McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

Care home fees and the family home two topics of intense interest to anyone thinking of their future or that of their ageing parents.

A case came before the High Court last week between Worcestershire County Council and the daughter of a 92 year old lady (Mary Walford) who moved into residential care.   The council claimed that Mrs Walford's home should be taken into consideration when valuing assets to assess her contribution to care. Her daughter Glenn said it should not.

The case surrounded interpretation of the controversial CRAG (Charging for Residential Accommodation) rules. In essence a house can not be considered when calculating the value of assets 'if occupied in whole or in part as their home by the resident's other family member or relative who is aged 60 or over'.  Mrs Walford's daughter Glen was aged 70. However the council claimed that Glen only occupied the property on a part time basis as her home was a rented flat in London. On this occasion the court found in favour of Miss Walford and said her occupation fell within the relevant guidelines.

In some cases this could be considered unique due to the age of the relevant parties and the nature of the occupation. However it could set an interesting precedent for the future. If we maintained a room in our family home for personal use, would this impact on its valuation under CRAG?

The guidelines for care home fees and how to fund them were subject to a Government consultation which has now closed while the feedback is reviewed:

As you might expect the council plan to appeal!  I'll keep you posted.

Philippa Wright