amount that is repayable to the council and the amount of equity left in the property. Repayment terms can potentially be agreed with the council and they may be willing to postpone repayment for a period or accept repayment on an installment basis if this is preferred. Also as above remember that there are other financial options which I would strongly recommend looking at (see Symponia) reference above. Often better financial arrangements can be provided for than the council will offer. Symponia advisers specialise on advising on providing for care.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Is there anything else I can help you with on the above?
If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.
I have just identified I do not have power attrourney at present and will require this to sell my mothers house.
I am registered only for power of attourney, what is next step
Could you clarify - has your mother signed an lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney or something else? If the former, has this not been registered yet with the office of the public guardian?
She has signed a copy not sure which one , it has not been registred as yet with the office of public guardian.
Thanks. May I ask if your mother still has mental capacity in your view?
No suffering with Alzeimhers
Thank you. On that basis whether it is an enduring POA or a Lasting POA it will need to be registered before you can use the same. It is possible to register it yourself but you will first need to ascertain what type of POA it is as there are different forms involved and requirements depending upon which it is. Once it is registered you will be able to proceed with the sale of the house providing you can reasonably demonstrate that it is in your mothers best interests to do so if that is your intention.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
That is fine- I have questions answered