Unpaid care home fees present a significant problem to care home owners across the country. A recent case dealt with a situation where fees were unpaid after the death of a man who had been receiving residential care.
The owner of the care home claimed against the deceased resident's estate for the unpaid fees. At the time of the man's death, the question of whether or not there was funding support due from the local council had not yet been decided. However, the care home did not make a claim against the council and sought the whole amount from the deceased's estate.
The administrators of the estate refused to pay the full sum as the question of who was liable for the funding had not been resolved. The care home owner sought a court judgment for the debt.
The argument went all the way to the Court of Appeal, which ruled that there was no automatic right to claim the outstanding fees from the resident's family when there was an arguable case that the council should bear a share of the liability.