Care home fee planning

Care home fees can cost around £50,000 a year. You may fear having to sell your home to fund the cost of care or that the fees alone will drain your estate reducing the inheritance for the next generation. 

We have extensive experience advising whether you are eligible for financial help from your local council or if the NHS should be paying the full cost of care and offer representation if you think your assets have been overvalued or you’re being asked to pay more than you should.

We have developed solutions to mitigate the cost of care such as our fixed fee GLP Property Protection Will – which will allow you to potentially safeguard at least half the value of your property.

If you need residential care whether at home or in a care home, the Local Authority will undertake a financial assessment determine whether you can afford to pay the full fees, part of them or none at all. 


Capital (savings and property)* England

Over £23,250  

You must pay full fees (self-funder)

Between £14,250 and £23,250

The local authority will assume that this generates an income and this will be taken into account for your care home fee contributions.

Less than £14,250

This will be ignored and won’t be included in the means test


Certain types of income, such as money from certain disability benefits and pensions, may not be counted in the means test. All other income can be taken into account.

After reaching the lower thresholds, the Local Authority will take into account any Attendance Allowance and State Pension. 

Our GLP Property Protection Trust is beneficial

The GLP Property Protection Will has been developed so that potentially half the home does not pass outright to the survivor in a simple Will arrangement but instead passes into a Trust – with the condition that the surviving co-owner (usually a spouse) can stay in the property for the remainder of their life – so that only the half owned by the survivor needing residential care is assessable


Brian is married to Sheila and they have one son called Andrew.  They have a ‘mirror Will’ leaving their entire estate to each other on the first death and then onto Andrew on the second death. 

Brian and Sheila have joint assets worth £180,000 (a house worth £150,000 and £30,000 savings).  After Brian’s death, Sheila will receive the entire estate worth £180,000. 

If, after Brian’s death, Sheila has to go into residential care then she would be assessed as having £180,000. She would be well over the £23,250 threshold so she would have to meet the full cost of her care until her capital is reduced to this limit. 

If Sheila spends a little over 4 years in a care home at £35,000 a year (£140,000 in total) that would leave only around £30,000 left for Andrew when Sheila dies. 

If, however, Sheila and Brian each have a GLP Property Protection Will then after Brian’s death, half the value of his home (around £75,000) is passed into Trust rather than to his spouse, Sheila, outright. Even though Sheila only owns half the house she is allowed to live there for the remainder of her life. 

If, following Brian’s death, Sheila ultimately needs residential care she would be assessed as having the savings but only half the value of the house (£75,000) because Brian’s half is in a trust so is disregarded.  

So on Sheila’s subsequent death, no matter how much care home fees were incurred, Andrew would inherit at least half the value of the home. 

During your lifetime you have the right to continue living in the property. If the property is sold to purchase a new property you will have the right to live in the new property for the rest of your life. If there are any proceeds remaining from the sale you will have the right to the income that is generated.

These arrangements can be expanded to include other assets, not just property.


If you are considering care in your own home, your property will not be taken into account in the means test. 

If you are going into residential care the value of your property (less any outstanding mortgage) will normally be included in the means test except if any of the following continue to live there:

  • A spouse or partner
  • A relative who is over 60 or incapacitated
  • A minor under 18 who is dependent on the person in care 
  • A separated lone partner with responsibility for a minor 
  • In some circumstances, someone who gave up their own home to look after the person now going into care

If there is nobody else living in the property, you may be able to get a deferred payment agreement from the Local Authority. Under this scheme, the Local Authority agrees to help you with the cost of care and will get these costs back when the property is eventually sold.

If the amount the Local Authority provides is less than the cost of your preferred care home, they will expect a top-up or third-party payment.

If you have gifted assets to a child or into a trust, for example, when you are fit and healthy and do not foresee any need for care and support then it is extremely likely these assets will be disregarded. 

However, if the local authority believe you have gifted assets or money to avoid paying care fees it is known as deliberate deprivation of assets. They can recover the asset from the person you transferred it to or count you as still having the asset(s) and therefore being able to pay the fees. If you do not pay, they could take legal action and pursue you for the debt.

Before gifting we can advise you on the likelihood of the Local Authority challenging it. 

NHS continuing healthcare is a package of care for people who are assessed as having significant ongoing healthcare needs. Eligible people are entitled to NHS funding for the full cost of care and accommodation. 

If you have been denied NHS funding and are paying for your own care you may be able to reclaim nursing home fees through a legal challenge. Our team have successfully challenged and overturned decisions.

How do I get NHS continuing healthcare?

To be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare you must:

  • have ongoing significant health needs, and
  • require care primarily because of the nature of your health needs

There is an initial screening checklist which you must meet before being referred for a full assessment of NHS continuing healthcare.

A multidisciplinary team (MDT) will complete a full assessment and consider your needs under the following headings:

  • breathing
  • nutrition (food and drink)
  • continence
  • skin (including wounds and ulcers)
  • mobility
  • communication
  • psychological and emotional needs
  • cognition (understanding)
  • behaviour
  • drug therapies and medication
  • altered states of consciousness
  • other significant care needs

These needs are given a weighting marked “priority”, “severe”, “high”, “moderate”, “low” or “no needs”.

If you have at least one priority need, or severe needs in at least 2 areas, you can usually expect to be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

You may also be eligible if you have a severe need in one area plus a number of other needs, or a number of high or moderate needs.

If you have a health condition that is getting much worse quickly, and you are near the end of your life, you may be eligible for the CHC fast-track pathway so you can get treatment and support as urgently as possible. 

If the person’s application is rejected at the initial assessment they can ask for it to be done again or for a full assessment. If it’s rejected at the full assessment stage, they can ask for a review. You may need to instruct solicitor to assist you.

If you’re not eligible for NHS continuing healthcare, but you’re assessed as requiring nursing care in a care home (in other words, a care home that’s registered to provide nursing care) you’ll be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care.

Arrange a Free Consultation

call us on

call us on 0800 111 6370

Can we also help with?