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Buying Mum's house

Back in the 90's my parents made their Wills, and also to have half the house put in a trust should they have to go into a home. Over the years I have found that it seems like the trust side of it isn't worth the paper it's written on (deprivation of assets).
Am I able to buy the trusts share of the house. Dad passed away in 2016, and would like to do this while Mum is of a sound mind, and I am living under the same roof, as mum is needing care.
It is my intention to buy the house when my mum has gone if I can afford to do so. 
I can afford more than 50% now without a mortgage.

Comments

  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,141
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    edited 8 February at 6:52AM
    Crag30 said:

    Over the years I have found that it seems like the trust side of it isn't worth the paper it's written on (deprivation of assets).

    Has anyone advised you that is likely to be the case in your specific circumstances?

    For example, did your parents know they might need care when the trust was created, and was the trust created specifically to avoid paying for care?


    As Age UK says:

    What counts as deprivation of assets?

    Deprivation of assets applies when you intentionally reduce your assets, such as money, property or income, so these won’t be included when the council calculates how much you need to pay towards the care you receive.

    When your council is deciding whether getting rid of property and money has been a deliberate deprivation of assets, they will consider two things:
    • You must have known at the time you got rid of your property or money that you needed or may need care and support
    • Avoiding paying for care must have been a significant reason for giving away your home or reducing your savings.

    Link: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/paying-for-care/paying-for-a-care-home/deprivation-of-assets/
  • Crag30
    Crag30 Posts: 266
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    No, my Dad didn't get diagnosed with Alzheimers till 2012, and my mums main problem is severe arthritis in her knees.
    Both told me way back then that they didn't want putting in a home either. Mum had a fall last year and the hospital suggested she go into a home for 5 weeks for recovery, and the pain on her face said it all. I let her bring up the subject later, and she does not want to go into a home, ever.
    It's not the deprevation of assets that is my main concern. I'm going to need a home when she does pass away, and I'd be happier to stay where I am if I can afford to do so.
    I am the only executor to the will, and the only named attorney for both POA's. She is leaving me the house for up to 2 years to give me chance to sort everything out and find somewhere to live, on the grounds that my 2 siblings won't help, and will more than likely make life difficult for me.
    My 2 siblings have buried their heads in the sand, both with my late Dad's alzheimers and Mum's problems at the moment. 
    I do not intend to block their share of the will, though yes, I feel it unfair that I've been left to do all the work, but we're all getting an equal cut, but it's what mum wants.
    I' believe I'm doing all I can to make my money work for me (Pension, Isa's, Fixed and Regular savers, and thought buying the trusts share of the house would help, and also make things less complicated for me later on 
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,206
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    Did half the house pass into trust on your father’s death giving your mother a life interest in that share? This would be the normal way of doing things and it does not involve deprivation of assets, so if that is the case I don’t think your understanding of how the trust works is correct. 

    Presumably on your mother’s death the trust ends and you and your siblings inherit 1/6th of the house from the trust and 1/6th from your mother’s will so in order to buy the house you will need to raise 2/3 of its value to buy your siblings out. If you can’t do that then the house would need to be sold.

    As it seems you are going to be your mother’s carer for the foreseeable future then one option is for her to leave a larger share in her will that would put you in a position to be able to buy them out or for the sale to leave you enough to by a smaller place of your own. 

    Are you near or over 60? If your mother ever needed residential care the house would be disregarded in any financial assessment if it was also your home and you were over that age. 

  • Crag30
    Crag30 Posts: 266
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    Thank you for the reply. Depriving my siblings of what they are entitled to isn't part of the plan, and would expect to pay them both a 1/3 of the value of the house. Although some distant family and friends of the family would encourage me to push for a larger entitlement, for what I have had to do for Dad, and now my Mum, compared to the 'nothing' the other 2 have done.

    As mentioned in an earlier post, in Mum's will the house is for me stay for up to 2 years to sort things out, and find a home, but thought having a stake in the house would make me feel more secure up till those 2 years were up as I don't think I'm in for an easy ride during this period, and maybe the value of the house may increase faster than banks interest rates on my savings accounts, and the value of my S&S ISA, although also not guaranteed.

    Reading between the lines of your post it sounds to me like buying half the house is not possible or not viable.
    I'm on the understanding that if she has to go into care she won't pay any more than £80,000 (subject to changes by Government), which she has in savings and investments.

    Yes, I'm not too clued up on how the trust works, but think you've just given me a better understanding, if not a fully understanding. And even without the trust in place, I'm not thinking that  buying a half share in the house is going to be as easy as just handing mum the money.

    I've a couple of years till I hit 60.

  • Bigphil1474
    Bigphil1474 Posts: 2,289
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    OP, you can buy half the house, but you need to see a professional about the trust and any legalities there. I would also advise at least letting your siblings know the plan otherwise they will be in for a shock when your mum does pass away - they would be expecting 1/3 of the property but would only end up with half that if you owned the other half of the house. Obviously, it's up to your mum what she does with the money you pay for the half of the house, and hopefully she'll enjoy herself with it, but you don't want to create more problems for yourself later on.
  • doodling
    doodling Posts: 937
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    Hi,

    You need to understand what kind of trust owns the house.  The trust will have some form of legal document describing the nature of the trust, either a separate trust deed or a will, if it was created by a will.  That should say who the trustees are, what the terms of the trust are (i.e. who benefits from it and when it might end) and roughly what the assets are.

    Finding, reading and understanding that document will answer your question.

    If it is a normal trust created by your father's will, giving your mother the right to live in the house, then your mother  (assuming she is of sound mind) can probably end that trust and sell her half of the house to you - your fathers half (or its value) would need to be shared between the beneficiaries of your father's will at that point (so you will need to find 5/6ths of the value of the house, 1/2 to buy your mum's share and 1/6 each for your two siblings, assuming that inheritance tax isn't payable on your father's share).  This is something that would be very difficult for you to arrange with a PoA for your mum so it would need to be done by your mum while she is still of sound mind.

    It is possible that the trust may be something different which could make things much more complicated.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,206
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    It is highly unlikely that you could buy the half owned by the trust but you could purchase your mother’s share of the home. 

    I have to say that if you were one of my sibling I would not begrudge you a larger share, caring for elderly parents is hard work, emotionally draining and unpaid, you deserve it. 
  • Crag30
    Crag30 Posts: 266
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    edited 9 February at 12:00PM
    Thank You all. I've a base to work on and know a lot more now than I did. 
    I believe you are right regarding the Trust Doodling, The Will isn't complicated, and the only oddity is, is that I have the house for up to 2 years to sort everything out, as it was clear that it was me and only me that would sort things. Mum added that bit to the will back in 2016 after my dad died. S
    So thank you all for your replies
  • Crag30
    Crag30 Posts: 266
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    OP, you can buy half the house, but you need to see a professional about the trust and any legalities there. I would also advise at least letting your siblings know the plan otherwise they will be in for a shock when your mum does pass away - they would be expecting 1/3 of the property but would only end up with half that if you owned the other half of the house. Obviously, it's up to your mum what she does with the money you pay for the half of the house, and hopefully she'll enjoy herself with it, but you don't want to create more problems for yourself later on.
    They wouldn't be losing out as mum would have the money I have spent on the 50% of the house, which would also be split equally between us by the Will. 
    I'm not trying to deprive them of mums wishes, but they will want their money asap when mum's time is up. With me being given up to 2 years in the house, I will be a target for bullying, and nothing to stop them going in when I'm not there taking whatever they want, including my own stuff. Mum's possessions should also be split equally in my mind. And the only reason I haven' told them my plans, is because they'll expect it, even though my goal may not be achievable. 
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