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Need advice on financial/legal ramifications of buying house with MIL

(6 Posts)
florasecretan Thu 14-Mar-13 13:51:25

My MIL is now 85 and has acknowledged the need for more help with living. She had a stroke a couple of years ago, fully recovered but can no longer manage her large garden and is just generally getting more frail. Her house needs work to make it suitable for ongoing life but really she is at the point where she doesn't feel happy living alone. She doesn't want sheltered housing or care home living and really she doesn't need it at this stage.

My partner is her only child and sole heir and we have no children and are in our forties.

Our outline plan is to sell her house and sell our house and buy a property with a self contained flat/annexe/granny flat type thing.

The financials are roughly that she would contribute the funds from her house sale, £250,000 ish. We would contribute the funds from our house sale, £150,000 ish. And purchase a suitable property in the £375k region using the surplus to pay fees and stamp duty etc.

We are unsure of the implications this move would have for inheritance for my partner and or immediate capital gains issues - if any ... we have limited financial knowledge on this front.

We own our house as joint tenants and wondered whether we would be better buying the new house as tenants in common or joint tenants with MIL.

The main issues that we can think of are what would happen if MIL had to eventually go into long term care? She has cash assets of £100k ish so enough to pay for a long time but would run out eventually. Would we have to sell the house to pay for her care - could we be forced to do this?

When she does die - how would her share of the house be treated? Would it be liable for CGT if we later sold the house?

Are there other issues we need to have in mind? Problems we're not seeing?

We know we will need to see a solicitor to address these issues but want some pointers to read up on beforehand so that we understand the wider picture and the key issues.

Notmadeofrib Thu 14-Mar-13 14:26:19

Is the house her only asset?

florasecretan Thu 14-Mar-13 16:44:11

No - she also has cash assets of £100k ish

Notmadeofrib Thu 14-Mar-13 19:57:36

The main query is the ability of the authorities to claim her assets in order to fund care costs (if needed) and frankly this must be common query. Read this and speak to Age UK

www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/care-homes/deprivation-of-assets-in-the-means-test-for-care-home-provision/

When you know the answer to that come back and then the other issues will be more straightforward

florasecretan Fri 15-Mar-13 06:17:19

Thanks for the link Notmadeofrib - interesting factsheet.

Unfortunately - that is not the nature of my query at all.

That factsheet deals with the deliberate hiding of assets to avoid care home fees

That's not what my OP is about. If you look through again, you will see that my MIL will not actually be transferring any assets into our ownership - she will be retaining all ownership but the assets will be jointly owned.

Our worry is that we potentially might be forced to sell this joint asset to fund future health care.

There is also a question about the treatment of that asset for Capital Gains Tax by my partner or Inheritance Tax on my MIL's death.

Notmadeofrib Fri 15-Mar-13 08:58:50

Speak to Age UK! This is a common query.

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