08 November 2021

How much does care really cost? The Government has recently announced a new 1.25% health and social care tax to pay for reforms to the care sector and NHS funding in England. It is estimated to raise £12 billion a year to help alleviate the problems in the care sector. But what can we do on a personal basis to prepare for the future cost of care fees which can be punitively expensive? Private Client Senior Associate Christine Butterfield has the answers.

With the forthcoming increase in National Insurance towards the NHS and social care, care home fees are more than ever on people’s agendas. There is talk of the £86,000 ‘cap’, although it should be borne in mind that this is very much limited to the nursing care element of fees and not the residential costs. A similar cap was proposed in the Care Act 2014 but never came into force, being abandoned in 2017.

So what can you do in the meantime while the details are finalised? Get your finances in order, just in case you, or a loved one, do need residential or nursing care. Make sure you have a Property & Financial Lasting Power of Attorney in place in case you are unable to deal with the financial aspects yourself. A Health & Welfare LPA would also be useful if you wish your family to have input into how and where you are cared for, should you be unable to make that decision yourself.

There is no legitimate way to reduce your assets to avoid paying for care home fees. These are covered by the local authority rules on ‘deliberately depriving yourself of assets’. But it is worth reviewing your finances and your Will with your solicitor to see if any kind of Will ‘trust’ arrangement would be helpful to potentially protect half of your home. Any scheme that purports to protect the whole of your house is unlikely to be successful. Always take professional advice from a solicitor before making any arrangements concerning your home, as your own security is obviously of paramount importance.

For more information contact Christine Butterfield on 01305 216205 or email