"Thanks so much for all your help, advice, patience and effort from day one to today - I can’t imagine how this would have turned out without your skill and stamina."
- A son acting for his mother in a care fees dispute
"Your impact has definitely been felt by all involved, it’s efficient, intelligent and dynamic. I can feel that the opposing party are raising their standards, as soon as they hear from you."
- Sister of disabled man challenging care package
When a relative goes into care from their own home then one of the first practical problems to confront is what to do with the house?
If asked for advice, social services staff will often give a brief answer – "sell it!" But the options are often broader than that and picking the right one more complicated.
Is the house disregarded as an asset? There is a mandatory disregard if the resident's partner is living there. There are also several other mandatory disregards. There are discretionary disregards that can apply, for example if the house is occupied by a carer. A person may ask for a disregard if they move in after the resident has moved out where this is necessary and is not apparently done just to avoid care fees. Legal advice can assist in presenting such a case effectively.
If there is no disregard, a deferred payment arrangement can create time for a person who needs to continue to occupy the house.
Sometimes it may make economic sense to rent the property rather than sell it.
What happens if the house is jointly owned and joint owners do not want to sell? That may well affect the value for means testing purposes and the joint owners have a number of options.
Is the house jointly owned under "right to buy"? This can cause difficulties relating to the treatment of the property discount.
Wrigleys provide full legal advice on the care law and property aspects of these choices.