Lawyers find care home fees loophole

    More people are being urged by solicitors to transfer their
    homes to their children to avoid care home fees.

    Care home advice body NHFA said its helpline was receiving
    regular calls on “protective property trust wills”, under which
    people continue living in their homes but transfer ownership to
    relatives.

    Guidelines make it clear that councils should take into account
    transferred assets when means-testing people for care if they have
    given them away to avoid fees.

    But NHFA said some authorities were not rigorous in
    investigating transfers, so some people were unjustifiably
    receiving publicly funded care.

    NHFA added that older people could end up homeless if the assets
    were mismanaged or became caught up in divorce proceedings or they
    fell out with their children.

    Law Society guidelines emphasise that lawyers should warn
    clients that transferring their home was no guarantee against it
    being taken into account by councils.

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