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Case Study: Securing a disregard of a jointly owned second property from a Financial Assessment

Community care law experts explain what power of attorney is and how to register and obtain power of attorney

How Clare English, Community Care Lawyer, obtained a disregard of a jointly owned second property and secured Local Authority funding for care.

The situation

Damian’s wife, Phoebe, suffers from Parkinson’s disease and requires residential care. She self-funded her care home fees for several years but had become eligible for social care funding. Social Services refused to assist with her care costs because they included her share of a holiday property, jointly owned with her husband, in the financial assessment. They said that this put Phoebe above the £23,250 threshold for care home fees.

Social Services said that Damian would have to sell the property so that his wife could continue to self-fund her care. Damian inherited the holiday when his uncle died and he had chosen to register it in his and his wife’s joint names. Damian was reluctant to sell the property because he used it for holidays with his family.

Damian asked Martin Searle Solicitors to help him argue that the property should be disregarded from the Social Services financial assessment.

What Martin Searle Solicitors did

Clare challenged Social Services decision to include the holiday property in the financial assessment. She argued that despite the fact it was registered in joint names, Damian was the sole beneficial owner of the property because he had inherited it. As Phoebe was not a beneficial owner of the property, her assessable assets fell below the £23,250 social care threshold.

The result

Social Services finance team took legal advice and the legal department advised that Clare’s position was correct. Social Services agreed to fund Phoebe’s care fees back to the date when her savings fell to £23,250. Damian was very pleased that his holiday property did not have to be sold to pay for his wife’s care and that he and their family was able to continue to enjoy it.

For expert advice on planning and paying for care, contact our Community Care Law team on 01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk.

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