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Should I accept a gift from my mother if she wants to exclude my DH from it?

(160 Posts)
giving Sun 15-Jun-08 08:09:25

My mother has come into a largish inheritance and wants to pass some of it down to me for IHT purposes (she has taken advice).

She has relatives abroad that have suggested a good property investment. She likes the idea of this property because we can also use it as a holiday base near her family. Her gift would not buy the property outright, but would fund the deposit with the rest needing a mortgage. Neither she or I work, so my DH would need to apply for the mortgage and for the mortgage to be in our joint names.

My mother is keen to avoid my DH having any claim on the property for a number of reasons, mainly she doesn't like him very much (lots of reasons) and she is worried that we may divorce because we row a lot. FWIW, this is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

My mother has taken legal advice and has come up with an "off-shore trust" method of ownership whereby she and I are the Trustees/owners but my DH is still liable under the mortgage. She doesn't want to tell him that he won't be a Trustee, and he thinks it will be a gift towards our future pension. My mother has said that she will act as an unofficial guarantor of the mortgage so that we won't lose any money or go into debt. Therefore it should be risk free for my DH but obviously he is excluded from any benefit as well.

Is my mother entitled to do as she likes with her money or is this using my DH and opening up a can of worms for the future?

Honest feedback please.

posieflump Sun 15-Jun-08 08:11:44

She is entitled to do what she likes with her money but you cannot lie to your dh.

justabouttoeatallthejaffacakes Sun 15-Jun-08 08:12:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twiglett Sun 15-Jun-08 08:12:19

if I was your DH I'd tell her to fuck off

justabouttoeatallthejaffacakes Sun 15-Jun-08 08:13:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Buda Sun 15-Jun-08 08:14:32

Can of worms! And if your DH finds out there prob will be a divorce!

Can't believe your mother would come up with something so underhand.

hockeypuck Sun 15-Jun-08 08:14:43

Why on earth would you want a gift with so many conditions?

How would you feel about lying to your DH about who owns the property when he will be the one paying out for something that is not and never will be his?

All sounds completely crazy to me and almost certain to blow up into a big heap of trouble a couple of years down the line.

Either she gives you an inheritance to do with what you will, or she doesn't give you anything.

justabouttoeatallthejaffacakes Sun 15-Jun-08 08:15:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

posieflump Sun 15-Jun-08 08:16:00

'she is worried that we may divorce because we row a lot. FWIW, this is unlikely in the foreseeable future. '

you don't sound very convinced about you and your dh tbh

geordieminx Sun 15-Jun-08 08:16:59

So she doesnt want your dh to have any "claim" on the property, or have anything to do with it...She just wants him to take out a mortgage on it and for you to to pay it.... Do either you or dh have mug tattoed across your foreheads?

If someone asked me to take out a mortgage for something like that or asked me to trick dp into agreeing I would tell them to get fucked...sorry to be blunt but there is potential for a massive fall out from this - namely you and your dh....

Steer well clear. If she wants her property abroad let her mind some other mug generous soul.

geordieminx Sun 15-Jun-08 08:20:08

Jaffa - she is entitled to spend the money as she wishes - but not to get the OP to "trick" her dh into taking out and paying a mortgage. If she doesnt want him to have anything to do with it fine, but you cant then turn round and ask him to pay for it!!! Unbelieveable!!!

Helennn Sun 15-Jun-08 08:21:12

She sounds very controlling to me. Like hockeypuck says, to expect him to pay the mortgage when he will never actually own it is disgusting and like she is using him, (and I wouldn't have thought a mortgage company would allow it anyway). If she cannot afford to buy a holiday home outright then she can give you the money outright or via a trust. Also, with the world's economy as it is right now, how can you be sure it is such a good investment?

moopymoo Sun 15-Jun-08 08:22:11

there is no way that your dh should act to guarantee the mortgage if he is not a beneficiary of the trust. And not to tell him about this would be massively disloyal to your husband, and potentially grounds for divorce! Tell your mother that she needs to raise the mortgage herself or include him - i understand the issues around IT , we have similar things in place here. If using your dh is the only way to avoid inheritance tax then he must be informed. If you were to divorce he would lilely have a claim anyway, he could certainly force sale of the property if he had a mortgage on it. your mothe rhas been poorly informed or else she is choosing to ignore some sections of advice!

LIZS Sun 15-Jun-08 08:23:34

It is either a gift or it isn't , such preconditions just to potentially avoid a bit of IHT seem unnecessary, deceitful(to which you would be party) and vindictive. If she continues to part own half the property value is still liable for IHT anyway.

Is your nickname deliberately ironic btw?

Flier Sun 15-Jun-08 08:23:50

I think your mother has a cheek, expecting your dh to fund a house that he will have no claim to. If my mother wanted to do this to my dh, I would not be happy and would feel so sad and angry for my dh.

Helennn Sun 15-Jun-08 08:25:36

Also, if it is still witthin 2 years of the person's death you can change the will by deed of variation, (with all beneficiaries/executors agreement), so that the inheritance passes straight down to you therefore avoiding any IHT issues. Best check this out first with a solicitor but then suggest that to your mum, I have a feeling she may not be so keen!!!

giving Sun 15-Jun-08 08:35:17

I wanted honest feedback so thanks for all of that.

She is saying to me that his being on the mortgage is just a technicality to get it started, because she is prepared to meet all the costs afterwards if there is a tenancy void or large bills on it.

The downside to this is that she could potentially re-marry, change her mind, die without leaving money to cover it all and my DH is then left liable for the 25 year mortgage term. He is also relying on it to provide security in his old age.

I wouldn't normally go along with something like this but I haven't had a very happy marriage and my mother is angry with my DH for a number of reasons.

Flier Sun 15-Jun-08 08:37:28

Well, if I was your dh, if being asked to pay a mortgage, I'd probably take some legal advice, so what if he was to find out about all of it? He surely is likely to, if he's going to be paying the mortgage on it?

YeahBut Sun 15-Jun-08 08:39:08

Why can't she put the money in trust for you? Or buy a smaller property that does not require a mortgage.
I think tricking your dh into footing the bill for a property that you and your dm have no intention of letting him have a claim to is immoral, no matter what he may have done to anger her.

lizziemun Sun 15-Jun-08 08:41:25

I'm sorry but i going have say you mum wants your dh who she doesn't like to buy her a holiday home.

She has some money but not enough to buy a holiday home. So her solution is to say i will put down a deposit and your dh will get a mortgage, but he will not benifit from the property should anything happen to you, but she gains everything.

what does this mean "My mother has said that she will act as an unofficial guarantor of the mortgage so that we won't lose any money or go into debt." If she can afford to be a guarantor then she can afford to get her own mortgage.

Can you afford to take on another mortgage with the cost of living all the time. Not to mention to your dh what you and your mother are planning to do to him.

hercules1 Sun 15-Jun-08 08:41:43

I can understand completely why your mother is doing this but I would suggest you look at using the money in a different way.

MegBusset Sun 15-Jun-08 08:43:27

No, I wouldn't go along with it. If you are in an unhappy marriage then get out.

StellaWasADiver Sun 15-Jun-08 08:45:45

Nevermind your DH telling her to fuck off, I'd tell her to fuck off.

So she hates your DH, that doesn't excuse using him like this, I think it's pretty disgusting to be honest. Sneaky.

Would your conscience let you?

zookeeper Sun 15-Jun-08 08:48:32

From a legal point of view,as he is your husband he would have a potential claim on any property held in your name in the event of a divorce.

piggysneed Sun 15-Jun-08 08:49:55

Not only is this a really underhand way to treat your dh it is also really risky. Holiday homes are notoriously difficult to make an profit from and your dh would legally have to make the payments if there was no income. What is going to happen when dh wants to use the property at a time your mother wants to rent it out or use it herself. You are bringing a lot of tension into an already fragile relationship.

If your dh has this investment from which he cannot benefit then he won't be able to use his borrowing potential to make any other investments from which he might profit.

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