If you are going to live in a care home and intentionally deprive yourself of a capital asset so that you pay less of your care home fees, the council may assess that asset as still being yours. This is known as notional capital.
If you are assessed as having capital you don't actually possess, you will be charged accordingly. The outcome of this may be that the council decides not to fund your care home fees.
The council can't refuse to provide someone with the care they need because they have notional capital. They have a statutory duty to meet the care needs that the person is assessed as requiring.
However they will assess the charge payable using your notional income and will try to recover the charge from you or seek to transfer the liability for the charges.
Read more about notional capital in Regulation 25 of the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992.
The payment of care home fees is a complex subject and depends on many things which are unique to you.
If you want detailed information or personal advice, ask an experienced independent adviser like:
Citizens Advice Scotland - phone 0808 800 9060, 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, or 10am to 2pm on a Saturday
Age Scotland - its fact sheets have information on paying for care homes, or phone their helpline on 0800 12 44 222
The information was last updated on: 24th May 2017