Home is where the heart is
You may have lived in your home for many years or even decades. It may be the family home and too hard to leave but if it has become umanageable or you are only using a small part of it, is it time for a move? What are the options?
Stay put. Move. Rent. Sell. Downsize. Share your home or move in with family
While it is your main and only home or the home of those closest to you, your property will often not be taken into account during a means test and if the NHS is responsible for your care costs it will not be considered an asset either.
Selling your home
Often when people move into a care home they believe that they will have to sell their home or be ‘forced’ to sell. Selling your home may seem very final and it is your choice. Take your time and seek advice before making any hasty, ill informed decisions as there may be options for example a Deferred Payment Agreement with the Local Authority or renting your property.
There may be support that enables you to stay in your own home but if a move has been decided then consider other options for example – moving in with family, a home share scheme or shared lives agreement, down-sizing, or a more appropriate type of property.
Renting may be your preferred option but often there are questions about how the rental income will be taken into account for a means test or how a shortfall between your income and cost of care could be met or what are the tax implications…
If you are responsible for your own care costs or have chosen more care, a preference of accommodation or luxury services with a ‘top up’ requirement then you may be considering using the equity in your home to pay for it. While you are living at home and over a certain age there may be two main types of product available to you
Home Reversion – you sell part or all of your home in return for a lump sum or regular payments.
Lifetime Mortgage – a mortgage is secured on your property but you retain ownership.
If you are moving into permanent care there may be other financial products available.
We are happy to do a ‘Care Funding and Benefit Check’ before you make a potentially life changing decision with what may be your main or only asset as releasing equity may affect means-tested benefit entitlement and it is important to make sure that all of the care options have been considered as well as other implications of using your property to fund care.
Deferred Payment Agreements
A Deferred Payment Agreement(DPA’s) with a Local Authority enables you to defer or delay paying some or all of the cost of their care (in a care home) until a later date. It is a way to prevent people from having to sell their home in their lifetime to meet the cost of their care.
Care Fee Annuity
An immediate needs annuity, care fee annuity or care fee plan is an insurance product designed to cover the shortfall between your income and the cost of your care for the rest of your life. Paid to a care provider it can have tax benefits and can be arranged to begin with immediate effect or be deferred for an agreed period.
Before making potentially life changing decisions with what may be your main or only asset a Care Funding and Benefit Check can ensure that the types of care and ways to pay have been fully considered. If you are using your own funds to pay for care, specialist care advice will make sure you aren’t paying more than you can afford or should be for the support you receive, identify state contributions to delay wealth depletion and avoid a move later on. Please call us 0800 999 2 27 or get in touch.