Gifting money versus deprivation of assets

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by mushypeas, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. mushypeas

    mushypeas New member

    Jan 26, 2019
    8
    Hi folks

    Does anyone know where I might seek information on the amount of money my Mum can gift me, before it was deemed she had deprived herself of some of her assets? I am asking in case she needs to go into residential care in the future. Presently she lives in sheltered accommodation and we are just about to commence carer visits. Mum has Alzheimers.

    She has capital in stocks and shares so I know she will have to pay for her own care until her capital is down to around £23K? Of course we are accepting of this, however she would like to help me out with a deposit for a mortgage, so does anyone know how much she could gift to me without it being deemed as giving money away to avoid having to pay care fees (which is not what she is doing.)

    Also, I have power or attorney in place and have registered this at her bank. Although I am unclear about if the POA has to be 'activated' in some way in the future? At present she still has capacity although I manage her money and have a debit card for her bank account which says Mum's name and 'representative' after it. I guess if she is gifting me money she would need to write a letter authorising this and to prove I am not just swindling her out of her money?!

    Any pointers of where to get advice would be helpful.

    If there are post on this forum that help, please let me know. I don't use it very often and find it difficult to navigate my way round as I am not good with IT.

    Thanks in advance

    Vicki
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,738
    Kent
    Hello @mushypeas

    The best people to ask are those at CAB or even the Social Services Benefits Office.

    The rights and wrongs of monetary gifts I`m sure will depend on the size of them.

    I gave one of my mother`s granddaughters a wedding gift but cleared it first. I imagine a contribution towards a mortgage would be considerably more so would be sure to check first.
     
  3. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,313
    As you have lodged the POA with the bank and have a debit card as your Mum's representative you have already 'activated' the POA. There are two issues here. Firstly, as the attorney responsible for managing your Mum's money you must be careful about paying yourself money which benefits you. A 'customary' gift for birthday, Christmas, equal to what your Mum usually paid you is considered fine but larger sums may not be. With regards deprivation of assets, this depends on whether the amount is deemed to be 'reasonable'. It is a bit of a minefield but best to contact the OPG to clarify that they will be happy with the size of the payment made to you as attorney. Their website contains useful information with regards gifting and deprivation of assets, and mental capacity issues: https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...pg2-giving-gifts-for-someone-else-web-version
     
  4. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,690
    Office of guardians
    Ring & ask them, that’s who your POA is in place with & they only deal with facts, not personal details; ie names.
    Have rung & had advice from them about money etc.
    Also Alzheimer’s helpline are brilliant.
    CAB & Age uk good but not always as well informed volunteers on switch board as other organisations.
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    It isnt just the Office of Public Guardians (OPG) who would be interested in deprivation of assets - its the Local Authority once you get to the stage of having to rely on them for funding.I know it wont be necessary to begin with, but it is surprising how quickly saving can go on care home fees - expect to pay about £4,000 to £5,000 per month, depending on area (if its a cheap area you might get away with less) and if its a top-end facility you could pay a lot more.
    Once you need LA funding there will be a financial assessment and if they suspect deprivation of assets they can go back a long way.

    Giving money for things that are usual and have been done before is fine - birthday and Christmas gifts in line with previous gifts, OK. Wedding or other occasions gifts so long as they are not excessive, are OK, but I think that the amount you are thinking of goes way beyond this. We have bailed our children out in the past and paid rental deposits, but I have had to tell them that we can unfortunately no longer do this.
     
  6. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,255
    When it comes to stuff like this, amounts are relative. Think of a number, say £100,000 - it will be a substantial amount to some and loose change to others. Take a deep breath and ask yourself honestly if the money you're hoping to receive is in fact likely to be needed for care costs in the future. If there's a chance it will then there's also a chance the SS will treat it as deprivation of assets. Obviously no one has a crystal ball but you have an idea of the overall assets, average care costs and your mum's age and health.

    One other thing to keep in mind in situations like this is inheritance tax rules, so have a read around that before you proceed. It's not that your mum can't gift you cash, just that there might be tax implications if she passes away in the next few years.

    Oh, and lastly, only you know your family situation and how other 'interested' parties might view a financial gift. As PoA you're supposed to act in your mum's interests not your own. On the other hand, your mum IS allowed to give you gifts, especially if there's a track record of that but even if not. In practice, the deprivation of assets issue aside, you're unlikely to run into problems over this unless you have, for example, siblings who might kick up a fuss if they think you're abusing your position and favouring yourself. But, as you say, mum has capacity and if that's demonstrable then I suppose that would probably take care of that.

    Tricky, but doable if the numbers stack up.
     
  7. mushypeas

    mushypeas New member

    Jan 26, 2019
    8
    Hi

    That's really useful and puts things into perspective, thanks so much.

    Fortunately what makes some aspects simple is that I am an only child and she is leaving everything to me in her will.

    She is thinking of gifting me 10% of her total assets. She might start drawing from that capital soon as we are starting with carers.

    Inheritance tax is not something we need to worry about as the amount she has is below the threshold.
     
  8. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,077
    Yorkshire

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