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  • FIRST POST
    • Pilsthedoeboy
    • By Pilsthedoeboy 5th Mar 18, 2:26 PM
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    Pilsthedoeboy
    care Home fees, can I retain the family bungalow
    • #1
    • 5th Mar 18, 2:26 PM
    care Home fees, can I retain the family bungalow 5th Mar 18 at 2:26 PM
    My Mum owns 50% of her Bungalow, the other half is owned by my son as trustees (following the death of my father a few years ago) and the trust allows my mum to live in the property while she can and wishes to. I used to live with my mum, moved in with her when I became a Widower 3 years ago, the set up helped both of us, I have a troublesome hip replacement (in receipt of PIP) so living in a bungalow with no stairs was a real help. However, I met a new partner a couple of years ago and moved out of Mums bungalow to share my new partners home, a house - we married 3 months ago. Unfortunately mum had a nasty fall at the start of 2018 and it looks like she will have to go into a care home. The question I have is as follows: my wife and I would very much like to take over residing in Mums bungalow, a lot of my things are still there and in place and this will help my failing hip replacement which at 58 Iím not keen to have revised just yet, the outcome of hip revision surgery might not be very good at all. I notice in the rules that a disabled relative can still live in the family home and it is thereby disregarded in any means test for care Home fees. Iíve also read somewhere that where the relative is not currently living in the property there has to be intent demonstrated for this to happen. Anyone who can give any guideance regarding this, it will be very welcome - thank you.
Page 1
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 6th Mar 18, 10:27 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:27 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:27 PM
    There's some useful advice and links in this post.

    The bottom line is that your mother needs care. If it's assessed that she has the means to pay for that care, then as long as that care is paid for, no-one will care who it is paying.
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    • DairyQueen
    • By DairyQueen 7th Mar 18, 1:20 AM
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    DairyQueen
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 1:20 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 1:20 AM
    My Mum owns 50% of her Bungalow, the other half is owned by my son as trustees (following the death of my father a few years ago) and the trust allows my mum to live in the property while she can and wishes to. I used to live with my mum, moved in with her when I became a Widower 3 years ago, the set up helped both of us, I have a troublesome hip replacement (in receipt of PIP) so living in a bungalow with no stairs was a real help. However, I met a new partner a couple of years ago and moved out of Mums bungalow to share my new partners home, a house - we married 3 months ago. Unfortunately mum had a nasty fall at the start of 2018 and it looks like she will have to go into a care home. The question I have is as follows: my wife and I would very much like to take over residing in Mums bungalow, a lot of my things are still there and in place and this will help my failing hip replacement which at 58 Iím not keen to have revised just yet, the outcome of hip revision surgery might not be very good at all. I notice in the rules that a disabled relative can still live in the family home and it is thereby disregarded in any means test for care Home fees. Iíve also read somewhere that where the relative is not currently living in the property there has to be intent demonstrated for this to happen. Anyone who can give any guideance regarding this, it will be very welcome - thank you.
    Originally posted by Pilsthedoeboy
    The disregard you refer to is aimed at protecting family members who share the same home as the person requiring residential care. As this link states:
    "The value of your home must not be taken into consideration if any of the following people lived there as their main or only home before your move to a care home, and continue to live there:
    your spouse, civil partner or partner
    a close relative who has a disability or is over 60. This is known as a mandatory property disregard."

    As you have not lived in the property for some time, and it is not your main home, the disregard will not apply in your circumstances. The 50% of the property owned by your mother will be included in the means test.

    As the trust owns the other 50% it will not form part of mum's assets. I am no trust expert but from the little info you provide it seems likely that a trust wind-up event will be catalysed when your mother no longer lives in the house and the trust will be terminated. If this is the case, and unless you are able to buy the house at 100% of market value, the house will need to be sold in order that your son can receive his 50% beneficial interest in the property, and in order that your mother's share is available to fund her care.

    The difference between care home options available for self-funders and those funded by the state is now stark and becoming starker, I'm sure you wish to act in mum's best interests and her interest will be best served by ensuring that her money is available to fund the best possible care.

    I don't mean to sound rude but the way your post is phrased it appears that you wish to deprive your mother of her cash (and therefore the best care) and your son of his inheritance, and impose the cost of her care on the taxpayer, in order that you can live in a house in which you have zero beneficial or financial interest. Surely that isn't your intention, is it?
    • Pilsthedoeboy
    • By Pilsthedoeboy 7th Mar 18, 8:37 AM
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    Pilsthedoeboy
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 8:37 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 8:37 AM
    Many thanks for your reply, its actually my son and I who are joint trustees and I am the sole beneficiary of the trust when my Mum passes, Im also the sole beneficiary of Mums will. No way do I want to deprive mum of the best care possible, but nor do I wish to just hand over half of the familys main asset which has been in the family for very many years. Ultimately, I will do whatever is best for my mum, irrespective of the financial consequences.
    Last edited by Pilsthedoeboy; 07-03-2018 at 8:40 AM.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 7th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
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    badmemory
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    Do you have a POA? If not & she still can (has capacity) then it can be done on line for £82 otherwise the LA may take over her affairs & charge her for it.

    The trouble is that a long stay in hospital after a certain age can make even the remotest signs of dementia escalate. It seems to be caused by a combination of dehydration & lack of stimulus (basically boredom) & not doing anything for yourself. If she needs a care home then she should be able to get the higher level of attendance allowance.

    Look at local care homes NOW before she is discharged from hospital. The most expensive are not necessarily the best and neither are the cheapest necessarily the worst. Look out for the odour as you walk in the door & if they take LA paid residents then check how much more you have to pay to make up the LA contibution short fall. The carers working there have no idea who is self funded & who is LA funded (other than guesswork from the number of visitors) so any rubbish by a manager that says otherwise should be ignored.

    The most expensive home we visited (by appt) had my sister heaving & it wasn't from any smell of bleach! When you think you have chosen a home visit again without an appt. Check the CQC report on the home.

    The whole thing is a massive learning experience!

    Along with several years of visiting it did teach us both one thing & that is that we are not going in one! My sister already has the drugs which will prevent that from happening.
    Last edited by badmemory; 07-03-2018 at 9:58 AM.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 7th Mar 18, 9:57 AM
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    badmemory
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:57 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:57 AM
    Ultimately, I will do whatever is best for my mum, irrespective of the financial consequences.
    Originally posted by Pilsthedoeboy
    I think we all would like to preserve what we can, it seems to be a basic instinct & the original OMG response to this sort of thing, but when it all boils down we do what we need to do for our (now ailing & ageing) parents.
    • DairyQueen
    • By DairyQueen 7th Mar 18, 7:46 PM
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    DairyQueen
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 7:46 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 7:46 PM
    Many thanks for your reply, its actually my son and I who are joint trustees and I am the sole beneficiary of the trust when my Mum passes, Im also the sole beneficiary of Mums will. No way do I want to deprive mum of the best care possible, but nor do I wish to just hand over half of the familys main asset which has been in the family for very many years. Ultimately, I will do whatever is best for my mum, irrespective of the financial consequences.
    Originally posted by Pilsthedoeboy
    So, you will become a trust and will beneficiary after your mum dies. But your mum hasn't died. If you are currently a trustee, but not a beneficiary, then you will be aware that the law regarding trustees is explicit. You must act only in the interests of the trust beneficiaries, and according to the trust rules, and any attempt to reap personal benefit from the trust will be viewed as a serious breach.

    I realise that many people take the view that it's unfair that a much-loved family home should be sacrificed in these circumstances, but the bottom line is that the property is 50% mum's asset.

    Whether any one person will require residential care is a lottery and, inevitably, many homeowners who do so must use their property to fund their care. Why should taxpayers (many of whom have foregone their inheritance under similar circumstances as you) fund your mother's care in order to protect your inheritance? Do you consider that reasonable?

    It's my view that it's high time that people gave-up this sense of entitlement to their parents' home. It's your mother's asset and if she needs it to ensure that she has the best possible quality of life in her last years then so be it. if you focus more on your mother's needs and less on your own then I believe that you will reconcile to the loss of your family home. That has been my experience and also the experience of many others on this site.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 10th Mar 18, 1:45 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    • #8
    • 10th Mar 18, 1:45 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Mar 18, 1:45 AM
    It's half his son's home though. How does that work for means-testing ? Surely the fact that the son owns half will have to be taken into consideration? And surely no-one will buy half a house?

    I've noticed another poster saying that the trust will have to be wound up and the house sold, then the son paid his half. But what if the son wants to live in his house, as he surely is entitled to do?

    Lots of questions, to which I think the answers are most important.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 10th Mar 18, 4:03 PM
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    Keep pedalling
    • #9
    • 10th Mar 18, 4:03 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Mar 18, 4:03 PM
    It's half his son's home though. How does that work for means-testing ? Surely the fact that the son owns half will have to be taken into consideration? And surely no-one will buy half a house?

    I've noticed another poster saying that the trust will have to be wound up and the house sold, then the son paid his half. But what if the son wants to live in his house, as he surely is entitled to do?

    Lots of questions, to which I think the answers are most important.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    Well the OP could buy the other half, and the problem would be solved. The house cannot be protected by the OP or the son taking up residence, unless the family can purchase the half of the house currently not in trust.

    The fact that the LA will not fund care while such an asset exists really forces the issue..
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 10th Mar 18, 6:19 PM
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    seven-day-weekend
    Well the OP could buy the other half, and the problem would be solved. The house cannot be protected by the OP or the son taking up residence, unless the family can purchase the half of the house currently not in trust.

    The fact that the LA will not fund care while such an asset exists really forces the issue..
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    But surely the son can't be forced to sell? He owns half the house.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 11th Mar 18, 1:45 AM
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    Keep pedalling
    But surely the son can't be forced to sell? He owns half the house.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    He has two choices, either to sell, or buy his mother out of her half. If he refuses then his mother will effectively get deeper and deeper in debt as the charges build up and the LA will be forced to go to court to force the sale, and he will end up with a big legal cost to meet.

    These trusts are designed to protect the half of the house owned by the first to die not the whole house. If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Mar 18, 6:24 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    He has two choices, either to sell, or buy his mother out of her half. If he refuses then his mother will effectively get deeper and deeper in debt as the charges build up and the LA will be forced to go to court to force the sale, and he will end up with a big legal cost to meet.

    These trusts are designed to protect the half of the house owned by the first to die not the whole house. If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    But if the recipient has to sell up or buy out the other half, then it doesn't protect it, does it?
    • SevenOfNine
    • By SevenOfNine 11th Mar 18, 9:45 AM
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    SevenOfNine
    It's my view that it's high time that people gave-up this sense of entitlement to their parents' home. It's your mother's asset and if she needs it to ensure that she has the best possible quality of life in her last years then so be it. if you focus more on your mother's needs and less on your own then I believe that you will reconcile to the loss of your family home. That has been my experience and also the experience of many others on this site.
    Originally posted by DairyQueen
    OUCH, bit harsh DairyQueen! Though essentially over the past few years I've come round more to that way of thinking, it does have to be said that I watched my parents work hard all their lives, scrimping & scraping, staying out of debt, no far flung all inclusive holidays for them, their choice was to be able to afford to purchase their own home instead.

    Others have chosen a different route, spend, spend, spend all their lives & now they get to have their care home fees paid, contributed to by the taxes my parents paid, whilst my mother (widowed & living in her home of 62 years) would, if necessary, be expected to liquidise her only asset to pay for her care.

    Though I see the old family home as her security for her old age not 'my inheritance', & if every penny of its worth had to go one day to provide her with a marginally better choice of care home, that's fine with me. At the same time I can see & sympathise as to why others feel aggrieved that this happens, those who contribute nothing get it all for nothing, while those that contribute fully, watching their pounds, shillings & pence all their lives have to pay.

    There's no simple answer & it's easy to be judgmental, but perhaps it would be more fairly aimed at those who chose to take & SPEND all their lives, not those who've worked hard, &/or gone without (perhaps like OP's mother) because they WANT to leave a legacy to their loved ones, NOT because their loved ones expect it. I think OP has made it clear that her mother's needs will come first, but she's right to feel fed up about it.
    Seen it all, done it all, can't remember most of it.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 11th Mar 18, 9:59 AM
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    Keep pedalling
    But if the recipient has to sell up or buy out the other half, then it doesn't protect it, does it?
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    OK to be precise it protects half of proceeds of any sale of the property. It does not protect the sentimentality of hanging on to it. If the owner was only in care a short time before dying them, a sale would be needed to pay of the dept owed to the estate unless there were other funds available.

    How many grand children would actually want their GPs bungalow anyway, the vast majority would want to sell and buy something else.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Mar 18, 10:17 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    OK to be precise it protects half of proceeds of any sale of the property. It does not protect the sentimentality of hanging on to it. If the owner was only in care a short time before dying them, a sale would be needed to pay of the dept owed to the estate unless there were other funds available.

    How many grand children would actually want their GPs bungalow anyway, the vast majority would want to sell and buy something else.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    Whilst I have no objection to people paying their way, it seems wrong to the deceased spouse (who wanted to leave their property to a specific person), to go against THEIR wishes, by countermanding the trust, especially if they didn't owe any care home fees. Seems like legalised theft to me.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 11th Mar 18, 10:18 AM
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    Keep pedalling
    OUCH, bit harsh DairyQueen! Though essentially over the past few years I've come round more to that way of thinking, it does have to be said that I watched my parents work hard all their lives, scrimping & scraping, staying out of debt, no far flung all inclusive holidays for them, their choice was to be able to afford to purchase their own home instead.

    Others have chosen a different route, spend, spend, spend all their lives & now they get to have their care home fees paid, contributed to by the taxes my parents paid, whilst my mother (widowed & living in her home of 62 years) would, if necessary, be expected to liquidise her only asset to pay for her care.

    Though I see the old family home as her security for her old age not 'my inheritance', & if every penny of its worth had to go one day to provide her with a marginally better choice of care home, that's fine with me. At the same time I can see & sympathise as to why others feel aggrieved that this happens, those who contribute nothing get it all for nothing, while those that contribute fully, watching their pounds, shillings & pence all their lives have to pay.

    There's no simple answer & it's easy to be judgmental, but perhaps it would be more fairly aimed at those who chose to take & SPEND all their lives, not those who've worked hard, &/or gone without (perhaps like OP's mother) because they WANT to leave a legacy to their loved ones, NOT because their loved ones expect it. I think OP has made it clear that her mother's needs will come first, but she's right to feel fed up about it.
    Originally posted by SevenOfNine
    My recently deceased mother had her care home funded by the LA, but it was nothing to do with being a spendthrift. Poorly educated, a widow before she hit 50 with little prospect of getting well paid work, she remained a council tenant until residential care was required. Talking to the other residence in her care home many of that generation had similar stories.

    We on the other hand have a house worth 10 times what we paid for it, so there is no way we can claim that all equity we have in that asset is anything to do with hard work, or that are children have a right to inherit it.

    We feel lucky to be in a position that if either of us ever did need residential care, we will not be limited to a very narrow choice of care home, nor will we have to wait to reach the the level of decrepitude that will get approval from the LA funding panel.
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 11th Mar 18, 10:19 AM
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    Browntoa
    There's little you can do now to protect your mum's half share as has been pointed out , you options are

    1 self fund the care
    2 sell your current property and purchase her half share (must be market value using several valuations)
    3 she self funds from the sale proceeds

    Asset protection needs to be planned when you are young , release cash by downsizing and use your cash gifts allowances to the max or take advantage of TUPE with the 7 year rule.

    Deprivation of assets is a real risk if left too late , councils are getting very experienced in combing through finances and will go to court to challenge dubious financial actions to hide or deplete your estate. Selling property below market value or transfer of title whilst living rent free is a red flag these days
    Last edited by Browntoa; 11-03-2018 at 10:21 AM.
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    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 11th Mar 18, 10:24 AM
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    Keep pedalling
    OUCH, bit harsh DairyQueen! Though essentially over the past few years I've come round more to that way of thinking, it does have to be said that I watched my parents work hard all their lives, scrimping & scraping, staying out of debt, no far flung all inclusive holidays for them, their choice was to be able to afford to purchase their own home instead.

    Others have chosen a different route, spend, spend, spend all their lives & now they get to have their care home fees paid, contributed to by the taxes my parents paid, whilst my mother (widowed & living in her home of 62 years) would, if necessary, be expected to liquidise her only asset to pay for her care.

    Though I see the old family home as her security for her old age not 'my inheritance', & if every penny of its worth had to go one day to provide her with a marginally better choice of care home, that's fine with me. At the same time I can see & sympathise as to why others feel aggrieved that this happens, those who contribute nothing get it all for nothing, while those that contribute fully, watching their pounds, shillings & pence all their lives have to pay.

    There's no simple answer & it's easy to be judgmental, but perhaps it would be more fairly aimed at those who chose to take & SPEND all their lives, not those who've worked hard, &/or gone without (perhaps like OP's mother) because they WANT to leave a legacy to their loved ones, NOT because their loved ones expect it. I think OP has made it clear that her mother's needs will come first, but she's right to feel fed up about it.
    Originally posted by SevenOfNine
    Whilst I have no objection to people paying their way, it seems wrong to the deceased spouse (who wanted to leave their property to a specific person), to go against THEIR wishes, by countermanding the trust, especially if they didn't owe any care home fees. Seems like legalised theft to me.
    Originally posted by seven-day-weekend
    You canít control your assets from the grave, you can leave what you like to whoever you want, but you canít control what they do with it after you have gone. Everyone I know who has inherited property from their parents has sold it for one reason or another.

    You canít say just because it is a house it has to be treated differently than inherited shares, cash, or a vintage car.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 11th Mar 18, 10:29 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    You canít control your assets from the grave, you can leave what you like to whoever you want, but you canít control what they do with it after you have gone. Everyone I know who has inherited property from their parents has sold it for one reason or another.

    You canít say just because it is a house it has to be treated differently than inherited shares, cash, or a vintage car.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    No, I agree, but I think it should be the recipient's choice what to do with it, not be forced to sell because someone else owes care home fees. Their half should not be taken into consideration..

    If it WAS a vintage car, they would not be expected to sell it, why should they be expected to sell their share of the house?
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 11th Mar 18, 1:26 PM
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    badmemory
    Just wondering who is looking after the grandsons interests in this. It would probably be alright if he was old enough/ready to own his own home. But what if he is only 10. His half gets stuck in some account earning very little interest & when he wants to buy almost certainly won't pay for half.
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