Moving in with or buying with elderly parents

(23 Posts)
Lelivre Thu 02-Jun-16 12:47:43

We both have our own homes.

My parents have a large property which is paid for.

We have our own home but still owe a lot, we owe about 40% or less of the value however.

We have young children, they are quite elderly. We would like them to move nearer so we can support them more in the future. The subject of splitting their house (it's very large, but not where we would choose to live) or buying together has come up.

I've done a board search to understand the legal and financial implications of such an arrangement and googled but I'm struggling. I'm more aware of the personal ones as we have lived together before (pre kids though!)

Where do I go for some information please? Or any heads-up from those who have gone this route? Thanks.

mrsmortis Thu 02-Jun-16 12:55:28

The thing that jumps to mind is inheritance tax.

If you parents die with an estate bigger than the limit you don't want to be left in a position where you have to sell your home to cover the inheritance tax. You're going to need professional advice I think.

HereIAm20 Thu 02-Jun-16 15:08:27

Also are there other siblings to consider as this usually leads to tension/arguments over inheritance etc? If not good luck but get proper tax advice as recommended above.

Lelivre Thu 02-Jun-16 21:30:51

Yes there are siblings.

I just don't know where to start!

Bolograph Thu 02-Jun-16 21:37:30

I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. For a start off, what happens if they need residential care and need their house to fund it? What happens if you need to move for work? What happens if changes to IHT or other taxation makes their estate difficult? What happens if you divorce? What happens if they divorce? It just seems ludicrously complex and risky.

Lelivre Thu 02-Jun-16 22:27:02

I agree it sounds like a mine field! I wouldn't have suggested it. I see them staying where they are in an isolated location so problematic though confused

Bolograph Fri 03-Jun-16 00:02:46

I see them staying where they are in an isolated location so problematic though

That problem is their responsibility to fix, however.

concertplayer Fri 03-Jun-16 07:52:50

I think you need to see an Accountant. Well worth the fee though some will give a free initial consultation.
The problem though still is these taxes etc are liable to change annually
by the government.
Friends have done this: sold/let their parents home and had them in with
them.The parents contribute from the pensions towards the household
expenses and it does help them financially.The Room to Let legislation
allows you to receive £7000 pa from them without tax They can also
make 1 gift of £3000 pa to whoever they choose so in total £10,000
possibly £13000 .All quite legal
Could they just not move nearer?
By the way make sure your parents have wills Essential

Needmoresleep Fri 03-Jun-16 08:57:21

First have a wider family conference to make sure everyone is on the same page. Any pre-existing family tensions tend to come to the fore when either considering who cares for elderly parents or how any inheritance is shared. Then see a solicitor specialising in estate planning to get advice on how to structure everything, make a will and draw up a Power of Attorney.

If you can do all of this without siblings falling out you have done well. But better the rows now, whilst parents can input, than later. My parents took a head in the sand approach, which made the inevitable crisis much harder.

Lelivre Fri 03-Jun-16 09:19:57

Thanks for the additional posts. That's the thing if they stay where they are then it would mean an additional burden as they are not close to amenities and public transport links are not strong.

We love them and would do all we can if they needed support and really, that is inevitable given their age and health. Realistically of all of the family members, I can see we will be the ones supporting them. If they were nearer it would make that easier.

I'm worried about an escalated situatio which forces us to move in with them which we are not keen to do. I think they would be more inclined to sell up and move into town if we bought together. They are used to a large home for one thing and then there is shared expenses which they are conscious of a they do not have an income.

It does sound so complicated. I get the sibling tension point too. Oh dear.

Marmitelover55 Fri 03-Jun-16 10:00:10

My parents left moving too late. I am 200 miles away and I spent at least every other weekend down there and worrying about them in between. I really wish that they had moved closer and into sheltered accommodation. Thankfully they had set up POA and left wills - essential to sort this out now rather than leave it too late. I would be very wary about a shared purchase though for all of the reasons mentioned above.

concertplayer Fri 03-Jun-16 11:09:11

They may be used to a large home but need to understand that at their
age this becomes impractical. They will need cleaners, gardeners etc
My guess is they do not want to give up their home which is
understandable but it may have to be done.
They need to realise how lucky they are to be able to plan now before a situation arises when a decision will be MADE for them which will be

BackforGood Fri 03-Jun-16 11:17:20

I would look into the possibilites of a smaller property near you.
Either literally a smaller flat or bungalow which just happens to be near you, or a retirement village. Presumably if they are selling a large property, this will give them money to live off for many years? Then there's sheltered accomodation / warden controlled bungalows or flats. All types of different steps between "living on own in isolated area in huge house" and "sharing with me"

scarlets Fri 03-Jun-16 16:43:37

I think that there's probably a reason why the majority of families don't pool their resources in this way. It's so fraught, and the "what ifs" are mind-boggling.

It would be better for them to accept that they should downsize to something more financially/physically manageable, like most people lucky enough to reach old-age. It might be hard for them to accept this but it's the simplest option.

I've been through this with my parents, who were extremely picky about both house and garden, so I wish you luck.

Lelivre Fri 03-Jun-16 17:29:40

Scarlets - this last point you make. I find this too. Do I take it that in the end they found somewhere? It gives hope! How did they get to that point of making needed compromises?

fieldfare Fri 03-Jun-16 17:41:57

We're in a similar position to you.
My parents downsized from their large bungalow with acres of land to a smaller, retirement, warden controlled bungalow. They hate it. They would be quite happy with a "granny annexe" type affair just not with neighbours in such close proximity. Apart from us, obviously. So we're beginning to talk about all going in together.
My sibling's views on this, I'm not so sure of. They have a tendency to bury their head in the sand whenever anything occurs and I am always the one to help out and give assistance. It's very tricky!

Lelivre Fri 03-Jun-16 19:33:26

It is tricky isn't it.

I feel concerned if no decisions are made now then they will be forced upon them and there would be a knock on effect too to our family because we would never turn our back on them.

Lelivre Fri 03-Jun-16 19:35:55

You are reminding me too of some friends who downsized to a very small house and garden from a huge one and they found being together in such close proximity 'just awful'...Well this is what the wife said anyway grin

scarlets Fri 03-Jun-16 21:05:18

Yes, they found somewhere but it took a year. They're very happy now.

IWILLgiveupsugar Fri 03-Jun-16 21:15:31

I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole. When your parents eventually pass away it is likrly that your sibings will quickly forget about you doing all the work to support and care for them and will just see you beneffitting from living in the bigger house. They will want what they perceive to be their share. Or you will find yourselves completely responsible for all aspects of their elderly needs and your siblings will let you do it all guilt free because you are getting the house!

Children and old people with high needs don't mix - important to remember that this is their childhood and your primary responsibility is to your dc. And as much as your dh might love your parent, living with them (esp as their dependency on you increases) can be an enormous strain on a relationship.

All tha is before you even get into the implications of care home funding ( which the govt can change rules on at any time), potentially leaving you up dhit creek even if you get really good advice on the situation as the law stands now.

The best dolution imo is for them to sell and downsize while they still have control.

concertplayer Sat 04-Jun-16 17:51:08

The government does not really help either with the complicated taxes
and no one around to advise.
I mean it should with a growing elderly population be more willing to
help those families who want to try to take responsibility for their old
folk. They would gain because it would in turn reduce their own costs.
There should be at least a free advice service where people can go
for advice.
I would if Age UK or Age Concern would be able to clarify for you?

FinderofNeedles Sun 05-Jun-16 23:03:01

My DH has full responsibility for caring for and arranging care for his elderly parents, who live 5 minutes walk from us. Even though they are paying for 30 hours of private carer visits per week, we still spend many hours assisting them in various ways. It is draining and if we were all living in the same house it would be unbearable.

My advice would be to persuade your ILs to move to accommodation suitable for their changing needs as they get older (many options already suggested above), which is close to your house. None of us know what the future holds, and it is possible to get to the point where it is 'too late' to make that move (my PILs, for example).

Lelivre Tue 07-Jun-16 08:38:53

Such food for thought. I've appreciated each and every reply. It's sobering to contemplate the future with so many unknowns but at the same time realising the likelihood of the difficulties and dependencies that lie ahead.

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