Reader Question: Can I give my house away to avoid care home fees?

3 min Read Published: 22 Jun 2012

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Reader Question:

Saw an advert to avoid paying expensive care home bills , just send £50 to get it , is this a con or is the advice out there , like put the house in a trustees name before going into a home? Also why is everybody not doing this?

 

My response:

I have not seen the advert which you refer to but I personally wouldn't send money off for information, particularly on something as complicated and sensitive as meeting care home fees.

But what I would say is that you must be careful when trying to essentially play the system to hide assets from the care home fees means test. If you attempt to try and avoid paying care costs by giving assets away (officially called deprivation of assets) your local Trust can investigate. If they find out this is what happened then they can treat you as if you still owned the assets, so meaning that you will have to pay care fees.

Indeed, if any transfer was made within six months of you needing care then the Trust can recover the cost of your care from the person(s) who received the gift.

Yes, some people have utilised trusts to try and shelter property from care home fee assessments but doing so has pitfalls and is a somewhat grey area. Navigating around the current deprivation of assets rules would require the professional services of a solicitor. So (setting aside the morality of your intentions) seek professional advice before doing anything as there is no foolproof method of beating the system.

Also, remember that there are circumstances when your property won't be included in the means assessment anyway. More details are given below.

For more information on this topic read

Paying for residential care - Age UK

How to avoid selling you home to pay care fees - AccountingWeb

Deprivation of Assets - Age UK

 

I hope that helps

Best Wishes

 

Damien


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