Funding Problems

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Just a thought, if MUM said she wanted to give you various things, then it raises some interesting issues. Since she was not in a home at the time, did she understand what she was doing at the time, and was it a DELIBERATE attempt to avoid fees in the future.
This is what I call legal "deep water", you definitely need to get proper advice from our helpline, or a specialist solicitor. I haven't read up this subject recently, but I think it MAY be up to the LA to PROVE that it was a deliberate attempt to avoid fees, and I can't imagine how they could possibly prove that at this stage?
There is something in law about people being allowed to make unwise decisions.
So you need to think back, and possibly write down over a few days, what exactly happened at that time. Who said what, where, and when.
It would be helpful if you could keep in touch with us here and let us know how you got on.

(Let this be a warning to others, it's better for parents to contribute towards their keep AND CARE, when they are living with you, ideally by standing order on a weekly basis, so in the event of losing mental capacity the payments can continue.
But BB, as Pennie says, if Tracy's mum had dementia, and was needing care at home, it was therefore 'on the cards' that she might very well worsen to the point of requiring residential care, which WOULD indicate that she should have conserved her funds to pay for it, not given them away to her children!!

To my mind it's the question of 'intentionality' (ie, to 'deliberately avoid' care home fees) and the question of 'likeliness or not to need residential care' that is the REAL problem in all this damn deprivation of assets business!

It's why there should be a clear an unambiguous rule that says, just like the taxman does, 'If you give your money/assets away longer than seven years it won't be classed as deprivation'. That's what happens to money we give away in our life time to exempt it from inheritance tax, and if that's good enough for the taxman it should be good enough for the councils. It would save them legal fees for a start!
Jenny, on the other hand I have read a fairly official document, (can't remember where now, as mum has been gone several years), that under certain circumstances, the council can only look back SIX MONTHS.
This is definitely a time when specialist advice from people who really know the up to date ins and outs of the relevant laws and up to date regulations is absolutely vital.
BB - slightly sideways from Tracy's predicament, my MIL has 'some' money in a bank account that I can't access! I don't have PoA, and her mental state deterioriated before this 'missing account' could be sorted out. I have an ancient passbook, I think, 'somewhere' but it's out of date, though hopefully the money is just 'sitting there'. I can't even get the bank statemetns sent to me, let alone do anything about the money.

My plan is to hand the whole damn caboodle over to the council to take whatever legal steps they need to take to access the money, if poor MIL lives so long she's spent all her flat-proceeds money (which I can access - we moved it to a joint account 'in time' before her dementia worsened).

Of course I'm hoping that she will manage to die before the council have to get involved, and then I can finally sort out this 'missing account' when I execute her will. Till then it's in limbo!

It's interesting to hear about that 6 months ruling, but in a way, I do actually agree that people who CAN afford their own residential care SHOULD be self-funding, as otherwise tax payers have to pay, while the children sit back and inherit!!
Another complication/possibility for Tracy, in respect of the cars at least (the holiday money is long spent!) is for the cars to go back into her mum's name/ownership.

However, if they are not being used FOR THE MUM'S BENEFIT then again, the problem remains.

But if Tracy, say, is using one of the cars to visit her mother in the care home, that might be 'allowable', as otherwise her mum could not be visited. It would be FOR the mum's benefit that Tracy has the car.....
As an aid , Age UK ... guidance on LA's ability to clawback care fees : ... of-assets/

May help , I hope it does.
Thank you, everyone. I have downloaded the fact sheet, thank you, Chris, and I will read that and go through all of this again on Friday and reply once more. Tomorrow I visit mum and then I am grandma in the afternoon which is my greatest pleasure.
Take care
Chris, that leaflet is good, but it really just throws up how unsatisfactory the whole situation, all this business about intentionality and knowing whether you'll need care blah blah blah.

A clear 'x years ago' ruling would be SO much better, and then no one would have to dive into motives, or medical records etc etc.

Tracy - another caution! If you are now taking your mum out of her residential care home and back to you, so that YOU bear the expense and 'bother' of caring for her (both in terms of the food she eats, and the time you spend on her etc), you do need to sit down and work out your financial position.

When one sibling cares for an elderly parent, and another one doesn't, then the carer-sibling MUST be 'more compensated' than the non-carer one - ideally before the parent dies (ie, by the parent 'paying' the carer-daughter) OR in their will.

What you DO not want, and what is simply not fair, is if YOU do all the mum-care, and your sister does zilch (even if that's because she's in Australia or whatever), and then your mum's money is divvied up equally when she dies!
Yes , and subject to each LA's interpretation of said guidelines ... the dreaded post code lottery.

Using my old banking practice , for each LA , a calculation ... how much will it cost to persue against the likely return ?

Add in the straightjacket on finances , even a remote possibility of a gain might swing the balance.

There are guidelines ... there are financial considerations ... throughout the whole social care sector , especially on delivery.

As for the Law , Luke Davey ... need I say any more ?

The balance is firmly in favour of the latter.

The smell of money ... it is the root cause of most ills in our Sad New World ... especially the lack of it.

In CarerLand , most will have to consider the worst possible outcome ... anything else will be a result ... and great relief !

Brutal but ... very apt.

It will not assist Tracy , or others in a similar position but ... this is the ball game.
It would be interesting to get some top down stats on the issue overall.

- how many elderly people (80 plus? younger?) are in residential care homes across the UK?

- how many of them are self-funding?

- how many are non-self-funding?

- how many elderly people are not in care homes, but in need of care (that COULD be provided in care homes) but are being cared for by their families?

- of the latter, how many are getting 'any' money from the council to help with the care (eg, 'free' care-workers, Carers Allowance to family member, etc) (AA can be discounted as you can get it in a care home as well, and it's not means tested, so it's a zero sum/null field, etc)

- how many elderly people are neither in care homes, nor being looked after by their family and are, in effect 'indepdendent' (we could allow for, say, a daily 'pop in' visit from a relative, but nothing that actually 'controls' their life, ie, if they don't 'pop in' no one else has to)

And then graph all that against age.

IF it turns out that a very, very small percentage of the elderly population either requires NO care at all (the 'independent' elderly) or minimal care (a bit more than 'popping by'), then it's fair to say that for EVERYONE reaching old age (eg, 80 plus) there is a de facto expectation that at some point (if they don't die first) THEY WILL NEED A LOT OF CARE....

That means that on the 'intenionality' criterion of deprivation of assets, it could be argued pretty cogently that ALL disposal of assets is deprivation, as ALL OF US can statistically be assumed to be, at some point, in need of a lot of care. So, irrespective of how 'well' the person is when they give their assets/money away, it 'wont' wash' with the councils as the councils have every statistical reason to assume that that person WILL need a lot of care at some point!