"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
Charging for care is controversial. Care is expensive and can quickly whittle away life savings. Parents may want to leave money to their children. With pension provision so patchy, children may need an inheritance to provide a cushion in their own retirement.
Councils want to recover funds to pay for care services. But councils are only entitled to charge according to the law and the fact is that they often get the law wrong.
Common issues include:
Deprivation of assets: Has a resident made a significant gift? Often an entirely innocent act of goodwill and benevolence is misconstrued by a local authority as an attempt to avoid paying care fees and the resident is treated as still possessing the gift taking them outside of support. New powers under the Care Act 2014 allow a local authority to send the recipient of the gift the bill for the resident's care however long ago the gift was made. Legal advice is essential in what are frequently matters of great financial value.
Valuing jointly owned property: If a care home resident's home is owned by more than one person, many local authorities will just assume the resident has too much capital to qualify. But often this is not the case. The right legal advice can ensure that valuation is done properly and this very often results in significant savings that greatly outweigh the cost of the advice.
Proving assets: If the resident needs financial support, it is up to them to prove to the council that they are unable to pay. But that is not always easy. A failure to provide sufficient information may cause the council to hold their funding decision in abeyance indefinitely. Wrigleys have assisted in providing credible evidence in several such hard to prove cases.
Disregarded assets and income: Many sources of income and types of asset are disregarded in the means test. But again whether a disregard applies can be a matter of dispute.
Wrigleys are specialists in care fees charging. Whatever your charging problem, we are here to help.