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Devil will be in the detail of care home fees review

Following the recent and much heralded Government announcement about changes to care funding, many are now wondering how the reforms will affect them and their families.

The conundrum on how to fund the increasingly high cost of social care (and the effect which this can have on whether or not people will have to sell their family home to fund these costs) has been something which has been of great concern to very many for a number of years.

Certainly, it’s pleasing to see that some 10 years after the Dilnott Report of 2011, the current Government is now trying to get to grips with this issue. However, as is too often the case, the “devil is in the detail” and it will be some time yet until there is complete clarity on how the proposed reforms are going to benefit those concerned.

Whether these reforms will indeed protect an individual’s family home remains to be seen. For example, the £86,000 cap will only apply to care costs accrued at the local authority rate and will not apply to board and lodging charges.

In any event, although the reforms will have an earlier impact in terms of the extent to which a local authority will make contributions to an individual’s care costs, the £86,000 cap will only come into effect for those requiring care from October 2023 onwards.

Until there is more clarity and certainty and, particularly, for those who have a foreseeable need of care in the next couple of years or so, taking specialist professional advice on legitimate steps which can be taken in this area will continue to be of crucial importance in terms of family estate planning.