Gifting and DDOA etc

I understand that if a parent gives their gown-up child a large amount of money this could cause problems if the parent then needs to go into a care home in the near future.  

What happens if a seemingly innocuous item is discovered in the parent's house, which arguably belonged to the child originally so the child takes it home after a "de-cluttering" visit, and which subsequently turns out to be worth quite a bit of money?  Would this money be traced back to the parent and count as DDOA?

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  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,545 Forumite
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    Highly unlikely, what is this object?
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,636 Forumite
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    edited 7 March at 9:07AM
    Is the parent by any chance going out to buy said “innocuous item” in order to pretend that the child receives it during a decluttering visit?

    We’re not living under big brother quite just yet so no, that is very unlikely to get picked up on. Unless it’s within the timescale of the bank statements that are included as part of the financial assessment.

    I’m just going to say what I always say. People will generally find ways to fiddle the system but money gives choices. Never underestimate the importance of that. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,136 Forumite
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    edited 7 March at 12:39PM
    elsien said:
    Is the parent by any chance going out to buy said “innocuous item” in order to pretend that the child receives it during a decluttering visit?

    We’re not living under big brother quite just yet so no, that is very unlikely to get picked up on. Unless it’s within the timescale of the bank statements that are included as part of the financial assessment.

    I’m just going to say what I always say. People will generally find ways to fiddle the system but money gives choices. Never underestimate the importance of that. 
    @elsien - Curiosity question. What sort of timescale are we typically looking at?  Not asking because I have anything personally to hide but am just wondering. Does this vary depending on circs and there's no set rule? 
  • MacPingu1986
    MacPingu1986 Posts: 168 Forumite
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    edited 7 March at 1:15PM
    It all depends on the situation - DDOA is a factual legal test - was there a deliberate deprivation of assets to avoid care fees?

    The OP darts around the question with some vague language around "accidentally" finding out whether something is valuable or suggesting that something "arguably" (why?) belonged to the child anyway.

    On any assessment I would consider it highly likely that the parents buying an expensive item, gifting it to the child to on-sell, then retrospectively claiming the value was unknown and/or it always belonged to the child would be viewed as a deliberate deprivation of assets & will have created additional losses along the way in the buying & selling of said expensive item.

    As a wider point - it's probably not best to plan your financial future on random house clutter turning out to be priceless antiques.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,636 Forumite
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    edited 7 March at 6:38PM
    Spendless said:
    elsien said:
    Is the parent by any chance going out to buy said “innocuous item” in order to pretend that the child receives it during a decluttering visit?

    We’re not living under big brother quite just yet so no, that is very unlikely to get picked up on. Unless it’s within the timescale of the bank statements that are included as part of the financial assessment.

    I’m just going to say what I always say. People will generally find ways to fiddle the system but money gives choices. Never underestimate the importance of that. 
    @elsien - Curiosity question. What sort of timescale are we typically looking at?  Not asking because I have anything personally to hide but am just wondering. Does this vary depending on circs and there's no set rule? 
    I'm not sure because I've not done one but I have seen other threads on here where it has been mentioned. I can't remember the details though. 
    Best guess would be that local authorities make their own decision on that but a quick google shows City of London asking for 3 months as a starting point which isn't that far back. I imagine they would dig further back if they were given cause to believe things were not right. 3  months of statements showing consistently a good income. low spending but no savings. For example. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Sapindus
    Sapindus Posts: 387 Forumite
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    edited 7 March at 9:02PM
    elsien said:
    Is the parent by any chance going out to buy said “innocuous item” in order to pretend that the child receives it during a decluttering visit?


    No... one item has been in the house since late 90's which puts it maybe after the last child left home but the age range it would be used by suggests it may have been bought in preparation for grandchildren, and was certainly used by them when they visited.

    Another item was bought as a birthday present for a child in the 1980's but didn't leave the home when the child grew up, but has always been understood to belong to them.

    And neither item would have cost much originally.

    I suppose one answer would be to remove these sorts of items now and not try to realise their value (if they do have any) until after the parent is deceased.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,636 Forumite
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    No one is going to be doing anywhere near that level of checks - if they belong to the kids/grandkids, then just give them to the grandkids. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • Newly_retired
    Newly_retired Posts: 2,950 Forumite
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    The LA can go back as far as they like, but without knowing the value of such items, it seems they are unlikely to be of any interest to the LA.
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,545 Forumite
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    Sapindus said:
    elsien said:
    Is the parent by any chance going out to buy said “innocuous item” in order to pretend that the child receives it during a decluttering visit?


    No... one item has been in the house since late 90's which puts it maybe after the last child left home but the age range it would be used by suggests it may have been bought in preparation for grandchildren, and was certainly used by them when they visited.

    Another item was bought as a birthday present for a child in the 1980's but didn't leave the home when the child grew up, but has always been understood to belong to them.

    And neither item would have cost much originally.

    I suppose one answer would be to remove these sorts of items now and not try to realise their value (if they do have any) until after the parent is deceased.
    Why so coy about what these items are? From the vague descriptions you have given they just sound like household items with would be lumped in with all the other chattels when valuing an estate and no one is ever going to come knocking on your door asking about what your parents did with that Steiff bear or 1st issue Dandy. 
  • Sapindus
    Sapindus Posts: 387 Forumite
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    Why so coy about what these items are? From the vague descriptions you have given they just sound like household items with would be lumped in with all the other chattels when valuing an estate and no one is ever going to come knocking on your door asking about what your parents did with that Steiff bear or 1st issue Dandy. 
    Harry Potters actually.  But it's OK, I've checked them out on ebay and we're not sitting on a gold mine!  Dilemma over!
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