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TonyTax
TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15836
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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My mother is 85 years old and has already written a will

Customer Question

Hi - My mother is 85 years old and has already written a will leaving her house to me. We both want to sell her house and move to a smaller house and put it in my name only. The house is worth around £260,000, will doing this, gifting the house to me, incur any inheritance tax, etc.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  TonyTax replied 9 months ago.

Hi.

Can you tell me if your mother has any other assets apart from her house please.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, just the house, no savings.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 9 months ago.

Thanks.

Leave this with me while I drat my answer.

Expert:  TonyTax replied 9 months ago.

As your mother has assets of £260,000, her estate will not be liable to Inheritance Tax. The nil-rate band for an individual is £325,000. If your mother is a widow, her nil-rate band can be as high as £650,000 if her late husband left all his assets her her. Take a look here for information on transferring an unused Inheritance Tax nil-rate band. Even if the new home was bought in your mother's name and you inherited it from her when she dies, there will be no IHT to pay unless the property increased in value by a huge amount.

If your mother sells the house and a new one is bought in your name and in which you both live, it will either be covered b the pre-owned assets rules or by the gift with reservation rules. Look here for a brief description of the Pre-Owned Assets Tax and a gift with reservation of benefit. The POAT would apply unless your mother paid you a rent for sharing the new house with you as she will be divesting her estate of an asset but still benefiting from it. In order to avoid the POAT charge, your mother could elect for the gift of cash to you to buy the new house to stay in her estate for IHT purposes. Making such an election would probably be the better one as there is unlikely to be an Inheritance Tax liability in any event. There is more information on the pre-owned assets tax here.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Have I got this right - if my mother sells the house, gifts me the money and I buy another in my name, but she pays me rent, this would incur no charges? Does she have to live for 7 years for there to be no charges.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Also, forgot to mention I have a lasting power of attorney for my mother, so she is unable to sell the house without my knowledge, does this affect anything.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 9 months ago.

I cannot comment about the legalities of what is an apparent conflict of interest over the power of attorney. That's for a lawyer.

What I can say is that if the house is sold, the money given to you to buy another house in which you both live and your mother elects to keep the gift in her estate there will never be a seven year clock ticking. With the pre-owned asset tax route through which your mother pays you a rent, the seven year clock will start ticking.

Your mother's estate is unlikely to be subject to Inheritance Tax.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks - need to read through all this thoroughly. Am I allowed to ask you any questions that spring to mind when I've read through it all, or has it been answered.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 9 months ago.

You can ask as many questions on this topic as you like, before or after you have accepted an answer. However, tere isn't much more that I can say. It's fairly straightforward.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Tony, you do not have to answer this question today, as it is late evening.Have I got it right that, if we buy another house and keep it in my mom's name (keep it in her estate) there will be no 7 year clock. However, what if we choose to stay in the house she now owns, and when she passes away and leaves the house to me in her will, there still will be no inheritance tax.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 9 months ago.

If your mother bought another house in her name, there would be no seven year clock as she won't have given anything away. You could move in and inherit it when she passes away with no IHT to pay so long as her estate did not exceed £325,000 or as much as £650,000 if her estate could claim the unused part of late husband's nil-rate band assuming they were still married when he passed away if that is the case.

TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15836
Experience: Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks for your help
Expert:  TonyTax replied 9 months ago.

Thanks.

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