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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34892
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi,I am LPA for my parents financial and health affairs.

Customer Question


I am LPA for my parents financial and health affairs. I am having to sell their home to pay for their care home fees as 24/7 care at home didn't work out for various reasons for my Dad when my mother went to nursing home due to the level of care required post a massive stroke.

My youngest brother still resides at the address and I have paid his bills for the last 10 months as he lost his job (paid from my parents account) my Dad left the property beginning of Feb this year partly due to the arrangement and issues with the 24/7 carers and my brother, my Dad had no continuity of care after my brother washed his hands of it in Nov. My brother is going through a divorce and looked after my Dad for 5 months when my Mum first had her stroke my Mum went to a social Services funded Home (brother left his job in July). Brother said he would start a stay at home business but it didn't work out and my Dads health declined dramatically. Social Services took 4 months to provide any financial support for Dad as they had under the threshold of savings. We employed a part time lady to help and with her hours and Dads bills there was little to nothing left of his pension. My brother is claiming damages as I did not give him financial support for this period to cover Dads food and cigarettes of a total of 2000 (he says through small claims). Dad had daily meals on wheels and I thought extra food and cigarettes compensated for a little rent he did give my Mother before she had her stroke. He has no money to pay for renting when the house goes through (he has had a driving job last 4 months but hasn't saved any money) and we are due to complete on the house next week. I have given him 1200 since last June which covered car insurance as in the first 2 months he took my Dad to visit my Mum and the rest for these sundries he us claiming and kids Christmas presents.

I have been looking into gifting when the house goes through. HMRC say family inclusive are allowed a threshold of 3000 before inheritance tax is relevant this tax year. The Office of the Public Guardian states that as LPA I should use the money appropriately as if my parents were of sound mind. My Mum would want me to help my brother (he has 2 small children) but I am unsure how much and how this can be represented. My brother has never substantiated his costs for Dads sundries for obvious reasons. He is aggressive and attacked my husband this weekend. We just want to get him to stand on his own two feet but has nowhere to go. Please advise what is appropriate. I am supposed to act in my parents best interests which I am doing now they are settled in a private home, my mother wouldn't want him homeless but I want to know what level of financial support I am deemed fair to provide from their estate if at all. The LPA has no restrictions. My parents are both mentally incapacitated.

Many thanks, Julie.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much are the assets?
On what basis does your brother believe you owe him money?
Who is currently paying the home fees?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My parents are in a 3 month disregard period until 2/5. The council pay 450 a week each to a private care home which will charge 800 a weeks each once the period parents pay some byte prodominently social services until the period ends and my parents pay in entirety.Mum is funded by pension credit and minimal state pension and left with 23 a week once I pay the council the 450 odd. Dad was means tested and all his pension goes topped up by social services and is left with 29 a week.Their house will profit 325,000 on sale. They will be due attendance allowance when the have to pay 1600 a week private care fees. (They want 18 months if care covered to fund a deferment orogramme if the sale falls through).Brother claims the money he is due is for out of pocket expenses for Dad June to mid Nov. Petrol to previous home to visit my mother 10 miles away, cigarettes and food outside his meals on wheels. I gave the carers 60 a week to cover when Dad was at home so if you discount the meals on wheels that's 160 a month. I only had access to bank accounts end July but brother was working till then. My brother gave my mother 120 a month in food/rent prior to stroke but he was working at this point and his kids came at weekends in which my mother funded.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Did your brother ever ask you if you would be paying for these expenses?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare, the odd time he asked and I gave him 60 here, 80 there equating to 320. It was only when he ran out if money and had to get a job a month - 6 weeks after Dad had 24/7 carers in Nov that he asked for it back dated. My Dad had all the council remittances for his Direct Payments which were quarterly going to the address which my brother assumed were thousands. When you pay 955 a week for live in carers it doesn't go far.

Can we loan the money and have a binding agreement for it to be paid back over time or reduced from any subsequent inheritance? Drawn up by a solicitor us this allowed and how much is it likely to cost? Much appreciated, Julie.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
What assets other than the house does your father have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Nothing aside from his monthly pension.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
What seems like a lot of money at the moment will diminish quickly at that weekly rate, so it is not impossible that eventually Social services will have to step in again
This being the case it is not Inheritance Tax and HMRC that you need to worry about so the £3000 a year exemption is not relevant.
You need to be aware that Social Services will not deem it appropriate for you to use any of the funds for the benefit of anyone other than your parents
In addition I am afraid the Official Solicitor will not accept that supporting your brother is a reasonable use of the funds - they have to be used for the benefit of your parents
What is allowed is the kind of gifts that they usually made in the past for Birthdays Christmas and Weddings - proportionate to their current situation
If you do wish to give your brother money then the best way would be to label it as repayment of expenses
- but rest assured that he has no real claim he could bring against you
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for your help Clare,

A tough circumstance to diagnose. At least I am informed that there could be no legal implication to my brothers threats.

Best regards, Julie.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
You are welcome - it is a very difficult time and clearly your brother is not helping