Care home fees, money running out.

Hi guys, this is my first post, so please be gentle with me!
Oh, I hope I've posted in the right place also!

My mother-in-law has been in a care home for the last 5 years due to her having a quite severe double stroke. When she first had the stroke my wife and I decided that we would sell our family home and also my mother-in-laws home to buy a bigger house that would be able to accommodate us all, the idea was to get carers in to look after her rather than putting her in to a care home.

We managed to sell both houses and split the cost of the new house 50/50 approx 100k each, we did a lot of work to the house so we could accommodate her, after a while her condition deteriated and my wife couldn't cope with looking after her in the state she was in, so she had to go into a local care home.

When she started at the care home she had approx 50-60k savings, which now have all gone, we are about to get in contact with the local council regarding how we move forward with her fees.

There are a couple of things I'm unsure of.....

1. When we bought the new house, the solicicitors that represented my mother-in-law insisted that she be put on our mortgage, not sure why this was, but would this have any baring on how much money she has in the house?

2. Are we able to split the cost of work we have had done on the property, ie. conversions for wheel chair access, new windows throughout the house with her as to reduce the amount of money she has in the house?

3. Lastly, as she has spent pretty much all her money on fees, will we be allowed to take her personal allowance from the money she has in the house?

I know it's all a bit long winded, but my wife and I are in real danger of major financial difficulties if my mother-in-law stays in the same state.

Any advice would be very welcome.



  • imho
    imho Posts: 2,515 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    I think your get more answers putting your question in Disability and Dosh
  • monkeyspanner
    monkeyspanner Posts: 2,124 Forumite
    The key point here will be who is named as owners at the land registry, the nature of the ownership (joint ownership or tenants in common) and possibly how long ago the house was purchased. If a solicitor was involved in the purchase they should have discussed the pros and cons of different styles of ownership with you in relation to future care fees.

    If your MIL is not named then dependant on her medical condition at the time of the huse purchased the money she contributed to the house could be viewed as a gift to you and a deliberate deprivation of assets. There is no official time limit on this consideration and the council may assess her as still having the capital.

    If your MIL is named as ne of the owners then it will be a question of how much of the house she owns. It may be pssible for you to argue that you have beneficial ownership of more than the 50% contribution if your financial input into the house since purchase has been more than your MIL e.g. maintainance, mortgage payments.

    The council will be looking to assess your MIL's assets to see if she has more than £23250 in assets possibly including her share of the house. You will need to think carefully about presenting the argument that there was no visibility of your MIL needing a care home at the time of purchase if she was not named to counter any suggestion of deliberate deprivation of assets.

    There are certain circumstances when the value of the house will be disregarded in the councils assessment these involve the age, relationship and independant status of the other occupants. The relevant age is 60, I believe carer status may be taken into account and there is an exemption for disabled dependants. However if the value of the house is disregarded the council should have stepped in earlier so you may be able to backtrack as council assistance should start at the savings limit of £23250.

    It would be advisable to familiarise yourself with the rules regarding care home funding and assess this against your position prior to approaching the council, Or apprach one of the charities involved in this area. e.g.
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