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Carers UK Forum • Selling a house owned by carer and caree
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Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:48 pm
by Anne001
Hi,

I only post this in case it is relevant to anyone else's problems (or maybe it is just me). I have now had legal advice so in case it saves anyone else money ....

Mum lived alone in her own home which is jointly owned by her and me and has now moved into a nursing home. I did not live in that house as I have my own property. I was under the impression, and Social Services do too, that the house should be sold to fund her care. Two issues arise here:

1) As house is jointly owned, Social Services claim that they are entitled to 50% share of the proceeds. This is wrong according to CRAG, their very own assessment guidelines. If the other owner (ie me) does not wish to sell, Social Services must assess the half share of house, NOT the full price divided by two. As it is unlikely that anyone would wish to buy half a house, they SHOULD assess the share as zero. This argument is still ongoing but I am assured by a solicitor that I am correct in my arguments.

2) If the house is to be sold, I am unable to do so myself as I hold Power of Attorney. This means that legally there is a potential conflict between my duties in upholding mum's interests and my own financial interests :shock: A trustee therefore has to be appointed to uphold mum's interests. This does NOT have to be a family member. It is, I am told, still to be tested, a very straightforward process whereby the solicitor doing the conveyancing can also act as trustee. There is of course a cost for doing this but it avoids involving other family members which, in my own case, is a blessing.

Hope this helps someone as it is a very complex matter. Please ask if the above is as clear as mud.

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:51 pm
by jenny lucas
I thought it was very clear - and useful - thank you!

Re PoA and selling. What your mother might be able to do is GIVE you her share of the house, if she wants to, and maybe, too, if she has legal capacity???

However, that latter might not be necessary. A friend of mine has PoA for her mother, and the mother now lives with my friend, and has 'some degree of dementia' (hasn't been 'tested' re legal capacity). But the mother has given her old house to her grand-child (to avoid double death duties!). (Not sure if the mother could have given it to her daughter holding PoA however!)

I would assume that should the mother ever need residential care, that the value of the house she gave to her grand-child would be 'non-disregarded' (!), but my friend is hoping that won't be necessary. (Though of course it might be).

The house is now let out, and the rental income is going to the new owner, the grandchild.

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:29 pm
by bowlingbun
That sounds like it's good news, so important to take legal advice to ensure that nothing comes back to bite you later. I wonder how many other people have been hoodwinked into giving SSD 50% though?! Not sure how long it would take to get a trustee appointed? Realistically though, it will take a while to clear the house. I've done two in two years, selling the furniture is easy, dealing with the paperwork and odds and ends takes ages. If you are going down this route, don't forget Freecycle. Brilliant for getting rid of things of little value, but too good to take to the dump. I also gave lots of stuff to the Salvation Army, dad's favourite charity. During the war he said that the SA would always have people serving the troops travelling by train, on the stations. He never forgot their kindness to him.

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:42 pm
by crocus
You have to be careful with giving stuff like houses away as it could be construed as deprivation of assets. I think you are allowed to give away a maximum of 3 thousand pounds a year without problems.

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:21 am
by jenny lucas
Crocus, yes, that's why I said that clumsy word 'non-disregarded' as in, SS would, I assume, 'want the house back' and the value to be used to pay for care until down to the c. £20k limit.

And yes, the giver has to survive another seven years for the gift of the house to be free of IHT completely (I believe there is a kind of tapering system, so that if the giver dies at 6 years post gift, the IHT is not the 'full amount' due - a ruinous 40% thank you very much!)(and George Osborne does thank us very much !!!!) (IHT currently kicks in at about £325k I believe). But by giving direct to a grandchild you can skip out at least one generation's vulnerability to IHT.

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:18 pm
by Anne001
Similarly, Jenny, if the house is given to the grandchild more than 7 years before the financial assessment, it MAY be disregarded. However, local authorities are able to go back beyond that 7 years in certain cases.

Bowlingbun - the personal effects are distributed and in some cases have ended up in my house, still in boxes, looking like Steptoe's Yards. As and when the house is sold, the local hospice for a small sum will clear the rest and sell what they can. They do the packing and even hoover up after themselves so that is well worth it, plus the hospice benefits.

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:25 pm
by bowlingbun
My conservatory has the same look! I keep thinking that I've more or less dealt with everything, but there are so many things that I just put with mine for the time being. So I have mum's cake tins and mine. We have both always enjoyed a good baking session. Some of mum's tins were nicer than mine, so I just put the nicest ones in a large plastic box in a shed, to be dealt with later. They have now resurfaced! I'm seriously impressed with your hospice's idea. Ours has a furniture shop, but it is extremely "picky".

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:52 pm
by jenny lucas
I agree, the hospice 'house clearance service' is a brilliant idea -I'm going to suggest it to a friend of mine who raises money for her local hospice.

Re giving away furniture to charity, as well as being picky (!) about what will sell (large brown wardrobes are a no no, sigh!), they have to be careful about sophas etc because they have to be flame retardant etc (with the label intact!). Also, they don't take mattresses for hygiene reasons. Possibly they don't take old fridges in case there are freons or whatever in the old cooling tubes??

I agree Freecycle is brilliant - my 'penniless' neice has furnished a house for free on Freecyle, and I have a brilliant second hand fridge and freezer. Such a good idea all round.

Anne - interesting re the seven year rule on disregarding (I suspect SS will fight hard on that one!)

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:14 am
by Anne001
In case this helps any other charity who wants to set up a similar scheme:

http://www.sfh.org.uk/how-you-can-help/ ... clearance/

Re: Selling a house owned by carer and caree

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:19 pm
by Tim_1412
I am in this position with my Mum although I live in the property and this is very useful to know although when settling my dad's will the solicitor said they could not force a sale if mum has to go to a Home as I live there.