Ann-Marie Aston, Partner at The Wilkes Partnership Solihull specialises in working with and on behalf of vulnerable clients including practising in the Court of Protection concerning decision-making for those lacking mental capacity to do so with respect to their health and welfare and property and financial matters.
In this piece Ann-Marie examines care funding and some of the aspects you should consider when it comes to best preserving assets in what can be stressful and financially draining time.
The current state of the Adult Social Care system has been covered extensively in the media in recent months. It will no doubt continue to feature in some shape or form in the upcoming general election debates.
So where are we in terms of the current provisions? Well, the overarching legislation is the Care Act 2014. This replaced a wealth of previous legislation dating back to 1948. However, that part of the act relating to funding of care, including the provision of a maximum sum which a person should pay to fund care, due to come in April 2016 was delayed and will no doubt now be re-considered.
Many people are still under the impression that councils come along and “take the house” from families of those needing care. But it is not as simple as that. Yes, a person’s residence may be taken into account in a financial means assessment for care needs, but not in all circumstances will this be the case.
Recent articles and advertisements in the local press have fuelled the scaremongering with advice that the house should be put in trust immediately to “protect” the family home from the council. However, this can be a risky step to take. Furthermore, unless full legal and practical advice is provided in relation to the Care Act and its associated provisions, including alternative, less costly options then the risk is that people are being shepherded into a scheme which they don’t understand and when something happens in people’s lives, they find they are not in control and they can’t take the action they would wish to, because they have given away their main asset and the control of it.
We have a team of specialist solicitors with a wealth of experience in matters associated with funding care including advice on ring-fencing of assets to minimise the effects of the cost of care.