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The Care Act 2014 and The Care Act Guidance states:
- Local Authorities must provide care once a need is assessed, by virtue of s.18 Care Act.
- As part of this process they must carry out a financial assessment of the service users assets by virtue of s.17 of the Care Act.
- A local Authority cannot charge a service user more than they are able to afford to pay, but by virtue of s.42 to Annex B of the Guidance a local Authority must ensure that those who can afford to pay are not maintained at public expense.
- A service user will pay the full cost of their care if they have assets or capital in excess of £23,250 (the upper capital threshold) and they will continue to pay until their assets drop to £14,250 (the lower capital threshold).
- If a service user mis-represented their assets they are responsible for the costs of any subsequent investigation (s.69 of the Care Act).
- It will have regard for capital and income.
- If a service user transfers a property to their children the Authority has a right of action in Law against that child for the full value of the care charges owing and accruing.
- So can this situation be legally avoided?
- The answer is yes, but only if you take steps to protect your assets in the correct way, and at the appropriate time.
- The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, together with such settled case Law as Derbyshire County Council & Anor v Akrill & Ors provides for legitimate lawful routes to place your property outside of those assets that the Council will take into account when calculating what you must pay for your future care, but only if you act before you know care is needed.