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There are 3 main implications-
1. If someone goes into a Home, they will be assessed on how capital they own, including any share in a property. However, the house is disregarded in any such assessment if the other spouse is still living in it. Therefore, if only one of your in parents goes into a Home and the other remains living in the property, the value of it is disregarded. If the survivor or both of them go into a Home, the house value will be included 50/50 in any assessment. If your Father has transferred his 50% share to you, he would still be classed as owning 50% if it could be shown that he has made the gift with the intention of trying to avoid payment of Nursing Home fees.This is because, when assessing a party's capital, any gifts they have made are also taken into account, in that if the State can prove that someone has gifted their property to a relative to avoid being assessed as owning that property, they are still treated as owning that property when assessing the amount of their capital. Strictly speaking, the State can look at any gifts made by a party anytime during their lifetime, but the longer the period between making a gift and entering into a Home, the harder it is for the State to prove it was done to avoid paying N Home fees. Generally, any gifts of properties made within 10 years of someone going into a Home are scrutinised and the party would have to show there was a valid reason for the gift being made, other than to avoid paying N home fees.The only sure way of safeguarding part of a party's property is to make a Will. Basically,your parents should consider making Wills, leaving their one half share in the property to their children/other relatives, with the proviso that the other spouse is entitled to remain living there rent free. The Solicitor who prepares the Will will also need to "sever the joint tenancy" on the property at the Land Registry, so that each party owns this separate 50% share. This is a relatively straight forward thing for the Solicitor to do.This way, upon the first death, the other spouse is left only owning his or her 50% of the property, the other 50% of the deceased's share passing to the children/other relatives. This therefore safeguards 50% of the property if the surviving spouse needs to go into a Home.Remember- the house is disregarded anyway if one spouse goes into a Home but the other is still alive and remains living in the house, there is nothing to worry about in this scenario. 2. Inheritance Tax. Although I doubt very much this will be an issue (your parents would have to have a joint estate worth over £650,000 at the date of death), the position is as follows-
If someone gifts a property but remains living in it, it is classed as a "gift with a reservation" and HMRC are entitled to still class the property as being owned by the deceased party (ie it is looked upon as being a scam and therefore there is no benefit in doing this).
3. On the basis that either you or your sister own a separate property in the UK, you would potentially be liable to Capaital Gains Tax as and when you sell your share in your parents property. CGT is payable on any increase in value between the date you acquire it (even if it is gifted to you, you are deemed to have received it for the open market value) and the date it is sold. You would need to speak to an Acoc**tant on this point upon any future Sale.
I hope this sets out the legal position to you and answers your question.
Many many apologies for the delay in responding- sadly my internet connection has been down.
Thanks for your reply.
My answer remains the same taking into account your scenario. The only issue you really therefor ehas is in respect of Capital Gains tax, as and when you come to sell your due share in the property.
I must say, however, that if there is no particular reason why your Father needs to transfer his share to you now, as he has made a suitable provision in his Will, you all may feel it would be best for you not to go ahead with a Transfer now and deal with th eproperty whenever anything happens to your Father.
I hope this helps.
Can I be of any more assistance to you?
Thank you for your response, sorry for the delay. I am wondering what the situation would be if we were to transfer my dads half to my mother so that she owns 100% of the house? Could he gift this to her? Would she be subject to Captial Gains Tax, should she sell one day?
Any transfers between spouses are tax exempt, and as the property is your Mother's principal place of residence, no Capital Gains Tax would be payable on either the transfer to your Mother or when she eventually sold it.
I hope this assists you.