Quandry over care/maintenance!

wymondham
wymondham Posts: 6,354
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edited 30 May 2019 at 8:29AM in Over 50s MoneySaving
Hi all

I hope you can help me with a decision!

My mother has gone into care as she has Alzheimer's, leaving her home with her partner living in it. She is self funding in the home as she saved all her life.

My quandary is that her house is in a bit of state and could do with a new bathroom/kitchen as its not been done since being built in the 80's and its falling apart.

I have Deputyship for her affairs and I'm tempted to divert some of her money to maintain her house. My concern is this reduces her capital for care...….. catch 22!

I'd be interested in views on this....
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  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,025
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    Personally I'd leave it alone, given her condition she is unlikely to be able to go home again, and as you infer she would be better spending the money on her care than a shiny kitchen she will never see or use


    And it may be seen by LA as deprivation of assets so I'd check that out as well
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  • agrinnall
    agrinnall Posts: 23,344
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    Does her partner have an interest in the house? And do they have any money themselves to pay for maintenance?
  • wymondham
    wymondham Posts: 6,354
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    agrinnall wrote: »
    Does her partner have an interest in the house? And do they have any money themselves to pay for maintenance?

    No the house is my Mums. Her partner pays bills only...
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,312
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    Essential maintenance and repairs would be fine.
    I think you'd be stretching it to pay for a new kitchen and bathroom when she's not going to benefit from it, unless you were doing it up to rent out.
    How old is the partner and what are their plans moving forwards - they must know they're not going to be able to stay indefinitely. Was your mum able to express any thoughts about the partner staying on while she still had capacity? I'm wondering if you're going to find yourselves as his landlord, inadvertently or otherwise?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

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  • wymondham
    wymondham Posts: 6,354
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    elsien wrote: »
    Essential maintenance and repairs would be fine.
    I think you'd be stretching it to pay for a new kitchen and bathroom when she's not going to benefit from it, unless you were doing it up to rent out.
    How old is the partner and what are their plans moving forwards - they must know they're not going to be able to stay indefinitely. Was your mum able to express any thoughts about the partner staying on while she still had capacity? I'm wondering if you're going to find yourselves as his landlord, inadvertently or otherwise?

    thanks for the reply. Partner is 75, mum didn't really make any plans which is difficult... Partner has no plans to move and we are happy he stays to look after the house. As I'm aware as he's also elderly the house cant be sold...
  • agrinnall
    agrinnall Posts: 23,344
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    wymondham wrote: »
    As I'm aware as he's also elderly the house cant be sold...


    I'm not sure that's legally correct, but morally, yes. The thing is, if he stays then as Deputy I think you become his LL, so it may be that you will need to do some maintenance to keep the property at a suitable standard, and also to make sure it doesn't deteriorate too much before you are able to sell.



    I'd suggest that you might want to post this on the Housing board to get views there on what you should and shouldn't do.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,544
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    agrinnall wrote: »
    I'm not sure that's legally correct

    It is - the value of the house won't be taken into account in the financial assessment while a spouse/partner still lives there.
  • crv1963
    crv1963 Posts: 1,372
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    Does her partner do any of the jobs needed to keep the house in a reasonable state?

    Kitchens and bathrooms as long as they function can be as dated or old fashioned as the person living with them likes. The important thing that needs doing is getting things like gas appliances and boilers checked annually.

    I wouldn't divert capital for items that are not a must have and that she will not benefit from.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,854
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    I think there is a case that doing essential maintenance on the house is in your mother's best interests. Such maintenance will preserve the value of her home which could be important if she lives a long time and her savings are exhausted.

    However, where kitchens and bathrooms are concerned essential maintenance would not require replacement unless the items really were falling apart. I would suggest you take photos as evidence of why the kitchen and bathroom cannot be repaired. My experience is that most kitchen units can be repaired many times before they reach a stage where replacement is necessary.

    In the bathroom, the bath, toilet or sink would need to have holes in them before their replacement was necessary.

    If her partner was able to contribute to the replacement in order to get a better design or quality item then I would ask for them to contribute and keep records of what they paid for vs. what your mother paid for. If the partner has no financial interest in the house, they probably won't want to contribute to any essential work.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Sea_Shell
    Sea_Shell Posts: 9,218
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    I'd have thought they'd be at least some leeway over doing more than the bare minimum by way of repairs, as if the property did need to be sold to pay for longer term care, then you'd get a much better price than one that's on its last legs.

    I'd also take into consideration what funds she has v. any maintenance/repair budget.

    Spending £1000 to gain £5000 could, depending on circumstances, actually be in their best interest. Surely that's still acting as any prudent person would do?
    How's it going, AKA, Nutwatch? - 12 month spends to date = 2.47% of current retirement "pot" (as at end February 2024)
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