Frequently asked questions

Select a question from the list below and click on it to reveal the answer:

 

A. No, your Enduring Power of Attorney will be sufficient. In October 2007 the law changed so that any Enduring Powers of Attorney made up until then are still valid. However from the 1st October 2007 it has only been possible to make a Lasting Power of Attorney.

 
A. You will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be made Deputy of her affairs. That will enable you to pay her bills and manage her money and investments.
 
A. No, because you owned the house jointly. Unless he has already made an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Lasting Power of Attorney you will have to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint another person to sell the house with you on his behalf.
 
A. Firstly, the Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used once it has been registered with the Court of Protection. This is a routine procedure that takes about 8 weeks. Once the Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered, you can do things on your mother’s behalf but under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 you have a duty to consult with her, and if there are any decisions she is able to make herself you must allow her to make those decisions. You should only make decisions for her that she cannot make herself. If she makes what you think is a bad decision, that does not mean you can overrule her – so long as she is mentally capable of making that decision she is allowed to make a decision which you might think is a wrong one.
 
A. The Government will not take your home. You may have to sell it yourself. Although very many people do sell their homes when they go into care this is not automatically necessary. It depends on all your circumstances as to whether this is the right thing for you to do.
 
A. It makes no difference whether you own a house jointly or whether she owns the whole of it. Because you are living in it the Local Authority will not take it into account when they are considering how much your wife can afford to pay towards her care home fees. The house will be ignored until you no longer occupy it as your home.
 
A. Sometimes people do give their house to their children in order to avoid paying care home fees. However, the risk of giving the house to your children might be greater than the risk of having to pay care home fees – for example one of your children might die or divorce or go bankrupt, and then their share of your house might end up in different ownership. In any case, there are a number of laws designed to prevent you giving your house away if the intention is to get help with your fees.
 
A. No – that 7 year rule relates to inheritance tax. In any case, if you give your house away to your children but continue to live in it, that is not an effective gift for inheritance tax however many years you live for.
 
A. Yes – you should review your Will roughly every five years. It may not necessarily need changing but you should consider whether it says what you want, and it would be a good idea to get some legal advice about whether in your current circumstances it is still the right Will for you.
 
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