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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 72504
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My mother is an alcoholic and after her husband died on Boxing

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My mother is an alcoholic and after her husband died on Boxing Day 2012 i had to take care of her financial affairs which were in a complete mess. We had to sell her home as the mortgage was due to come to an end this year and she was in arrears and also did not have an endowment to pay the mortgage off. So we sold it before she was evicted. There was around £40,000 profit once all debt had been paid back. She told me that she wanted me to have it to pay some of our debt off and to do some essential works to our house, which we have done. HOwever, in February this year she had a major stroke and it looks as though she is going to have to go into residential care as she has been left unable to move her right hand side. I have been asked about her savings, of which i have said she doesnt have any. She does receive a private pension and state pension which would obviously go towards her costs. Where do i stand with this? I have power of attorney. but i do not have it in writing that she wanted me to have the money. She knew that she would drink it if she had it and was happy for us to have it.

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

What proof do you have that she said she wanted you to have this money?

When did you sell the house?

What happened to the money at that stage and whose bank account did it go into?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

HI Jo.


I do not have proof, she just said that she wanted me to be able to do essential stuff to our house and was glad that she could help us for once.


The house was sold in October


The money went into our bank account.


Unfortunately, the local authority are unlikely to see like that and in the absence of any proof to the contrary and even if you did have some proof to the contrary they would see this as your mother divesting herself of assets to avoid paying the care and they could make you pay for her care or recover the money to pay for the care.

However they cannot have all the money and there is a disregard amount of £23,000 which they are unable to touch.

Although this money was transferred into your account last October once they realise that your mother's former house was sold, they may ask for sisght of where the proceeds went.

I'm sorry to say therefore that there is no guarantee you would be able to hang onto all this money.

Notwithstanding what your mother said, the money is your mother’s you can only use it for her benefit.

However there is something which may help you and that is that if your mother gave you the money back in October when there was no suggestion that she was going to become ill or need care there is an argument that says that she did not divest in herself of assets in order to avoid paying for care, and in that case, you would be at liberty to hang on to the money.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

At the time of the money coming to us my mother was not ill and not needing care, she had the stroke in febuary this year and its only realised now that she will need care as she has not made much progress. also she recieves nearly £1000 in pension per month so she will be paying a good chunk towards her care every omnth, would this make a difference? Also we have had the work carried out on the house so do not have the money and we do not earn enough to help pay towards her care, would this make a difference?

That's certainly helps you provided her medical records back that up because at that stage, she is entitled to spend her money, give it away, drink it gamble it and do whatever she wants with it and that is not seen as divest in herself of assets to avoid paying for care.

In addition to the above, there may be almost enough from her pension to pay for her care in any event.

You cannot be made to pay for her care and you cannot be made to pay for any of her debts except if the local authority can prove divesting of assets.

The debts and carefree responsibility are hers and family members are not responsible for them

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