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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71133
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My mother owns her house outright she is aged 87 and wants

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My mother owns her house outright she is aged 87 and wants to sign it over to me and my brother aged 50 and 55
What are the implications for tax and avoidance of homecare for her if she has to go into a home

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is there any equity please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the house is valued at £150K with no mortgage


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Did you receive my last email

Thanks for the information.

I am sorry but I cannot give you good news then. I’m afraid you are in difficulty here.

If she signs it over to you and your brother without you paying full price for it then the local authority can set the transaction aside if it is done to avoid paying care fees. You would have to use the money from the house sold house to pay for those care fees if needed. There is no time limit after which it is safe from the local authority.

There are many trust schemes which purport to be able to avoid the payment of care fees. They have been subject to criticism recently largely because they do not work!

Again with inheritance tax the situation is very similar. If she gives it to you for no money at all then as long as she survives seven years after the transfer you will not be liable to pay.

However, if she continues to live in it, that is what is known as a gift with reservation and HMRC will treat the value of it as though the transfer was never made at all for inheritance tax purposes.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What about joint ownership i.e. split 3 ways

The same principle applies because she is divesting herself of assets unless you pay her for the thirds you are receiving.

The only guaranteed way is for her to sell the property to you and to move out.

She can spend the money of course and then the local authority cannot get anything from her.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can the local authority use all the estate assets for care costs or is there a threshold

No, the threshold is £23,000.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Final 2 Questions on the subject

A. I read somewhere that the government want to change this threshold in 2016 is this correct


B If she has some capital in the bank at the moment can she gift it to us


A, Yes, there is talk that they will reduce it but it hasn't happened yet.

B, Yes, but obviously that is subject to the same principles. Realistically though, if there are no immediate plans to go into a care home then a gift now would be less likely to come to their attention than later.
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