What does the Conservative Manifesto mean for social care and the elderly?

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Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts Article

19 May, 2017

Ahead of the general election in June, Teresa May has announced the Conservative manifesto which plans to introduce some new measures in respect of paying for care both at home and in a care home. Under the current system, if an individual has more than £23,250 in assets, including the value of their home, then they have to pay for their care. The plans that Teresa May will look to introduce if re-elected, will set a new limit of £100,000 per individual, meaning that once someone's assets, including the value of their home, go below this value, they will not have to contribute any more of their capital to pay towards their care. This will ensure that no matter how large the cost of care turns out to be, an individual will always retain at least £100,000 of their assets.

A further change in regards to social care will extend the current freedom to defer payments for residential care, meaning that an individual will not be forced to sell their house to pay for their care whether that be care at home or in a care home.

So surely this all sounds an improvement on the existing law? Well perhaps not entirely. If you currently receive care in your own home, the value of your home is not included when assessing whether you have to pay for this care, only your savings. Under the new plans, the value of your own home will be included when making this assessment and although the cap will be raised to £100,000, most people will find that the value of their assets exceed this amount when taking into account the value of their property. So many people who are currently receiving free care at home, could find themselves having to pay for this under a Conservative government.

However, on the flip side, it is of course better for those receiving care in a care home setting,  as the new £100,000 cap will mean that once your assets fall below this amount, you will not have to contribute any further capital towards your care.

If the Conservative party win the June election, it is not clear when these proposed changes would be implemented, however as they would require consultation and new legislation, it is likely to take a while before we see any changes.

If you would like any further advice, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Wilkinson in our Wills, Probate, Tax and Trusts department or alternatively call Freephone 0800 975 2643 or send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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