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Can I give my house away to my children to avoid care home fees?


As a solicitor dealing with Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney, many of my clients are at an age where care home fees are at the forefront of their minds. The cost per week of care depends on the nature of the care required and also the location that you are in. One thing is for sure though, with the average cost of a care home being £704 per week, any money that you have saved may be used up very quickly paying for care.

Some of my clients think that one solution is to give their house away to their children but continue to live in it. They think it will then be out of their “pot” and can’t be used to pay for care if they need it in the future. In theory this is a great idea, but in practice it’s not so simple.

Firstly, if you give away your house and move into care and apply for funding for that care, then the first thing the local authority will do is conduct a thorough financial assessment of your affairs. If you are deemed to have deprived yourself of an asset, i.e. your house, then the local authority may take the value of the property into account regardless, which means you will still end up paying for your care.

The other concern is that although your children may allow you to live in the house that you have given to them, they have the power to throw you out at any time. If they get divorced then the house will become part of the pot for the divorce settlement. If your child goes bankrupt then the house may need to be sold to pay the bankruptcy order. Most of my clients say that these things wouldn’t happen to them but as we all know, you never know what is round the corner.

It’s not all doom and gloom. There are other ways to save half your house against care home fees via your Will. Please contact Florence Goodwin of our office to discuss further on 01905 723561 or by email at Florence.Goodwin@smesolicitors.co.uk.

Added: 29 Jan 2024 10:02


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