Care Home Fees - paying for one month after death

I'm not sure if this has been discussed recently. How common is it for a care home to charge one month's fees after death or after giving notice?
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  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,799
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    It is not uncommon to continue to charge for a period after death. However, fees are due from the estate, as far as I understand things, so it should be a matter for the executor / administrator of the estate to deal with rather than immediate family.

    Also you should IMO be able to negotiate a reduction if the room is cleared promptly. The home may say that there has to be a period after that as well to allow for re-decorating or at least a very thorough clean, but once the room has been re-occupied it wouldn't seem to be reasonable to insist on continuing payment.

    However, in a situation other than death, it would presumably depend on the terms of the contract with the home. If you can't find the resident's copy, ask for it from the home. I would expect there to be a notice period there, and I wouldn't expect so much flexibility, although if the move is caused by some emergency or deterioration in the resident's health or the home deciding they can no longer cope with them, negotiation would seem to be the way to go.
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  • dianasnan
    dianasnan Posts: 584
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    The terms of my Mother's home (Barchester) states 1 week payable after death provided the room was cleared within that time. The same term applied to my Father's nursing home as well.

    1 month seems a bit excessive
  • hcb42
    hcb42 Posts: 5,962 Forumite
    On the other hand, one month gives some time..I couldnt have dealt with clearing a room within one week...
  • neilsedaka
    neilsedaka Posts: 396
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    edited 6 June 2011 at 11:37PM
    Thanks for the replies so far. In the event that the level of care needed changes, from say a care home to a nursing home as a result of a stay in hospital, it seems rather excessive to have to pay two sets of fees for the same month.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,799
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    neilsedaka wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies so far. In the event that the level of care needed changes, from say a care home to a nursing home, it seems rather excessive to have to pay twice for a month.
    Yes, but the resident (or someone on their behalf) will have signed a contract / tenancy agreement. This isn't something I've had experience of, although I used to work for a Housing Association which had some Supported Housing, and I think the notice period was 1 month for those properties, as it was for non-supported tenancies.

    The key thing would seem to be negotiation: the home should be mitigating its losses and trying to fill the room ASAP. Equally the home needs to guard against residents deciding they want to move on and using the change of need as an excuse not to give notice.

    Presumably it takes some time also to find the place to move on to, and it's a balance between giving notice and being able to move on at the same time.
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  • mumps
    mumps Posts: 6,285
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    I suppose it is difficult if the home is a business they might struggle to fill the room immediately but would seem insensitive to be asking the family for money after a death. I am sure there must be notice period but not sure what would be normal.
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  • soolin
    soolin Posts: 71,847
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    We have outstanding bills from 2 care homes and as I am struglging with probate I am getting polite but very firm reminders that the bill is now extremely overdue.

    Dad was in hospital and became too unwell to return to his usual residential home so we gave one months notice only after dad had been in hospital a month. So that's one bill, three days after we gave notice (and cleared the room) Dad moved into a new home and was there for 3 days before returning to hospital where he died the same day. Second home have therefore sent me a discounted 2 week bill to cover the period dad occupied the room and for 'notice'.

    I am not paying though until I have probate sorted out
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  • pineapple
    pineapple Posts: 6,931
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    My father died when he was an Anchor home resident. I don't know what the contract stipulated but I only had to pay till the room had been cleared.
  • dzug1
    dzug1 Posts: 13,535
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    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    It is not uncommon to continue to charge for a period after death. However, fees are due from the estate, as far as I understand things, so it should be a matter for the executor / administrator of the estate to deal with rather than immediate family.

    .

    It depends who signed the contract with the care home. Normally this will be a relative, and it is the relative who then legally pays the fees and it's nothing to do with the estate.

    I'm sure most care homes are understanding of the fact that in most cases the fees are actually paid by the deceased, either directly or indirectly, and that it may be necessary to wait for probate before the relative has funds to pay. But strictly that's not their business.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,799
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    dzug1 wrote: »
    It depends who signed the contract with the care home. Normally this will be a relative, and it is the relative who then legally pays the fees and it's nothing to do with the estate.

    I'm sure most care homes are understanding of the fact that in most cases the fees are actually paid by the deceased, either directly or indirectly, and that it may be necessary to wait for probate before the relative has funds to pay. But strictly that's not their business.
    True enough. In soolin's case:
    soolin wrote: »
    We have outstanding bills from 2 care homes and as I am struglging with probate I am getting polite but very firm reminders that the bill is now extremely overdue
    I'd be replying with equally polite but firm reminders that this would be dealt with after probate.

    Although, a thought occurs: will dad's bank accounts settle a care home invoice direct, before probate? Could be worth asking if it's clear there will be enough to cover all debts in the estate.
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