Q&A - Can the council take someone’s home to pay for care fees?

Q:    My cousin needs to go into care as she is now in a wheelchair. She says she has been told the council will take her house to pay for the fees, but I think she must have this wrong because a former neighbour of mine went into care several years ago and kept his house, which his children inherited when he died last year. Is it possible for my cousin to keep her house and for her children to still inherit it?
 
A:    The first thing to say is that the council does not actually take someone’s house. It is however often the case that a person’s house has to be sold to pay for their care fees. Unless a person’s care requirements are primarily health related (rather than social), the local authority will carry out a financial assessment to determine if that person can afford to pay for their own care. If a person has assets of over £23,250, they will likely need to pay for their care in full.

It may be that your former neighbour had enough income and capital to pay for their care without the need to sell the house.

It could also be possible that your former neighbour took legal advice some years before needing to go into care and took special steps to make sure his house was protected. Unless legal advice and action are taken at a very early stage, people can be caught by the deprivation of assets rules.

Everyone’s circumstances vary enormously, and what works for one person’s circumstances may not necessarily work for another. It therefore pays to plan family arrangements well in advance and seek legal advice. Getting expert advice from a local solicitor can make all the difference.

Article July 2021

This question has been answered by Jessica Wright, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  In accordance with government guidelines, some of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.

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Jessica Wright

Jessica Wright

Solicitor

Part of our Probate, Wills, Tax and Trusts team in Oswestry.

Frances Cartwright

Frances Cartwright

Solicitor

Part of our Probate, Wills, Tax and Trusts team in Wrexham