My father and I bought our terraced house together. I had always paid the mortgage on the property which has now been fully repaid and the property will pass to me on my father’s death. However the property remains in our joint names and my father is now 87 and in poor health. Where do I stand if he has to go into a Nursing Home with all the expenses that could bring?
Should your father have to go into a Nursing Home he will be assessed as to his assets in order to establish the contribution that he will be expected to make towards his accommodation. Unfortunately the starting point will be that the property is in your joint names in which case he will be regarded as owning one-half of the property.
One way of addressing this would be to sever the Joint Tenancy and create a Tenancy in Common with you and your father entering into a Declaration of Trust whereby it is acknowledged by you both that due to the substantially greater contribution made by you towards the property, such as repaying the mortgage in full, you owned the property in unequal shares.
This would at least ensure that you secure a greater proportion of the value of the property than would otherwise be regarded as belonging to your father. It is essential that you retain all details and records of the payments that you have made in support of any such Declaration that you own a greater share than your father in the property.