Help needed with POA and house move.

Markbben

New member
Dec 6, 2019
4
Hi folks.
Earlier this year my stepfather was moved to a permanent care home after being diagnosed with vascular dementia, postural drop(low blood pressure) and depression.
We have registered his enduring POA and myself and my brother (stepsons) and my mother are joint POA's.
My mother, who has her own health issues but is of sound mind wants to move to a smaller, more suitable retirement property.
We are aware that she can use my stepfathers equity in the property to help with a purchase as an example is available on the .Gov.uk website.
The dilemma we have is with regards to a lifetime mortgage/equity release they have jointly with Aviva. We do have an early settlement figure from Aviva but would my mother be able to use the remaining equity to pay it off or would it be seen as deprivation of funds in the eyes of the local authority.
It is technically a mortgage against the property so would need to be paid but I am struggling to get any clarification.
The conveyancing solicitor handling the move just bats the question back to me even though we have agreed to pay any costs if he can find out from a specialist solicitor.
I just want to keep everything above board and do right for both our parents.
Any help would be much appreciated.
 

PJ

Registered User
Jan 26, 2017
344
Bristol
Hi folks.
Earlier this year my stepfather was moved to a permanent care home after being diagnosed with vascular dementia, postural drop(low blood pressure) and depression.
We have registered his enduring POA and myself and my brother (stepsons) and my mother are joint POA's.
My mother, who has her own health issues but is of sound mind wants to move to a smaller, more suitable retirement property.
We are aware that she can use my stepfathers equity in the property to help with a purchase as an example is available on the .Gov.uk website.
The dilemma we have is with regards to a lifetime mortgage/equity release they have jointly with Aviva. We do have an early settlement figure from Aviva but would my mother be able to use the remaining equity to pay it off or would it be seen as deprivation of funds in the eyes of the local authority.
It is technically a mortgage against the property so would need to be paid but I am struggling to get any clarification.
The conveyancing solicitor handling the move just bats the question back to me even though we have agreed to pay any costs if he can find out from a specialist solicitor.
I just want to keep everything above board and do right for both our parents.
Any help would be much appreciated.
Hi if you haven’t already, would it be worth contacting Citizens Advice? Sorry I don’t have any other advice but hopefully someone on here will. Take care.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,687
North Manchester
Your stepfather's share of the equity release will be regarded as an asset in any LA financial assessment.

If any of it is spent on an early settlement the LA are likely to regard it as deliberate deprivation of assets, you would then have to present a case explaining that was not why the money was spent.

Why not ask the LA in advance how they would regard using his assets on an early settlement giving your reasons for settling?
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,277
North West
Hi folks.
Earlier this year my stepfather was moved to a permanent care home after being diagnosed with vascular dementia, postural drop(low blood pressure) and depression.
We have registered his enduring POA and myself and my brother (stepsons) and my mother are joint POA's.
My mother, who has her own health issues but is of sound mind wants to move to a smaller, more suitable retirement property.
We are aware that she can use my stepfathers equity in the property to help with a purchase as an example is available on the .Gov.uk website.
The dilemma we have is with regards to a lifetime mortgage/equity release they have jointly with Aviva. We do have an early settlement figure from Aviva but would my mother be able to use the remaining equity to pay it off or would it be seen as deprivation of funds in the eyes of the local authority.
It is technically a mortgage against the property so would need to be paid but I am struggling to get any clarification.
The conveyancing solicitor handling the move just bats the question back to me even though we have agreed to pay any costs if he can find out from a specialist solicitor.
I just want to keep everything above board and do right for both our parents.
Any help would be much appreciated.
Its very difficult and I am also having to sort out an equity release with the same company. I note you mentioned asking the conveyancing solicitor to seek further clarification, they are unlikely to do this for you. Might be best to go back to the original solicitors who undertook the equity release work for your step dad and mum. This is very difficult to resolve for you as both your parents are still living. I only have mum to deal with now, but even that is not without its problems. An alternative is to seek an advisory consultation with a solicitor who specialises in these matters and how best to respond to the SS.
 

Markbben

New member
Dec 6, 2019
4
Your stepfather's share of the equity release will be regarded as an asset in any LA financial assessment.

If any of it is spent on an early settlement the LA are likely to regard it as deliberate deprivation of assets, you would then have to present a case explaining that was not why the money was spent.

Why not ask the LA in advance how they would regard using his assets on an early settlement giving your reasons for settling?

Thanks for your reply nitram. They have used the equity release money for holidays, house improvements etc. we would be using the remaining equity in the property to pay the lifetime mortgage/equity release.
But you have released a mental block for me with regard to the LA as I have spoken to a very helpful member of Social Services who has helped with financial assessments for my stepfather in the past.
 

Markbben

New member
Dec 6, 2019
4
Its very difficult and I am also having to sort out an equity release with the same company. I note you mentioned asking the conveyancing solicitor to seek further clarification, they are unlikely to do this for you. Might be best to go back to the original solicitors who undertook the equity release work for your step dad and mum. This is very difficult to resolve for you as both your parents are still living. I only have mum to deal with now, but even that is not without its problems. An alternative is to seek an advisory consultation with a solicitor who specialises in these matters and how best to respond to the SS.

Thanks for your reply Palerider. Have you had no joy talking to Aviva? It was one of the phone calls I was going to make on monday. I have trawled there terms and conditions but nothing is really there to help. We are aware there is a hefty early repayment fee but we have factored that into our calculations. I will try Aviva and if I have any joy I will let you know. I am also going to speak to the LA and hope they can shed some light as well.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,687
North Manchester
Have I got it right?
  • There is a known early settlement figure.
  • There are insufficient assets to pay this.
  • You hope to pay with the remaining equity in the house.
  • This equity is only available on the sale of the house.
  • You cannot sell the house because of the equity release.
  • Your mother intends to buy a smaller property with what is left.
If this is correct you need expert legal advice.
As already suggested the solicitor who arranged the equity released could be the best person to contact.

Regarding the LA, as I see it there are currently no assets to be deprived.
If all the above happens Stepfather's assets will be half of what's left, paying the settlement will be part of the legal costs of selling one property and buying another.
The LA may take a different view.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,687
North Manchester
Just seen thread title includes POA
You said
myself and my brother (stepsons) and my mother are joint POA's.
If you mean 'joint' and not 'joint and several' a trustee will have to be appointed to protect Stepfather's interests in the property sale, you have registered the EPA which means you consider he 'has lost, or is loosing capacity'

If 'joint and several' mother can act in her own right and one of the other attorneys can act on his behalf.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,277
North West
Thanks for your reply Palerider. Have you had no joy talking to Aviva? It was one of the phone calls I was going to make on monday. I have trawled there terms and conditions but nothing is really there to help. We are aware there is a hefty early repayment fee but we have factored that into our calculations. I will try Aviva and if I have any joy I will let you know. I am also going to speak to the LA and hope they can shed some light as well.
Aviva are not obliged to help you with advice and I have found them difficult to deal with in the past when dad died -they are not forth coming despite making a fortune out of this.

I would strongly advise anyone against an equity release, unless they are prepared to loose money and deal with a company that has a lot of financial clout

I also found the website unhelpful as it gave no real guidance. As for the early settlement fee I believe its 25%, however Aviva do have a clause if residential care is required due to dementia for waiving the early settlement fee, but I am not sure if this will apply as I am confused how they decide this.

Having had experience before I found it best to put this into the hands of a solicitor (for a small fee) and I will be doing so again. I don't want to accidently do something that may make the situation worse -more money in solicitors fees, but mum and dads solicitors are very good and I know they will sort this for the least amount fee thay can charge.

I'll post any developments or any information I find out
 

Markbben

New member
Dec 6, 2019
4
Just seen thread title includes POA
You said


If you mean 'joint' and not 'joint and several' a trustee will have to be appointed to protect Stepfather's interests in the property sale, you have registered the EPA which means you consider he 'has lost, or is loosing capacity'

If 'joint and several' mother can act in her own right and one of the other attorneys can act on his behalf.
Have I got it right?
  • There is a known early settlement figure.
  • There are insufficient assets to pay this.
  • You hope to pay with the remaining equity in the house.
  • This equity is only available on the sale of the house.
  • You cannot sell the house because of the equity release.
  • Your mother intends to buy a smaller property with what is left.
If this is correct you need expert legal advice.
As already suggested the solicitor who arranged the equity released could be the best person to contact.

Regarding the LA, as I see it there are currently no assets to be deprived.
If all the above happens Stepfather's assets will be half of what's left, paying the settlement will be part of the legal costs of selling one property and buying another.
The LA may take a different view.
Thanks for the reply. I am with mum at the moment and thankfully she still has the details of the person she dealt with when taking out this lifetime mortgage. That should point me in the direction of the solicitor who dealt with mortgage and set the record straight. I will update with the outcome.
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,277
North West
A small update on something I have found out today. Please realise this is not advice but something to be aware of and you will need to check out if there is an equity release on a property.

The equity release company can force sale of the property once a pwd is placed into long term care, so when you notify the company is important. The distinction is that respite care (that can exceed 6 weeks) does not require you to check in with the company unless this changes to long term care placement. This also may vary depending on the clauses written into the original equity release agreement (the small print).

For me in this situation I think going back now to mums solicitor is the best option to get matters clarified as I don't know what was in the agreement they took out