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On the 14th of May 2014, the Care Act 2014 received royal assent and is now law.

The Care Act 2014 brings with it major reforms to adult social care and support in the UK.

Previous laws surrounding adult care have been described as outdated and confusing.

The reason why the new act was needed was to create a modern law relevant to current and future needs of the people it protects.

The new law aims to make it much clearer on what level of care people who need care and their carers can expect from the care system.

Its purpose is to make provision about safeguarding adults from abuse or neglect, make provision about care standards, to establish and make provision about Health Education England, establish and make provision about the Health Research Authority and to make provision about integrating care and support with health services.

Local councils will be required to offer information and advice to help everyone understand what support they’ll need.

Every council will have to offer a deferred payment scheme, so no one should be forced to sell their home during their lifetime in order to pay for their residential care.

A new system has been proposed that will come into force from April 2016 that will cap the amount that people have to spend on the care they need to £72,000.

Regardless of how much they have in savings or assets, once a cap of £72,000 is reached the state will pay those costs.

The means testing level is to be increased so that government help kicks in far earlier than before.

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said:

“In order to achieve the proposals we have to find a way to fund all these changes. That’s why the £3.8 billion announced in the Spending Review settlement to bring together health and social care budgets and make sure everyone gets a properly joined up service, is so important.

We will shortly be launching a consultation on draft regulations and guidance for Part 1 of the Care Act and I urge you to participate and continue to share your knowledge, experience and expertise with us.”

Our Estate Planning Summary of the Care Act

Protecting your Home from being sold for care home fees is the hot topic of the moment.

With the need for care home placements set to grow over the coming years its good to see that proposals now exist that will go some way towards preventing people losing almost everything, they’ve worked hard for in order to get the care they need.

Its early days as the care act has only been passed very recently and it will be interesting to see if the government’s proposals of caps and means testing thresholds help protect ones main home from being sold to pay for care.

Estate planning is an essential tool when you are looking to protect your asset’s to ensure they go to your loved ones in the event of your death.

Whilst you may not be able to guarantee your home is protected fully you can do the best that you can in line with your circumstances, wishes and current legislation.

Estate planning for care home fees is not a one size fits all solution. Even if the right solution for you is achievable, it’s not something you can set and forget, it needs constant review in conjunction with any future changes in law or government legislation.

The cost of care will continue to grow and so will the local authorities need to re-coop the costs.

Avoiding deliberate deprivation of assets is a must, this is why simply transferring ownership of your home to a son or daughter will not protect you from the local authorities looking into such actions and dealing with it retrospectively.

This daily mail article Councils spy on parents who sign over house to children demonstrates how it important it is to plan in the right way.

The trick is not to leave it to late when it comes to a local authority proving deliberate deprivation they would need to demonstrate that the action you took deliberately deprived them of assets that could have been used to pay for your care.

If you plan early and consider your home’s future along with other assets, it is much more likely to be seen that your home was protected as part of other strategies put in place.

Talking with an estate planning consultant is the first step, in most cases, it does not cost for the initial discussion.

Related Links

Care Act 2014
Norman Lambs Blog Post
Diy Estate Planning