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Being asked to sign as guarantor for care home fees? Not right I think?

(14 Posts)
amigababy Thu 29-Jan-15 17:07:46

so dm has been assessed as needing FT residential care due to dementia, she is currently in hospital and has a social worker assigned.

I have been NC with her for about 8 years (there are reasons) and my sister lives abroad. There is a house which can be sold, and I have been asked to clear it, which I can do. I've been round there once to collect what paperwork I could find, to pass on to an appointed solicitor who is going to apply for a Deputyship in the Court of Protection. I also looked at 2 care homes recommended by and at the request of the social worker, and chose one. So far so good.

However - the solicitor won't sign anything for the LA guaranteeing repayment of any care home fees, until the Deputyship comes through - around 6 months?
The care home I chose has a scheme whereby they (not the LA) accrue the debt for the fees till the residence is sold, but Social Worker says they need me to sign as guarantor that I will repay the fees out of the sale of the house. Which raises various questions:
-what if the house doesn't sell for ages and the care home get stroppy?
-how can I guarantee repayment via a house sale, when the house, and any other assets, will be under the control of the solicitor anyway, so I am not actually connected to the ownership or selling of the house.
- more in general, how would an LA proceed in this situation if a person literally has no relatives around? (I know that's not the case, but in effect it may as well be)

The house might be worth about £250k and I saw that there was about £10k in a bank account. Nothing more, unless I discover something while tidying. i.e I would say dm's assets excluding the house are below the £14k level that I've been reading about.

Are the LA just trying to avoid offering a deferred payment scheme to dm, and hoping that I will take up the slack instead with my own guarantee. They don't seem happy with the 6 month legal delay either but surely this is standard?

Feel like we're going in circles with them, anyone got any advice about what I should do or say next? Thanks in advance.....

Toomanyexams Thu 29-Jan-15 17:24:05

I am completely, unqualified and don't entirely understand, but I see no one else has come along. I feel for you. My first thought is, don't sign! Don't put yourself on the hook. What's the worst that could happen? She stays in hospital a little longer.

Twitterqueen Thu 29-Jan-15 17:28:06

I would be very wary. I have no legal experience either though. Will you definitely inherit from the sale of the house? Have you seen her will? What if there are debts that you don't know about? TBH I wouldn't stand guarantor unless the money was actually in my bank account.

Clobbered Thu 29-Jan-15 17:28:35

I too, know nothing, but my instinct would be not to sign - God knows what liabilities you would be letting yourself in for. Do you perhaps need to get some independent financial / legal advice here?

Branleuse Thu 29-Jan-15 17:32:13

i wouldn't sign anything. Youre NC with her. Her care home fees are not your responsibility

expatinscotland Thu 29-Jan-15 17:40:50

I would sign NOTHING.

glammanana Thu 29-Jan-15 17:42:21

I know you will be up the wall with paperwork etc but I am sure I have read somewhere (can't think where) that if your relative has been assessed as having dementia and needs FT care the cost is borne by the Authority not by anyone else,SWs are far to quick to get the paperwork tied up and done & dusted I know of a family who paid up front for 2 yrs and they appealed and everything was repaid when it was found the patient had dementia classed needs to specialist care,so certainly do not sign anything you need other specialist advice regarding this, I bet the solicitor makes sure his fee's are "ring fenced". Talk to Age UK they are very good.

Artus Thu 29-Jan-15 17:46:26

You may get some useful advice from the Alzheimers Society Website. Also thier forum Talking Point has a legal matters section

My understanding is that no adult can be made finacially responsible for another adults care, therefore you should not sign anything
without advice.

porolli Thu 29-Jan-15 18:00:25

If you do not hold power of attorney, I do not see how you should be doing this (I see that Deputyship now being applied for as she now lacks capacity)

FlowerFairy2014 Thu 29-Jan-15 19:13:52

Don't sign. As you say you do not have control. We had my father's power of attorney (he died at home so not your situation). If someone else had no way would I sign to guarantee something over which I have no control.
The LA probably have a duty to look after her in a care home and will just have to wait for their money.

justwondering72 Sat 31-Jan-15 06:12:50

You could try the Elderly Parents thread on here, lots of knowledgeable people on there.

Blowninonabreeze Sat 31-Jan-15 06:32:39

Patients in a nursing home (ie deemed to need 24 hour nursing care) due to their Alzheimers, have their nursing care provided free of charge by the NHS.

So establish correct diagnosis/ level of care required first. As she may not need to find her care at all.

Alzheimers society link

aside from that, assuming she does have to pay, I'd be getting legal advice before signing anything.

DraggingDownDownDown Sat 31-Jan-15 06:33:46

I think you need to decide whether or not you are going to continue being NC. By organising and sorting the home etc you have got yourself involved. Do you want to actually do any more?

If you weren't NC would you be as concerned about this asaspect? I just think that you went NC for a reason and now you are getting drawn back in. If you are happy with that then fine, but it won't stop once your mother is in the home as they will probably expect you to sort things for her - new clothes, labelling them, toiletries etc

amigababy Sat 31-Jan-15 09:32:14

you're right dragging . Because I'm the man on the ground (metaphorically) and have my " I'm capable " hat on, I'm getting more involved than expected.
Good news though, the care home are happy to accept the LA as guarantor so it appears the major finances are sorted and a move is imminent.

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