I read with interest your article on the 16th May 2009 dealing with the transfer of property to children to avoid the property being sold in the event of having to go into care. Your comments would appear a little general. Can you be more specific?
As mentioned previously, if this area of the law causes you concern then you must immediately consult a solicitor.
The reason for making this opening statement was that brevity prevents me from dealing fully with a number of complex legal issues. The transfer of assets and payment for care is a very complex area. It is true that transferring an asset out of your name does not necessarily mean it will not be taken into account in any means test undertaken by the local authority or the Pension Service when assessing a resident’s suitability for assistance.
Both the local authority and Pension Service will look for evidence of any deliberate transfer of an asset out of an individual’s ownership in an attempt to put himself in a better position for obtaining assistance. There is extensive case law on this subject and excellent and accurate guidance on this complex area is available from Age Concern in their Fact Sheet 40 (www.accymru.org.uk).
This deals extensively with the definition of ‘deliberate deprivation of capital,’ instances when deprivation is deemed to be ‘deliberate,’ and the local authority’s Powers of Recovery in circumstances where it is believed that there has been a deliberate attempt on the part of a resident to transfer assets out of his/her possession in order to put him/herself in a better position to obtain assistance.
• Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org