As people get older they become worried about the cost of care home fees and how they will be paid, particularly if they have assets. They worry that their home or savings may be taken by the local authority to pay for their care rather than being able to pass on their savings or home to their family.
Some people decide that transferring their property to family members may be a good way of dealing with the problem. For some people it may be a good idea but we have listed here a number of matters you should think about and discuss with your solicitor:
- If the local authority assess your financial means they may conclude that you transferred your property in order to avoid paying some or all of your care home costs and they may treat you as if the property was still owned by you.
- You would not have legal ownership of your property and wouldnt be able to use it to pay for your care home fees. This would mean that you may be very restricted in your choice of care home and the quality of care home service you will receive and would, therefore, impact on your standard of living.
- The people who you have transferred your property to may encounter their own problems, eg, death, bankruptcy, divorce, business failure, redundancy, which could result in your home or its value going to someone else that you did not intend to benefit.
- Very often families fall out and you may not be able to have the property transferred back to you.
- It is, therefore, very important that if you are thinking about this you should make sure that you obtain independent legal advice without any pressures being put on you by any other person so that the advantages and disadvantages can be fully explained to you.
- At the same time you may need to consider making a Will or reviewing and amending an existing Will.