Care Costs Query


I dont know if you are able to offer any guidance/clarification of the matter below that I'm inquiring about for a friend who is worried.

She is 49 years old and has lived at the same address as her parents all her life, who own their own home.

They are both in their mid 80’s now and they live with a good amount of independence and mobility, despite both having had falls in recent years. However their health is 'up' and 'down' and she is a little concerned about is whether at some point in the future and perhaps they eventually needed full time care whether she could be made homeless in order to sell house to pay for this as they have no savings.

Or would she be allowed to stay in the house and have to pay costs at some point in the future if the house were sold, and if so how long grace would be given?

Or would the fact that this has been her permanent home for last 40+ years mean costs couldnt be bought against house?

I have tried to search the internet for an answerfor her but there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer.

Many Thanks



  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,544
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 1 January 2013 at 11:15PM
    If one of a couple needs residential care, the family home will be disregarded when a financial assessment is made.

    If both need care (or one has died and the survivor needs care) and your friend is under 60 and is not disabled, the value of the house will be taken into account.

    If the cost of the care home can be met from other resources, obviously there wouldn't be any need to sell the house. Otherwise, there is a good chance the house would have to be sold. She may have a chance at staying in the house if she has been a carer for her parents but LAs are very short of money and are not as amenable as they used to be to giving exceptions.

    The AgeUk website has a lot of useful information. Also -

    They've probably left it too late to change the ownership of the house to include the daughter - read up on Deprivation of Capital - but it may be worth looking at.

    Certainly it would be worth considering having her parents have the house owned as "tenants in common" and write wills so that each leave their half to the daughter. On the death of the first parent, the daughter would then own half of the house. If the other parent needed care, the LA might be willing to fund it and put a charge on the house so that they would be repaid (up to the value of half the house) when the house was eventually sold. This is assuming she is an only child. It's more complicated if there are siblings to take into account.
  • John_Pierpoint
    John_Pierpoint Posts: 8,390
    First Post First Anniversary
    edited 7 January 2013 at 4:14AM
    Assuming the registration of the house has been changed to "tenants in common"; there is nothing to stop the parent who is first to die leaving their half by will as they see fit.

    Leaving a life interest of house and money to the survivor and then to the children is a common ploy. Technically this "wealth" is then in an "interest in possession trust".
    Can we assume that the parents' total combined wealth is less than £650,000 and so the above suggestion is within the nil rate band for couples InHeritance Tax ?

    It is common for the "stay at home" carer sibling to be given a larger share that the rest of the siblings.
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