Residential Care and Nursing Home Fees by Chris Rafferty
If you live in Northern Ireland and have over £23,500 in capital (savings, investments and property including the value of your home), your local Health and Social Care Trust will assess you as being able to meet the full cost of your residential care or nursing home.
What happens if you’re a home owner?
If you own your home, it may be counted as capital 12 weeks after you move into a residential care or nursing home on a permanent basis. However, your home won’t be counted as capital if any of the following people still live there:
your husband, wife, partner or civil partner
a close relative who is 60 or over, or incapacitated
a close relative under the age of 16 who you’re legally liable to support
your ex-husband, ex-wife, ex-civil partner or ex-partner if they are a lone parent
KEEPING YOUR HOME AND ASSETS
Setting up a family trust
Setting up a family trust is one way of transferring the ownership of your home or other assets to someone else while you’re still alive.
Giving money or property to other people
You may choose to give money or assets to your children or grandchildren. There is no monetary limit on gifts to your children, grandchildren or other relatives, but they may have to pay tax on any interest or income they receive.
If you give an asset to someone within the seven years before you die, the person who receives the gift may have to pay Inheritance Tax on it.
PLEASE NOTE It is against the law to transfer ownership of an asset to another person specifically to avoid paying your care home fees.
The Trust may consider that you have deprived yourself of a capital asset in order to reduce your accommodation charge. If this is found to be the case, the Trust may treat you as still possessing the asset and can recover the cost of your care from you or the person(s) who received the gift.
Planning for the future and all eventualities is absolutely essential!!