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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10585
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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We (an elderly couple) are considering whether to down-size

Resolved Question:

We (an elderly couple) are considering whether to down-size now while we are both fit, (my preference) or not until one of us dies or needs residential care. In regard to paying for care, especially in a care home, the legislation is very complicated despite guidance from AgeUK, Saga, and various money advice websites. I would like advice on a possible scenario. If one spouse went into residential care and the other remained occupying their joint home, I understand the house value would be ‘disregarded’ in any means test. And I also understand that if the house was sold while he/ she was resident in the care home, their share of the capital raised would immediately be included in the means test and could be used towards care costs. However, if the remaining spouse did not sell up until after the death of the spouse in residential care, would the LA be entitled to demand retrospectively, money from the house capital? This could be reimbursement towards any fee costs they had paid based on the original means test with house value disregarded. Sincerely, ***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hello Frances and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

You are indeed correct in all you say.

If one spouse goes into a Nursing home, but the other remains living in the proeprty, the half value of the property is not taken into account when calculating the capital amount for the spouse in the Home.

Likewise, if the property is sold after the spouse who is in a Home has died, their half share can't be retrospectively "claimed"

It is only if both spouses go into a Home or the property is sold while the spouse(s) are in a Home would the value of each spouse's half share be taken into account.

Free advice- to reduce any potential Nursing home fees, you should change the way you hold the proeprty so you are "Tenants in common" meaning you both own a separate 50% share each in the property. You can then both make a Will, leaving your 50% share to your children, if you have any, with the proviso that the surviving spouse can remain living in the proeprty for however long they wish. This will then mean that if the surviving spouse ever has to go into a Home, he/she

is only classed as owning 50% of the proeprty, as opposed to 100% if the property had been held by you as Joint tenants and in which scenario, the whole of the property passes automatically to the surviving spouse. Thus, if the surviving spouse ever has to go into a Home, he/she will only be assessed as owning 50% of the property.

I hope this helps you and answers your question.

If so, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Kind Regards

Al

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