Ways to pre­vent home be­ing taken to fund care fees

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

can only as­sess the sur­vivor as own­ing half of the prop­erty. Half is there­fore safe and can­not be touched.

The lo­cal author­ity can have dif­fi­culty in as­sess­ing half of a house as be­ing val­ued at half the full mar­ket value as in re­al­ity no­body would want to buy half of the house. Some­times, then, all the house is safe but you can be sure that half is pro­tected.

A life in­ter­est trust will only as­sist with the care home fees sit­u­a­tion if one party of the cou­ple dies and the other, the sur­vivor, re­quires full-time care. If both par­ties of the cou­ple re­quire full-time care then they may have to sell the prop­erty. If one party re­quires care and the other is over 60 and re­mains at home, the value of prop­erty will not be taken into ac­count.

Trusts and gifts: There are other ways in which you can plan for fu­ture care home fees with­out the lo­cal author­ity be­ing able to chal­lenge your ac­tion. Life­time gifts and fam­ily trust ar­range­ments are avail­able but it is im­por­tant to take le­gal ad­vice to en­sure you are do­ing the right thing. Of­ten such gifts do not work un­less some­one cares for you or pays to­wards work on the prop­erty.

When gift­ing a prop­erty to your chil­dren, a trust doc­u­ment will also be needed in or­der to pro­vide ad­e­quate pro­tec­tion. Such a gift can cause prob­lems if that child later di­vorces or be­comes bank­rupt, as the prop­erty could be classed as be­ing your child’s as­set and could form part of the mat­ri­mo­nial prop­erty in a divorce or the pot to be as­sessed by the Trustee in Bank­ruptcy.

In ad­di­tion, a child who owns more than one prop­erty could face a cap­i­tal gains tax charge when the prop­erty is sold in the fu­ture.

You would also need to con­sider the el­e­ment of con­trol over your own as­sets you would be giv­ing up if such gifts were to be made.

A lo­cal author­ity is un­able to take the value of your prop­erty into ac­count when as­sess­ing your as­sets if any of the fol­low­ing peo­ple live in the prop­erty with you:

A close rel­a­tive over 60 A child or grand­child un­der 16 A close rel­a­tive who is dis­abled

Over­all, plan­ning is pos­si­ble and a so­lic­i­tor can ad­vise you on the best and most suit­able op­tion for your set of cir­cum­stances to pro­tect your home with­out the lo­cal author­ity be­ing able to re­verse your ac­tions in the fu­ture.

In ad­di­tion, you may wish to con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity of re­view­ing your will and/or hav­ing a Last­ing Power of At­tor­ney drawn up in case of fu­ture in­ca­pac­ity and there­fore in­abil­ity to han­dle your own af­fairs.”

Elaine Lightfoot is a so­lic­i­tor at Ford and War­ren So­lic­i­tors, Leeds.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.