Care Fees - Giving Money Away
I will make sure I do not have to pay for care fees by giving my assets to my family ......... if it were only that easy.
Deprivation of assets:
Giving some or all of your assets away to your family (or others) in order to increase your need for means tested benefits is known as deprivation of assets and provision is made within the law to deal with this.
The following actions could count as Deprivation of Assets:
Powers to Recover Assets
Under the Health and Social Security Adjudication Act 1983, your local authority has the power to reclaim assets if you receive care within 6 months of giving assets away.
If you gave your assets away more than six months before needing care, whilst the local authority may find it difficult to recover assets, they could include them as Notional Capital. The courts could of course, still order that the assets be returned.
You Cannot Claim What Your Are Not Entitled To
Under the National Assistance Act 1948, you cannot claim what you are not entitled to and any payment of benefits made to you which should not have been paid can be recovered.
There have been many cases tested over the years in connection with care fees. It is well established if you did not have a legitimate and satisfactory reason for transferring assets away from you to another prior to needing care, then these assets could be either recovered or taken into account.
The Local Authority may even apply to bankrupt you under insolvency laws, which would mean that any gifts that you have made within the last few years could be recovered.
What can I do to plan?
There are ways that you can plan for care fees. Both in terms of gifting assets, tax planning and funding care fees.
Some assets are not means tested and indeed, some actions to gift assets away to others would not be deemed as asset deprivation.
Request our expert advice about care fees.