Long term care may be required if you become ill or suffer a disability which means that you are unable to care for yourself, with the probability that the disability will continue over the long term.
The rules on the provision of long term care are complex and different rules apply in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In general your local authority would be responsible for:
- The assessment of care needs, such as the need for nursing care; and
- The assessment of an individual’s ability to pay for care.
Each local authority will have a maximum rate they will contribute based on the type and level of care needed. Where the cost of a chosen care home exceeds the local authority maximum rate, you or your family would be required to meet the excess.
The local authority will also look to recover some or all of the costs they pay for care from you based on a financial assessment of your income and capital.
On this basis it is important to plan for the possibility that you may require long term care in the future. We can provide advice which will help to protect your assets so that should you need care, your wealth is not completely eroded to meet this need, and your family home does not have to be sold. In this way you can ensure that you will be able to pass on your investments to your family. Careful planning now, utilising our specialist knowledge which may include the use of trusts, can make all the difference to you and your family.
If you are already paying ongoing care fees we can provide investment advice to structure your investments in order to help you to meet the payments and minimise the erosion of your wealth.
Changes from 2016 (England)
Changes in long term care in England will come in from April 2016 as a result of the Care Act 2014. From April 2016 it is proposed that anyone with assets of less than £118,000 will receive help for their social care costs.
A £72,000 limit on lifetime care costs will also be introduced. However, this does not include ‘hotel costs’ such as board and lodgings and the cap will only apply once needs are established as ‘substantial’.
Individuals going into care before April 2016 will still pay bills themselves if their assets are above £23,250.