This is a very interesting decision from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman on the question of whether gifts to family by someone in care constitute a deliberate deprivation of capital.
The deprivation of capital must be deliberate and so must be carried out with the intention of putting assets beyond the reach of the local authority. This point often gets overlooked and it is generally thought that giving away assets whilst in care, or when there is a reasonable expectation of going into care, will constitute a deliberate deprivation of capital, no matter what the surrounding circumstances.
However, in this case the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's decision turned on the fact that the local authority had failed to prove that gifts were made with the intention of avoiding care charges.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised a local authority that refused to pay for an elderly woman's residential care fees, after it learned that she had made regular cash gifts to her family after being admitted to the care home.