Independent TD Denis Naughten has urged families to immediately appoint a farm successor so that they can avail of the three-year cap on farm or business assets which came into force last week under the Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme.
Changes in the law introducing a three-year cap on nursing home charges against a farm or business asset, are now in force but Deputy Naughten cautioned families that they cannot avail of this relief until they have appointed a successor who will farm the land for the next six years and provide evidence of this to the HSE. Application forms are now available at the HSE website.
To avail of the three-year cap the person in the nursing home must formally designate their family successor who will run the farm for the next six years and they must also confirm that either they or their partner/spouse spent a substantial part of their working time on the farm or in the business before they went into long-term care.
The family successor must commit to working the farm or business for a period of six years beginning on the date of his or her appointment by the person in the nursing home.
“In most instances this should be straightforward, but the cap cannot kick in until the application and supporting documentation including sworn affidavits are submitted to the Nursing Home Support Scheme offices,” he said.
“This means that every week a family delays submitting their application a further charge of 0.14 per cent will be placed against the capital value of the family farm or business asset, so it is important that families act quickly”.
The Independent TD warned: “Where the land has already been signed over but is still being charged under nursing home support scheme, the new owner of the farm or business asset is obliged to consent to a charging order being registered against the asset.
“In such cases there may be a need to secure an additional consent from a lender which may result in additional nursing home charges being applied against the farm or business until all the paperwork is lodged,” Deputy Naughten concluded.