In October 2004, in Germany a pre-operating study was started in order to prove the feasibility and consequences of the use of personal budgets by persons who are in need of nursing care. About 1000 care dependent persons living in seven regions are included in this triannual study. For three years they receive a budget amounting to 100 percent of their right of benefit in kind according to the German compulsory long-term care insurance. This budget has to be used exclusively for care-related services and must not be spent for assistance delivered by family members or neighbours. From socio-economic perspectives, the personal budget will result in a promotion of individuals instead of certain services or service institutions. An analysis shows, that the consequences might be an increased efficiency and effectiveness as well as structural changes within the supply of nursing care services. But to achieve these advantages, certain conditions must be provided. At first, the amount of the budget has to correspond to the individual need of care, which can change over time. Secondly, a misapplication of the personal fund has to be prevented without to exclude the potential of local or family dedication. And finally, new ways of quality assurance are requested due to the scope for development, which arises through deregulation.