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Council chasing for dead FIL care home fees

(18 Posts)
Stawberrycircustent Sat 18-Jun-16 16:59:07

My father-in-law died last year. DP only living relative.
Hadn't been in contact for years as FIL left him as a child.
DP became aware FIL was in a home & hospital near us and visited him for last few months of his life.
FIL died having been in a care home for @ 6-8 weeks before he died.
No care home fees were paid.
FIL died with no will.
DP registered death.
DP was able to collect a cheque from FIL bank - close account.
Amount @£2000
We organised a direct cremation (no funeral as no one to come). Used the money from bank to pay this.
State pension was overpaid and claimed back for one week DP sent that money back.
Now four months later council contacted asking for nearly £5,000 to cover care home fees.
DP sent statement from bank and funeral invoice. But they are still requesting full amount.
There should be £800 to pay them but unfortunately DP is an addictive gambler and has gambled money away (yes stupid and I asked him to give me at the beginning ).
I have tried ringing the council but get no where.
Any advice please

caroldecker Sat 18-Jun-16 17:21:36

Assuming that your FIL estate only had £800 (no house or anything) that is all they can claim. You will need to pay them that as your DH spending it is fraud.

Junosmum Sat 18-Jun-16 17:24:13

Yes, they can only claim the £800 he had left.

caroldecker Sat 18-Jun-16 17:31:13

Also, other assets in his home (furniture, jewellery, medals etc) may need to be sold and the money paid to the home.

Lucked Sat 18-Jun-16 17:32:07

Agree you owe them £800 but you don't heritage debt and funeral cost come first.

I would send that and resend all he receipts stating clearly that there are no other assets.

FirstShinyRobe Sat 18-Jun-16 17:56:15

Who was (or should have been) funding his care home? It's very complicated and councils and the NHS don't always apply the law correctly in their processes.

Loads of info on caretobedifferent.co.uk

KittyLaRoux Sat 18-Jun-16 18:00:19

If his eatate shows £800 left then thats what you pay them. They cannot chase you for the rest.

What is your dh doing about his gambling addiction?

Wolpertinger Sat 18-Jun-16 18:13:44

They can only claim the £800 left of the estate. Funeral expenses come first and it doesn't sound as if you spent massively on this anyway.

Write back making it clear there is no estate other than the £800.

Also ask for evidence of how the funding decision on his care was reached - given he had no property or savings over £2000 he should have had a financial assessment that led to his care being fully funded by Social Services and him not having to pay any at all.

Secondly, given he died within 6-8 weeks of admission to the Nursing Home, why was he not admitted under NHS Continuing Care funding and the fees covered by this?

Basically it's highly unlikely FIL was paying the fees himself. Who found the Nursing Home for him - was it your DP? Funding arrangements should have been made clear then. If he was discharged from the hospital to the nursing home, asking to see the notes may make it clear who was going to be funding the placement - look for any evidence of NHS Continuing Care.
If it was Social Services funded then he doesn't meet the financial assessment due to his low assets and doesn't owe any money.

Melonrunner Sat 18-Jun-16 18:16:55

I thought the council would be liable for his care home fees as his savings were below the threshold.

Wolpertinger Sat 18-Jun-16 18:27:36

I think so too - I think 1) you can only be liable for the £800 left in the estate and 2) you are actually liable for £zero as his estate is below the threshold for self-funding and/or his fees should have been paid by NHS Continuing Care.

Stawberrycircustent Sat 18-Jun-16 19:34:59

Thank you for your replies.
It is my partner I'm not married.
I don't want advice re gambling - he is an addict and that's a different problem .
FIL had no home or other assets. He was in and out of hospital for last months of his life. In temporary assessment homes. The nursing home was arranged by hospital
Social worker.
Before hospital FIL was living with a partner (not married who threw him out).
We had a direct cremation cheapest possible .
Thank you for links will have a look and see if council should have Ben paying fees.
Btw there was no will - partner not a legal executor. He was only living relative so registered the death.
The letter is asking for executor and details of his estate.
We only know about bank account because FIL gave partner the card and details and told him to take money for his grand daughter.
I'm annoyed with partner for spending money - I have some of it now he didn't gamble but not the full amount.

Wolpertinger Sat 18-Jun-16 20:22:33

Then letter back should say he died intestate and total value of estate was £x which is lower than the lower threshold for care of £14,250, therefore the estate is not liable for any fees.

Provide evidence for value of estate. The end.

Evidence for the lower threshold for funding carehome fees is on the ageuk link here:
www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/care-homes/paying-for-permanent-residential-care/

HopeArden Sat 18-Jun-16 20:31:05

It's shocking how many companies try to get relatives to pay debts for the deceased even when it is apparent that there is no money from the estate. Banks are particularly ruthless. Just remember that the funeral has first priority, then hmrc and after that there is a clear order of priority.
When mil died (with no will and no money) I had the credit card company chasing for repayment a year later. The most your dp ia liable for is the £800 - he has no legal obligation to spend his own money.

KittyLaRoux Sat 18-Jun-16 20:33:04

No worries OP. I wasn't actually giving you advice just asking what he is doing about his gambling addiction. This problem you are facing now will be one of many. Hope he gets the help he needs and doesn't financially cripple your family in the process.

Coughingchildren5 Sat 18-Jun-16 20:38:08

Did your partner get a grant of probate before accessing the money in your FIL 's estate?

Stawberrycircustent Sat 18-Jun-16 20:49:56

Thank you Kitty - he is having counselling for gambling now.
Wasn't being rude but gambling is a whole subject in its self .
No he didn't get a grant of probate. He took the death certificate into bank and they gave home the money.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Sat 18-Jun-16 20:52:44

He wouldn't have had to for such a small amount Coughing, the bank usually ask you to sign an indemnity if you close the deceased's bank account instead.

Op, I think Wolpertinger is correct, my great aunt died intestate recently and there was no question of us paying her care home fees. She was moved to a home a week before her death for end of life care by the doctor from the Hospital At Home team, and it was made clear to us that this was a clinical decision based on her health.

We did not get to challenge it and were therefore not responsible for fees or for my aunt's council house until after her death.

Please be very firm with the council, they tried to charge us 2 month's rent on her property, and did succeed in keeping the balance of her rent account even though it did not belong to them. They knew they weren't in the right but it didn't stop them trying to get the money anyway.

Wolpertinger Sat 18-Jun-16 20:56:59

Not sure about intestacy but when my Dad died with a tiny estate and a will, we didn't need a grant of probate. I wouldn't be surprised if the same was true of small estates without a will. For most stuff we only needed the death cert anyway.

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