Help Please - Property Trust

Hello, I'm trying to find out some information if you can help me please. Is there any way of removing your house from trust and transferring ownership back to yourself after your husband has passed away?

Background: My grandparents signed their house over to Philips Trust after being recommended to by their building society, in order to avoid care home fees. They were not told that this meant they no longer owned their home. 

My grandad has since passed away so their solicitor says there's nothing that can be done to free his half from the Trust. Is this correct? My grandmother is sick to her stomach that she doesn't own her home and cannot pass it down to her son. The solicitor says her half can be put into her appointed trustees control, but what does this mean when she dies - the house must be sold and money split between her son (beneficiary) and the trust company? 

What she really wants to happen is have her son own the property outright and rent it to her grandchild to keep it in the family. She doesn't want it sold. 

Thank you for any advice you can give to me.

Ps. The trust has changed hands several times and recently gone into administration, the solicitor says there is no one to sue as the original provider is no longer.

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  • MarconMarcon Forumite
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    RedRum88 said:
    Hello, I'm trying to find out some information if you can help me please. Is there any way of removing your house from trust and transferring ownership back to yourself after your husband has passed away?

    Background: My grandparents signed their house over to Philips Trust after being recommended to by their building society, in order to avoid care home fees. They were not told that this meant they no longer owned their home. 

    My grandad has since passed away so their solicitor says there's nothing that can be done to free his half from the Trust. Is this correct? My grandmother is sick to her stomach that she doesn't own her home and cannot pass it down to her son. The solicitor says her half can be put into her appointed trustees control, but what does this mean when she dies - the house must be sold and money split between her son (beneficiary) and the trust company? 

    What she really wants to happen is have her son own the property outright and rent it to her grandchild to keep it in the family. She doesn't want it sold. 

    Thank you for any advice you can give to me.

    Ps. The trust has changed hands several times and recently gone into administration, the solicitor says there is no one to sue as the original provider is no longer.
    Your poor grandmother; no wonder she's upset.

    If a solicitor who has seen all the relevant documentation has said this, nobody here is in any position to comment on whether or not it is correct. It depends entirely on the terms of the trust. 

    Putting the house in trust to avoid care home fees almost certainly wouldn't work. See https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/money/personal-finance/care/paul-lewis-paying-for-care especially:

    Some firms make a lot of money selling schemes to protect the value of a home from the means test, and claim that tens of thousands of people are forced to sell their homes to pay for care. This is not true, though of course some do. The schemes are usually sold at meetings in hotels and other venues to crowds of anxious people in their sixties and seventies.

    These schemes cost thousands, even though they probably will not work. They are based on putting your home into a trust – a legal device so the property is owned not by you but by the trust. The theory is that, as you no longer own your home, it will escape being counted as an asset when the means test is applied.

    However, this wheeze is defeated by a rule called ‘deliberate deprivation of assets’. If you take any steps to get rid of what you own, and part of your motivation is to increase your entitlement to help from public funds, then the asset can still be counted as yours. In other words, even if your home is owned by a trust, the local council could count it as if it is yours and refuse to pay your care-home fees. Buying a scheme of this sort is money down the drain – or rather commission into the pocket of the person who sold it to you. The firms selling these schemes are unregulated and there is no one to go to should you wish to make a complaint.


    If you do not have confidence in the legal advice you have already received, then getting a second opinion from another solicitor is the next step, but I fear the answer will be the same.



  • Keep_pedallingKeep_pedalling Forumite
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    The people who sell these care cost avoidance schemes are a bunch of sharks who fail to tell you that gifting you home away is deliberate deprivation of assets so the reason for the trust is likely to fail, and the only people to benefit from these trusts are the salesmen who charge large fees to set them up.

    I am surprised a BS gave this advice and I would be looking to make an official complaint for giving such bad advice. 

    The trust cannot be undone, but assuming Phillips Trust are the trustees some control can be obtained in getting the family members made trustees. This will need to be done anyway as it appears this band of sharks has recently gone bust.

    https://www.philipstrust.co.uk/

    There could also be a significant IHT hit on their estates especially if the trust was set up before 8 July 2015, as that would mean neither estate could claim the residential NRB. As they have continued to live in the property since putting it in trust it counts as a gift with reservation so it still forms part of their estate for IHT purposes. If for example it is worth £800k and was put into trust in 2014 then GFs share would exceed his NRB and IHT would be due.

    The same issue will occur on her death and on top of that the trust will be facing a capital gains tax issue when the property is sold or the trust wound up.
  • SevenOfNineSevenOfNine Forumite
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    Do you have any of the trust paperwork? I've been sucked into someone setting up a will & one of these schemes. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, as the saying goes.

    It's a bit of a tale, a will writer (I believe, a business professional  but no sign of legal qualifications.  I imagine he's done an on-line course & has a certificate on the wall!!!). He suggested this scheme & it was handled by him under the umbrella of one of these companies.

    They were to be one of the trustees, at least my "under no circumstances have them named in this" was heeded. I have a copy of the trust paperwork. Though value has been placed in the trust, the trustees must act for the benefit of the beneficiaries (they've been named). It's not impossible to remove trustees, or to replace them, but the existing ones must agree.

    As Philips Trust no longer exist & has gone into administration, then it won't be impossible to replace them as trustees, there is no-one to administer the trust, it doesn't mean the 1/2 house is lost.  I think you need specialist help to unravel it, hopefully you can lay your hands on the trust paperwork.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
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