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Inheritance and social services

BazArcher

Registered User
Feb 13, 2016
30
0
Lakenheath, Suffolk
Hello Folks
Its been a long time since I've posted on the forums and sadly like most a lot of stuff has happened over the years, finally had the displeasure of putting my OH in care last Oct and as we're still of a working age found out I was liable for some of the costs via social services, they do have a lovely habit of dropping bombshells at the right time the letter landed on xmas eve so pretty much ruined that for me.
I was told I had to pay what seemed like a smallish amount of £135 a week ofc after working thru all the bills and mortgage I was left with an amount of £0 for myself to feed heat and drive on, I had started a part time job so was ok got past the initial shock and moved on.
Now to the question my bro in law phoned new years eve and told me OH's mum house had sold and there was a biggish inheritance on its way, I thought ok problems solved but then sat and worked me way through the implications mainly POA and what it would mean if social found out, so I phoned them and asked what would happen and could I use any of the money to do what most married couples would do and pay off the mortgage (£25k) I was informed I could only pay off her half as it was a joint mortgage. Ok not a problem that will still be a big help, then the real amount came from brother and it was £56k spoke with social after paying off her half and was then informed the rest will need to be used to pay full care home costs till it dwindles below £24k .
The question I have is in a normal married life that inheritance would have been used to pretty much do as we liked and in theory split in half, people I have told all think half of that should in fact go to me even the social team thought that to start with but the financial folks think otherwise, I have tried to look this up on the good old interweb but most of it talks about divorce and death regards inheritance and not about a married couple officially still together.
Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated I have spoke with CAB and they have kindly got hold of a solicitor to look into it but as they're so busy it will be a month before they phone me back.

Barry
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
4,331
0
Midlands
Who was the inheritance due to?

Its usually one person that inherits, rather than a couple.- I presume she inherited, in which case, SS are correct.

its hard, but if it was you that had inherited, presumably you wouldn't want half if it to go to her?

Your finances should be seperate now
 
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BazArcher

Registered User
Feb 13, 2016
30
0
Lakenheath, Suffolk
Yeah sadly I figured the being named bit would be the issue so I guess there is no recourse just have to bite the bullet grit me teeth and wish I'd never made the fatal mistake of going to work and better meself :)
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,862
0
South coast
wish I'd never made the fatal mistake of going to work and better meself
It wouldnt have made any difference to the financial assessment whether you were working or not. They are only looking at the assets and savings of the person with dementia - accounts solely in her name, and 50% of any joint accounts, none of yours at all. This 50% is why you should divide the accounts, otherwise you will be subsidising her fees. As well as paying off her half of the mortgage, you can also use the money to pre-pay for a funeral, which will reduce the amount a bit.

BTW, I dont know if your wife will be getting an occupational/private pension at some stage. If so, then when she does you can apply for half of it for yourself.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
7,983
0
Essex
It wouldnt have made any difference to the financial assessment whether you were working or not. They are only looking at the assets and savings of the person with dementia - accounts solely in her name, and 50% of any joint accounts, none of yours at all. This 50% is why you should divide the accounts, otherwise you will be subsidising her fees. As well as paying off her half of the mortgage, you can also use the money to pre-pay for a funeral, which will reduce the amount a bit.

BTW, I dont know if your wife will be getting an occupational/private pension at some stage. If so, then when she does you can apply for half of it for yourself.
Don't forget to inform your local authority for single occupancy and also if your wife needs care during the night she could be entitled to the higher rate of AA.

MaNaAk
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,469
0
Yorkshire
Hi @BazArcher
I am a little confused, so apologies if none of the following is relevant

... you mention that there is still a mortgage on your home, which is a joint mortgage ... as this is a debt of both of you and you both have a financial interest in the property, is your wife's finances being used to pay her half as you are not responsible for her debts ? ... I think your situation is complicated because of the mortgage still being current ... certainly as your wife has an interest in the property, her finances can be used to pay half the insurance and half any necessary maintenance

ADDED ... ah, I think your wife's half of the remaining mortgage has been paid off

Is the £135 a week your wife's contribution to fees, to be paid from her finances only ... or is it a third party top-up being paid by you from your finances ... I ask as the LA have no right to demand a top-up as this is a voluntary contribution

In a previous post, you wrote that your wife would be receiving an early retirement pension ... if so, do check about her 'gifting' you half of this private pension

It may well be worth you chatting all this over with Citizens Advice
 
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MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
7,983
0
Essex
Hi @BazArcher
I am a little confused, so apologies if none of the following is relevant

... you mention that there is still a mortgage on your home, which is a joint mortgage ... as this is a debt of both of you and you both have a financial interest in the property, is your wife's finances being used to pay her half as you are not responsible for her debts ? ... I think your situation is complicated because of the mortgage still being current ... certainly as your wife has an interest in the property, her finances can be used to pay half the insurance and half any necessary maintenance

ADDED ... ah, I think your wife's half of the remaining mortgage has been paid off

Is the £135 a week your wife's contribution to fees, to be paid from her finances only ... or is it a third party top-up being paid by you from your finances ... I ask as the LA have no right to demand a top-up as this is a voluntary contribution

In a previous post, you wrote that your wife would be receiving an early retirement pension ... if so, do check about her 'gifting' you half of this private pension

It may well be worth you chatting all this over with Citizens Advice
I think this is a good idea as you can check on benefits as well.

MaNaAk
 

BazArcher

Registered User
Feb 13, 2016
30
0
Lakenheath, Suffolk
sadly all that has been written above is already being done, the 135 is from her earnings which incs half her workplace pension and the rest is made up from esa, in theory what they left me with after all relevant costs ie half mortgage half rates and i think house insurance is £0 per week to support myself forcing me back into work which atm after nearly 8 yrs of caring I just don't want to do but as I'm 57 sadly no choice but to do something. It just struck me as annoying as we've been married over 30 yrs and shared everything I had hoped it would be the case but as its named on will its all hers.
 

BazArcher

Registered User
Feb 13, 2016
30
0
Lakenheath, Suffolk
well another update just had social phone me to say probate after mum in laws death was done before OH went into care and so liable for full costs since Oct last year £25k till this Mar and then, well this almost made me laugh as the number is now below the £23k threshold guess what its now classed as split and leaves here with half and back to them taking over bulk of care costs, go figure talk about a bit screwy.
 

JanetofLancs

Registered User
Apr 9, 2015
4
0
Hello @BazArcher and anyone else following this thread.
I am asking a further question about inheritance ...
My Mum is in a care home and rapidly approaching the £23.5k threshold beyond which she no longer has to pay. My Dad is worried that he may die before her and his savings go towards her care if she inherits (the current way the Will is set up). Is it therefore legal for him to change his will so that the beneficiaries are his children instead of his wife? Thanks to anyone who can assist us.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,862
0
South coast
Hi @JanetofLancs
Yes it is perfectly OK, all above board and legal to change his will so that everything is left to children. It is not considered deprivation of assets as it was never hers - it is your dads and he can do what he wants with his own assets. I have done exactly the same in my will.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,407
0
High Peak
Hello @BazArcher and anyone else following this thread.
I am asking a further question about inheritance ...
My Mum is in a care home and rapidly approaching the £23.5k threshold beyond which she no longer has to pay. My Dad is worried that he may die before her and his savings go towards her care if she inherits (the current way the Will is set up). Is it therefore legal for him to change his will so that the beneficiaries are his children instead of his wife? Thanks to anyone who can assist us.
You cannot legally disinherit your spouse! He can leave his half of the house to his children.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,026
0
65
London
Yes fully legal.
See a solicitor ASAP.

BOD
Does anyone remember the rather good advertising campaign by the legal profession with the the strapline " Don't ask whatshisname. See a solicitor"? Totally applicable to this thread.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,026
0
65
London
You cannot legally disinherit your spouse! He can leave his half of the house to his children.
Not as simple as that. You can disinherit your spouse but the spouce can challenge that if it leaves him/her without adequate provision. As the spouse is in a care home and fully funded it is hard to see that she might have grounds for a challenge. She won't be left starving.

I wonder if the local authority could challenge a will that denies a spouse funds that would have paid for care? Anyone heard of that happening?
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,407
0
High Peak
Not as simple as that. You can disinherit your spouse but the spouce can challenge that if it leaves him/her without adequate provision. As the spouse is in a care home and fully funded it is hard to see that she might have grounds for a challenge. She won't be left starving.

I wonder if the local authority could challenge a will that denies a spouse funds that would have paid for care? Anyone heard of that happening?
Fully-funded? I didn't read it that way!
The spouse in the care home is approaching the 23,500 limit for their own savings, so the LA will soon start to part-fund care. @JanetofLancs doesn't say whether there is a house involved. This would be disregarded while her dad is living there but if he dies, I imagine the LA would be keen to get their hands on that money so that she remains self-funding. That's if the Will remains unchanged.

Janet's dad can certainly leave his half of the house to his children if he and mum are tenants in common. If there is no house involved and Janet's dad just has savings, he can leave monies to anyone he wants, within the rules. I'm assuming that as things stand with the Will, Janet's mum will inherit everything if her husband pre-deceases her. I don't think he can change his will so that he leaves her nothing. If he did do this, and dementia was not in the picture, Janet's mum could make a claim against the estate under the Inheritance Act and she would win.

@MartinWL surely it would be the duty of Janet's mum's Attorney to make that claim, as an attorney must act in the donor's best interests. That might create a conflict of interest if the Attorney would actually benefit (get some inheritance) that would otherwise have gone to Janet's mum on claiming against the estate.

So it's complicated, as these things often are, and I definitely think Janet and her dad need to consult a specialist solicitor. As for whether the LA would pursue it, who knows. The attorney is the person who should pursue it and the LA will deal with them. If there's a house, the LA will definitely want to get the money. I imagine it would be treated much the same as if Janet's mum was living alone in the house then went into care - they would insist the house is sold to fund that care.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,862
0
South coast
If there's a house, the LA will definitely want to get the money. I imagine it would be treated much the same as if Janet's mum was living alone in the house then went into care - they would insist the house is sold to fund that care.
Yes thats true - but only for her share of the house. They cannot appropriate the whole lot if her husband has left his share to the children.

I can only say that OH and I made our wills through a solicitor and have both left everything to the children.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
25,476
0
North Manchester
The legislation is >>>here<<<

Agreed it can leave an attorney who is also a beneficiary in a difficult position deciding the wishes of the spouse in care, deprivation of assets can't apply because the spouse never owned the money.

The ploy of changing property ownership to tenants in common and then disinheriting a spouse is a common one although the earlier death of the testator does not occur that often.

I've not seen any report of either a court request or an application for a deed of variation being made.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,407
0
High Peak
Yes thats true - but only for her share of the house. They cannot appropriate the whole lot if her husband has left his share to the children.

I can only say that OH and I made our wills through a solicitor and have both left everything to the children.
Yes, but if the will stays as is, she will inherit his half then the council will want it all. As you say, it's perfectly OK for tenants in common to leave their half to children or whatever, so it would make sense for the dad to make sure he does this.

There is still the possible conflict of interest problem if the mum's attorney would stand to gain if mum didn't contest the will. If dad left her zilch she would absolutely be entitled to contest it and that's what an attorney ought to do if acting in her best interests.
 

JanetofLancs

Registered User
Apr 9, 2015
4
0
Thank you all so much. There is a house and my Dad still lives there. We think they are Tennants in Common.
The LA should pay for my Mum's care in full once she reaches the threshold shouldn't they?
We are arranging an appointment with a solicitor as soon as the office reopens this Tuesday!
I'll update after we get more answers.