This week the Government announced plans for a supposed lifetime ‘cap’ on the fees that an individual would pay for care over their lifetime. This cap is expected to be set at £86,000 but the important aspect to note is that this ‘cap’ relates only to care costs – a large proportion of care home fees relate not to care but to the ‘hotel’ element being provided by a care home (eg. accommodation, food, associated services and facilities). It is anticipated that these ‘hotel’ element costs will not be part of the cap, so these ‘hotel’ costs will still be payable even if somebody reaches the £86,000 cap on ‘care’ fees.
It is also the case that a large proportion of people would never reach the £86,000 cap on ‘care’ fees anyway as they will die before reaching the cap on the ‘care’ element, as explained in this BBC News article: Will the cap really fix the social care system? – BBC News
The Government’s plans do see in an increase in the threshold at which the local authority would become involved in funding somebody’s care, whether in full or in part. Currently, that threshold is £23,250, but there are plans for it to be raised such that somebody with assets between £20,000 to £100,000 will see the local authority part-funding the care (with full funding kicking-in if a person’s assets are below £20,000). Even then, in many parts of the country if a person owns or jointly owns a house, flat or bungalow, then they are likely to be over that £100,000 threshold.
It remains to be seen whether these plans go through as published or whether changes will be made.
However, this is a good time to ensure that your personal affairs are in order and that you put in place an appropriate Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney to make things as straightforward as possible for your loved-ones in the future.
Please contact our experienced and supportive Private Client team on 01865 244661 (Oxford office) or 01869 252244 (Bicester office) for empathetic and practical advice and assistance.