My wife and I are considering selling our home and moving into my elderly parents’ house to look after them. My parents’ Will leaves their Estate to me and my sister but we would buy her share of the house on the death of my parents. How safe are we though if one or both of my parents has to go into residential care and the only asset they have is the house?
If you moved into your parents’ home it would be sensible for your parents to transfer the property into the joint names of themselves and yourselves as this would take advantage of an exemption available to your parents in that they have transferred one-half of their interest in the property to those who also occupy the same.
This could safeguard against the whole of the property being taken to pay for future care fees, as only the half which your parents retained would remain in their ownership and would technically represent the half to which your sister would otherwise have been entitled in the event of your parents’ death.
Should your parents move into care in the meantime then it may be that only the remaining half share in their name would be assessed as evidence could be supplied to show the reason why the property had been transferred into your joint names.
Should your parents die without having to go into care then you would have to buy out the remaining half of the property from your sister as, technically, the half remaining in your parents’ names would pass to your sister on their death as you had already received your share during your parents’ lifetime.
* Emyr Pierce is Managing Director of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contactwww.emyrpierce.co.uk or email email@example.com