What will happen to my “special” child if I go into care?

Question: My home is in joint names with my child with the intention of protecting him. As I get older (I am 73) if I had to go into care how would he be affected? He is a 43 year old autistic and can’t work and never will.

The rules governing the treatment of property in the financial assessment to pay for long-term residential care include several exceptions when the value of a property should not be taken into account.   This would not apply to your savings, which would be fully at risk.

One exception allows that where a relative who is incapacitated lives in the property, the value of the property should be excluded from the financial assessment, allowing the relative to remain in their home, and saving the loss of the home – potentially.  Of course, if your son should die first, assuming you own the property together rather than in shares, then your home would be fully at risk.  If your son could not cope on his own, and needed to be moved into sheltered accommodation then your home would be at risk from both directions.

Of course, the local authority must first accept that your child is sufficiently incapacitated and whilst you seem to have a pretty strong case, local authorities are getting more aggressive when it comes to recovering care fees, so a marginal case might be decided unfavourably.

Were a child not considered bad enough to be incapacitated, the best you could hope for would be for the local authority to take a charge on the property with a view to selling it later, but they would prefer to see a child (over 16 and under 60) leave so they can cash in immediately.

I would strongly suggest using our Legacy Protection Trust and creating one trust for your share and one for his.    If you haven’t had the Asset Protection Secrets booklet, it is short, to the point and free! Our Legacy Protection Trusts can easily protect everyone involved.

If I go into care.