Q. My wife and I have lived together in the same house for over thirty years. Unfortunately my wife is now suffering with Alzheimers and the time has come for her to move into a care home. I have heard that the local authority can make you sell your house to pay for care home fees and I am worried that I will lose the roof over my head. Can the local authority do this?
A. There are complex rules and guidance concerning the payment of care fees. As you know, the local authority will want to try and assess whether your wife should be paying for her care, and will be asking for details as to what assets she owns. However, you can be reassured in your case that as long as you continue to live in your home that the local authority should disregard it's value when working out whether your wife should be paying towards her care fees. This is because the local authority guidance tells them to disregard the value of any house that the resident in the care home used to live in as their dwelling if their partner continues to live in the house. There are also other circumstances when the guidance to the local authority tells them to disregard the value of the house and the local authority does also have a general discretion to disregard the value. You might want to take some advice if you do have concerns about the situation, and I would also recommend that you give some thought to reviewing your Wills and Powers of Attorney if you have not already done so.
Jo Wild, solicitor
*This article was previously published in the Stamford Mercury