Keeping Your Home: Proactive Steps to Avoid Selling for Care Expenses

As they age, one of the most significant concerns for many individuals and families is the potential need for long-term care and the associated expenses. As healthcare costs continue to rise, there is a growing fear that individuals may be forced to sell their homes to cover the expenses of care. However, proactive steps can be taken to avoid such a situation and ensure that individuals can keep their homes while receiving the care they need.

In this article, we will explore some practical strategies and approaches that can help individuals and families navigate the complexities of long-term care and preserve their homes as valuable assets.

Healthy Living and Lifestyle

The oldest trick in the book! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of severe health issues and associated care costs. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, mental stimulation, and regular health check-ups are key to healthy aging.

Aside from getting to live continuously live in your own home, you can prevent the possibility of selling it to pay for care.

Long-Term Care Insurance

The first proactive step is investing in long-term care insurance. As healthcare costs rise, long-term care insurance has become an essential tool to help mitigate expenses. These policies generally cover the cost of nursing homes, home health care, and assisted living facilities.

By taking on these expenses, long-term care insurance significantly reduces the financial strain that might force you to sell your home. Research and choose a policy that aligns with your future healthcare expectations, ensuring comprehensive coverage.


Establishing trust is a sophisticated method to protect your home from being liquidated for care costs. The two primary trusts safeguarding your home are the Revocable Living Trust (RLT) and Irrevocable Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT).

An RLT allows you to maintain control over your property while living and seamlessly transfers ownership upon your passing without probate. However, because you can revoke or modify the RLT, it doesn’t protect your assets from Medicaid’s “look-back” period or from being counted as an asset if you need to apply for government benefits.

On the other hand, the MAPT, once established, cannot be altered or canceled without the beneficiaries’ consent. This trust effectively removes your property from your estate, protecting it from future creditors or care costs, provided it is set up and funded at least five years before applying for Medicaid.

Equity Release Schemes

Home equity releases schemes, like reverse mortgages or home reversion plans, allow homeowners to access the equity in their homes while continuing to live there. With these schemes, you borrow money against your home’s value and receive a lump sum, regular income, or both. This can provide a financial buffer for care expenses and prevent the need to sell your home.

However, equity release significantly impacts your estate’s value and eligibility for means-tested benefits. Therefore, professional advice is recommended before proceeding with such schemes.

NHS Continuing Healthcare and Local Authority Funding

NHS Continuing Healthcare is a care package arranged and funded solely by the NHS, available to people with significant ongoing healthcare needs. This can reduce or completely cover the care costs, preserving your home.

Additionally, depending on your financial circumstances, local authorities in the UK might provide funding for care services. Before determining if you are eligible, they will conduct a care needs assessment and a financial assessment.

Estate Planning

Lastly, thorough estate planning with a qualified attorney can help shield your assets from future healthcare expenses. This planning involves deciding how your assets should be distributed after your death and arranging your affairs to minimize the potential burden on your family. Updating your estate plan as laws and your financial situation change is essential.

A comprehensive estate plan typically includes a will, powers of attorney for health care and financial matters, beneficiary designations, and potential trusts. You can limit exposure to future creditors and care costs by strategically structuring and distributing your assets.

Social Care Services and Support Networks

Don’t underestimate the importance of local community and social care services in your plan. Services such as day centers, community nurses, and respite care can provide valuable support and care. Similarly, maintaining a strong support network of friends, family, and community can greatly assist your well-being and care.

The Importance of Maintaining Home Ownership

Protecting your home from the increasing burden of care costs involves complex decisions and considerable planning. Remember, your home is not merely a physical asset; it’s a repository of memories, comfort in your golden years, and an important part of your legacy to your loved ones. Therefore, safeguarding it against care expenses is more than financial security; it’s about maintaining your quality of life, preserving your independence, and ensuring your hard-earned home remains your sanctuary.

By taking proactive steps today, you are shaping a more secure, peaceful, and dignified future. The journey may be intricate and challenging, but with the right guidance, resilience, and foresight, you can effectively navigate the landscape of care costs, keeping your cherished home within your embrace.


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