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advice re buying a home for cared and carers - Carers UK Forum

advice re buying a home for cared and carers

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hello everyone.
I find myself in a bit of a dilemma and would like to ask if anyone has faced a similar situation.

My partner and myself care for my elderly Father who is disabled and suffers with dementia.
He has sold his house and has lived with us in our rented accommodation for the past 2x years.

We have the opportunity to purchase the adjacent property which will give us all a more secure tenure and much need extra space. Plus the purchase would be a good investment to safeguard my Fathers money (the proceeds of his house sale) as at the moment it is all in one account earning next to nothing and could all be lost if the Nationwide went under.

My question is this . If my Father buys the property then presumably eventually when he has to go into full time nursing care the Social Services will be able put some sort of hold on his property and access his money to pay for his care and he will lose his money and I will lose my inheritance.

His suggestion is that he gifts me the money to purchase the house for us all to live in rather than purchasing it in his own name.

I have a LPA arranged and registered 2x years ago but have not issued it yet as my Father is still able to discuss his finacial affairs although I manage them on his behalf .

Sorry for the difficult question but everywhere I have asked so far people have assumed that we are trying to take his money or do something immoral or illegal and that certainly isn't our intention. We just want to have a secure home for all of us and safeguard his money
I would second Audrey's advice and suggest that you speak to a solicitor.

Certainly as things currently stand with your Father's monies he would be expected to pay the full costs of going into residential care - currently you are allowed to have £23,500 in savings for the state to take up the cost.

With property, as a general rule of thumb, if anyone still living in the house is over 60 the state cannot force the sale of the property to pay for the care - but can put a lien on it for payment after the demise of the remaining (over 60) resident.

If I remember correctly the main rule re 'gifting' is that the person making the gift must live a further 7 years after the gift is made to avoid tax being levied on the person receiving the gift.

As a footnote I would add that you should get your Father's LPA registered as soon as possible - it doesn't mean that you have to take over his finances immediately it is registered but it can take awhile to sort due to backlogs and with his dementia you never know when it may become a necessity.
My parents gifted half of their home to us the 6 children a few years back to save on death duties, and then (probably because everyone was doing it) the inheritance rules changed and property prices dropped, ha ha! Anyway, solicitor is a good idea, but dont imagine for one moment that they can imagine all the possible scenarios, the fact is that it is all a bit of a lottery. There is much to be said for spending your money on wine, women, and song for the times you are young enough to enjoy it. And keeping a bullet in the chamber for when you dont.
A solicitor is certainly your best bet. Otherwise you could end up with the council taking the full charge anyway - no matter whose the name the house is in. If they believe there has been a deliberate attempt to deprive them of legally applied charge revenue, they can apply the charge anyway and send the bill to you.

It's happened a few times that I'm aware of.

Much better to get some good legal advice.
thanks everyone for your advice.
Audrey ..he is already receiving attendance allowance but we get nothing else save rent and rates allowance .
Suzieq thank you for your useful advice. I wasn't aware of the aged 60 rule of carers and as I turned 60 this year it is very relevant to our situation.
Re the LPA we have registered both two years ago but they have not been inplemented yet. Whilst he is able to make his own decisions about his financial and personal welfare I want to allow him to do so. The other factor is whilst he is still determining his own affairs I cannot be held legally responsible.
I shall consult CAB but my lifelong experiences with Solicitors is that whilst the majority can spout you chapter and verse from the legal point of view I've yet to meet one that has the basic commonsense to advise you your best course of action .Their prime objective to to maximise the amount of money they can fleece from you it seems to me
this is not about avoiding legal and moral responsibilities or avoiding any tax or potential Social Services fees this is about safeguarding my Father's savings in an ever deepening recession and about making our home and lives more secure .
There is a very real chance of us losing our rented accommodation soon as our Landlord is now 85 and very ill. Rather than be thrown out on the street with a severely disabled 89 year old Dementia sufferer and trying to find alternative rented accommodation without any notice we have all decided it would be more sensible for my Father to buy a property . His money would then be safer than in a bank account and we would all have some security .

Seems a no-brainer to me Image but I think most people we have discussed it with seem to automatically think we are trying to do something illegal or steal my Father's money or avoid tax or something. Image Why is it that everyone seems to think the worse of everybody these days ? perhaps it is because we are constantly bombardedevery day with tv and tabloid news of some scam fraud or theft
Please don't misunderstand, Peanut. I certainly didn't mean to imply anything. Councils are leaping to the conclusion that people are trying to avoid paying: getting good legal advice can prevent that, because if a council leaps to that conclusion, they can impose the charges.

But it's also about protecting your home. Because if the council thought it could get away with it...
Is there any reason why the property couldn`t be purchased in joint names? It shouldn`t matter who put up which amount of money, as you could have won the lottery and financed it that way?

Just another suggestion for the melting pot the solicitor would need to consider.

Take care
Meg
I'm afraid all the doom and gloom responses we have received from everyone has completely put us off of the venture so it looks like we will be staying renting for the time being.
Slightly different scenario, but one which happened here recently.

Mother had worked many years and had a tied house which she had to vacate when she left her job. She had saved/invested enough to buy a retirement bungalow but it was bought in her daughter`s name. Mother also paid for the landscaping to be done, decorating, carpets and curtains but all the new furniture was bought in the daughter`s name. Mother has a lifetime tenancy agreement and pays the daughter an annual peppercorn rent.

I wouldn`t let negative comments put you off, but just check out the legal angle from a solicitor who does legal aid (first half hour free) and is up to date with property/inheritance law.

The above scenario may not work as we are in Scotland and some things are different.

There is also the fact that if you live with someone as their carer and they have to go into residential care you can not be made to sell the house to pay for care if that is your only residence.

Take care
Meg