Care home fees are a worry for elderly people and their children.
There has been a lot of interest in the case of Peter Bone MP who has been accused of seeking to avoid paying his mother-in-laws care costs. If someone gives away an asset with a view to protecting it from being used to pay care home fees, then the local authority can declare that you have ‘deliberately deprived’ yourself of the asset. The council can then treat you as though you still have it (i.e. they refuse to pay for you) or, in some cases, can seek to overturn the gift and claw it back.
The interesting thing about the case of Mr Bone is the language that has been used in the press – the phrase “benefit fraud” has been widely circulated. People trying to protect their assets from care home fees perhaps aren’t used to thinking of themselves as the same as a ‘dole cheat’! Of course there are some legitimate ways to protect your wealth, just as tax avoidance is legal and tax evasion is not. You should, of course, always seek advice from us on such a sensitive matter.
For further information and advice on care home fees contact our Wills and Probate team, with offices across Lincolnshire and Newark.