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Assets left over in a will once rest has been eaten up by care home costs

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Poppy050691, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. Poppy050691

    Poppy050691 Registered User

    Aug 3, 2015
    4
    Hi,

    my nan has recently be diagnosed with dementia and will be going into a home shortly. she has enough assets to cover her own fees, but now that this has happened and my parents have been made aware that it is quite possible for anything left in a will to be eaten up by care home fees etc, so they are now concerned about what to do with their own wills.

    One question my mum has is the following which we can't seem to obtain any information on;

    Say for example my mum left me the house in her will, and my sisters money in the will for around the same value as the house, if my mum then got dementia and had to go into a home, her assets would be used to pay (and i'm assuming the house would be left until last to sell to contribute towards her assets to pay the care home fees.) What happens though if my mum died before all the assets were used up - would the will be null avoid as the wishes couldn't be carried out i.e the right correct of money has not been left to the beneficiary? sorry if this is not worded very well! thanks in advance for any replies.
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,041
    Male
    North Manchester
    Where's your dad's will in this arrangement?

    A more normal arrangement would be mirror wills where both your parents left everything to each other with a stipulation that if this fails (both parents dead) the estate is shared between you and your sister. The house would be valued and added to other funds, if your sister wanted to keep the house, and assuming it was more than half the total, she could pay you an appropriate amount so that you each endedup with half the value of the estate.
     
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    Leaving the house to one of you and cash to your sister probably isn't the best idea.
    As you say if your mum went into care the cash would be used first as that's readily available so your sister would lose out first. Where it get's complicated is if you sold the house and turned it into cash there would no longer be a house for you to inherit as you only inherit on the death of the will writer so the cash from the house may go to your sister and you lose out. Far better to say the assets are to be split equally that way you and your sister would end up getting the same.
    Should you inherit there's no reason why you couldn't use your half of the cash to buy out your sisters share of the house.
    K
     
  4. Grable

    Grable Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    165
    It is possible to include a stipulation that somebody is allowed to live in the house until they want to move out and only then can it be sold, I believe.
     
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    Only if they meet one of the qualifying criteria, over 60, disabled and the rest, other than that the LA can insist the house is sold or a charge placed on it.
    You can't "stipulate" any conditions either there is a mandatory disregard or the council can if need be force the sale.
    K
     
  6. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,041
    Male
    North Manchester
    "Only if they meet one of the qualifying criteria, over 60, disabled and the rest, other than that the LA can insist the house is sold or a charge placed on it.
    You can't "stipulate" any conditions either there is a mandatory disregard or the council can if need be force the sale."


    I think we are talking about inheritance, not any LA assessment.
     
  7. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford


    Not sure, the thread is about care costs so I assume Grable's comment relates to that.
    You can leave a house to someone in a will and stipulate that a third party can stay there for life but within the topic here of "assets and care home costs" this is not an option.
    K
     
  8. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,296
    SW London
    #8 Witzend, Nov 29, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
    Whatever a will may say, it means nothing while the person is still alive.

    If there's a possibility that a house may need to be sold for care home fees, then it would seem unwise to will that house, rather than a share (in whatever proportion) of remaining assets, to any particular person.
     
  9. Moorcroft

    Moorcroft Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    70
    My parents each left their share of their house to me and my brother in equal shares.

    My father died ten years ago, and since then their home, which my mother still lives in, has been owned 50% by her and 25 % by me, 25% by my brother.

    Now that she is in the early stages of dementia, her 50% may eventually get spent on care, but the other 50% that belongs to me and my brother can't be touched.
     
  10. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    It seems a strange and unsafe way to arrange a Will. Even without even considering the possibility of a care home there is no way of ascertaining that the cash left will be equal to the value of the house. In my Will, which is simple and was a mirror of my husband's, I have left everything to be shared equally between my two daughters and if one should pre-decease me then their share will be shared equally between her children.

    I have thought about giving them a 25% share of this house each so that half the value of the house will be their's if I ever need a care home and the LA eventually has to step in, as if that happens the cash will be all but gone but am undecided.

    I'm sure most people don't even think like this at all, it's only our experience with care home and paying for them that makes us so aware of the pitfalls!
     
  11. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    514
    The best thing for your mum to do is to think about what she wants to happen, and then discuss it with a solicitor who can draw up the will - they come across these kind of situations all the time, and they will be aware of any potential problems and can suggest the best way to achieve what she wants.
     
  12. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    Suppose your mum has to go into care. You are already suggesting that the cash should be used up first (to protect 'your' asset' the house) but equally, will your sister not say that the house should be sold to protect the cash ('her' asset) ?

    Who is right? Neither, for as Witzend says, none of it is 'yours' until your mother dies and until then her assets should be used to provide the care she needs.

    In my view, such a proposal is a disaster waiting to happen and if parents don't treat all their children equally, then there is every chance that disagreements and ill-feeling will arise between their beneficiaries when any remaining assets are distributed after their deaths. Or in this case, before death, as soon as care costs are involved.

    We have made arrangements similar to Saffie in our mirror wills. The idea of leaving the house to one and and any remaining cash to the other never even crossed our minds.
     
  13. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,296
    SW London
    We have done the same. Quite apart from anything else, it makes life simpler for whoever has the job of executor, which can be enough of a hassle anyway, without a will causing arguments/tension/bad feeling.
     
  14. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,296
    SW London
    Yes, a grandmother of mine stipulated that her 2nd husband could live in the house until he died or chose to leave, after which the house would go to my father. And he did stay until he died.
     
  15. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    937
    Perhaps after reading these threads Dad has the best idea of all - do nothing "They can sort it out when I'm gone". This idea has worried me for years but I can see the pitfalls of leaving house and other assets to different children.
    I would add the above comment is a bit flippant and where there are other close relatives around like brothers/sisters/parents etc this wouldn't work as they would be entitled to claim if estate is intestate. Fortunately it is just myself and brother.
     
  16. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,164
    Tenents in common, or joint tenents?
    Which was it between your Mother & Father?
    That will have a great bearing on who actually owns what now.
    I belive that an executor, when there is not enough funds to meet the bequests, has to split the actual proceeds in the proportion similar to the will.

    Bod
     
  17. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    I think everyone should make a will, but funnily enough, a solicitor once advised us to keep it as simple as we could and not to overthink all the "what ifs'?

    No-one should try to run/influence their beneficiaries' lives from beyond the grave :)
     
  18. Moorcroft

    Moorcroft Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    70
    They were joint tenants before making their wills. But when they made their wills, they converted it to a tenancy in common. It sounds complicated, but it is really just a form sent to the land registry.

    If a property is held jointly, when one owner dies, the property goes automatically to the survivor, regardless of what it says in the dead owner's will, but with a tenancy in common, the dead owner's share goes to whoever he leaves it to in his will, or if he hasn't left a will, to whoever is entitled on intestacy.

    You are right that bequests are paid first. A bequest is a specific gift, such as "I leave £100 and my pet parrot to auntie Norah". The residue is then divided up. So, for example, my mum's will leaves small sums to a couple of friends -- those are bequests -- and then the rest goes to me and my brother in equal shares.
     

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