Plan Early For Care and Move In With Elderly Relatives

Published / Last Updated on 05/07/2023

We had discussions with a potential client a few days ago as they were in their 80s and had sold their main residence and are looking to invest in new property rather than renting as well as planning for their family care now and possibly, in the future the impact of care fees and mean tested care fees assistance.

Originally (and from 2014), we referred the client to government guidance issued to all local authorities called the Charging for Residential Accommodation Guide (CRAG).

This has now been replaced by: Care and Support Statutory Guidance (updated 1st June 2023 and onwards from that date) originally under the Care Act 2014 subsequently amended by The Health and Social Care Levy Act 2021 (originally to come into force October 2023 but now with some elements delayed until 2025).  See: Care and Support Statutory Guidance

Property Disregard:

Originally under section 7.003 (of the old CRAG) and now under Charging and Financial Assessment Annex B Sections 34 to 36.  See: Charging and Financial Assessment Annex B

- Start Extract -

"34) In the following circumstances the value of the person’s main or only home must be disregarded:

  1. where the person is receiving care in a setting that is not a care home
  2. if the person’s stay in a care home is temporary and they either:
    1. intend to return to that property and that property is still available to them
    2. are taking reasonable steps to dispose of the property in order to acquire another more suitable property to return to
  3. where the person no longer occupies the property but it is occupied in part or whole as their main or only home by any of the people listed below, the mandatory disregard only applies where the property has been continuously occupied since before the person went into a care home (for discretionary disregards see below):
    1. the persons partner, former partner or civil partner, except where they are estranged
    2. a lone parent who is the person’s estranged or divorced partner;
    3. a relative as defined in paragraph 35 of the person or member of the person’s family who is either:
      1. aged 60 or over
      2. is a child of the resident aged under 18  [sic.  this used to be aged 16 under CRAG]
      3. is incapacitated

35) For the purposes of the disregard a relative is defined as including any of the following:

  1. parent (including an adoptive parent)
  2. parent-in-law
  3. son (including an adoptive son)
  4. son-in-law
  5. daughter (including an adoptive daughter)
  6. daughter-in-law
  7. step-parent
  8. step-son
  9. step-daughter
  10. brother
  11. sister
  12. grandparent
  13. grandchild
  14. uncle
  15. aunt
  16. nephew
  17. niece
  18. the spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of (a) to (k) inclusive

36) A member of the person’s family is defined as someone who is living with the qualifying relative as part of an unmarried couple, married to or in a civil partnership."

- End Extract -

This means that you may wish to consider buying a joint property with your ‘mature’ children aged 60+ or living with child relatives (below age 18) or an incapacitated relative (any age).  It could even be the spouse or civil partner of your mature children if they are over age 60.

The decision for mature children is do you consider moving back in with your elderly parents or as elderly parents, do you move in with your mature children or buy a larger, joint home with children with say a 'granny annex'?

The client is now taking legal advice on the best options to protect them, their wealth and their children’s interests as well as their children being able to take care of them in later life thus reducing the burden on local authorities and local care services.

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