Paying for residential care is a concern of many clients who wish to ensure that the money they have worked to save can be left to the next generation.
The Dilnot Commission looked into the issues surrounding the funding of adult social care provision and one of its recommendations which looks as though it will now be implemented, was that a cap should be set at £35,000 for the total care fees paid by an individual during their lifetime.
The recent Budget announcement confirmed that a cap on social care costs will be introduced from April 2016, although the cap is being set at £72,000 rather than the originally recommended £35,000. This should give some peace of mind in knowing that even if you do need to pay for your care initially, there will be a limit to it. It is suggested that knowing this figure in advance will help people to prepare financially, by using insurance or other similar products to provide the total amount which may be needed and not necessarily having to resort to selling property or assets, which is the fear of many.
Even now, before the cap comes into effect, it may still be possible to manage your assets and property without needing to sell, or spend the capital. If you can boost your income sufficiently (for example through renting out your property or taking advice on investments which provide income), you may find you are able to meet the costs of care without needing to dip into capital. Being able to fund your care yourself means that you have a greater choice of care provider, rather than relying solely on those who meet your local authority’s criteria. It will be interesting to see how this will be dealt with once the cap comes into effect in terms of how many more people will be able to apply for local authority help with their funding and how this affects choice of care provider.