Important Takeaways:

When you have chosen the right care home for your loved one, the next step is navigating legalities, managing costs and figuring out where your responsibilities may lie as next of kin:

  • There are a number of ways to pay for care homes. The most common funding options are self-funding, council funding and NHS funding
  • Next of kin are not legally obligated to pay care home fees in the UK
  • Although it is a common misconception that there is a 7-year rule surrounding the transferring of assets, unfortunately, this isn’t true. Ensure you and your loved one remain conscientious when transferring or handling assets


    Once you’ve made the decision that a care home or nursing home is the best option for your loved one, your next task will be figuring out the various costs surrounding care. But one thing a lot of relatives want to know from a financial standpoint is: “Are next of kin responsible for care home fees?”

    Understanding the Basics of Care Home Fees

    Care home fees are calculated through a means-tested financial assessment which determines both the extent of financial contributions an individual can make towards care costs and their eligibility for local authority funding. Factors considered in the assessment include:

    • Income
    • Savings and assets
    • Capital limits

    Living in a residential care home will cost around £760 per week on average, whereas the average weekly cost for a nursing home in the UK is £960 – but care homes can cost over £1,500 per week depending on where you live or the level of care needed.

    But who pays for care homes? There are three main ways in which care home fees can be paid:

    • Self-funding: The care seeker or their family or friends choosing to pay for all of their care home fees
    • Local council funding: The local council will pay for some or all of the care
    • NHS funding: The NHS will pay for part or all of your care

    Do next of kin have to pay for a care home?
    Next of kin are not legally obligated to pay care home fees.
    Are family liable for care home fees?
    Only if they sign a contract saying they will pay care home fees.
    Who is responsible for care home top up fees?
    A relative, friend or charity.