Mother gifted and now self funding until 2017

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Dave..., Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Dave...

    Dave... Registered User

    Oct 15, 2013
    2
    #1 Dave..., Oct 15, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
    Hello all this is my first post so thanks in advance for anyone qualified to help with this, I have spent a long time looking round the forum but cant quite get a true answer to this

    short version
    2007 Mother assessed as having care needs by social services
    2008 Mother moved to sheltered accom, also assessed with memory concerns
    2009 Mother sold her house, gifted her children, mother diagnosed with memory problems being early onset or mild Alzheimer’s. she doesnt want care help from anyone so we help with shopping and cleaning.
    2010 Nothing changes some good days, some where she seems confused at times, she’s still making cups of tea and basics like toast, still able to talk and discuss things but we are caring for her on regular visits, mother still refusing external help, in the past three years its been a reall struggle getting her to go out without tricking her in some way, hair dressers, sunday lunch ect all really hard work, she’s happy to be left alone and helped by the family where needed.
    2011 Mother has to move flats due to a council refurbishment, now she’s confused, shes very unsettled, doesnt know whos kitchen it is or whos food it is in the cupboad, she starts with occasional wandering in the corridors but now doesnt know her flat from the outside so often needs guideing back in.
    2012 wandering now serious as shes getting out of the flats, under worries about her safety we move her to full time care home.
    2012 late in this year due to her outgoings now 400% more I request council funding, council say they cant help and class her as self-funding until 2017 due to the gifting
    2012 we appeal stating we intended to care for her for a long period of time, the move was forced on us and it created a change in circumstances.

    Advice please
    By the look of what I see around the forum and the fact it was only three years from the gifting period I take it the council will stand firm, what I am looking at is the fact the council changed her circumstances and this was something that couldn’t have been by taken into consideration without knowing it, would there not be room for argument here?
    Also how can they arrive at 2017 being the period for review using some theoretical figure when in reality she will have spent a large amount more than if she hadnt gifted.

    Any advice would be appreciated

    Dave..
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,828
    Male
    North Manchester
    "...Also how can they arrive at 2017 being the period for review..."

    By looking at the estimated current value of the property, you could argue around this but it won't stop them saying that she is self funded now.

    If the deprivation occurred recently (last 6 months?) the LA can ask for the money back, if it was longer than this they regard it as virtual capital which is what they appear to be doing in your case. If the person in care has no other funds I don't know what happens.

    Have a read of

    http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/charging-for-residential-accommodation-guide-2013.pdf

    There is a detailed guide written for MPs to help them deal with constituents' problems, this is a good starting point

    http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn01911.pdf‎

    You could also contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, local MP, http://www.mind.org.uk/ and take legal advice.

    Given your timescale of events I think you will be very lucky to get the LA to back down.
     
  3. SallyPotter

    SallyPotter Registered User

    May 19, 2013
    161
    Gloucestershire
    If you decide to challenge it please be sure to take legal advice first.
    The viewpoint may be that as she moved, gifted then was diagnosed with memory problems in such a short space of time it could be viewed that the gifting was a way of getting out of care home fees and therefore depreciation of assets.
    At the moment it is working in your favour, the move into the initial home was your mothers choice, the fact that it was then refurbished is a fact of the current social care situation, presumably 'best interests' may have been involved before the move. if that has happened you don't stand much of a chance of over-throwing it, they may even look into past finances in more detail
    You could very easily be opening up a can of worms, speak to a solicitor first before deciding to proceed.
     
  4. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,406
    Female
    England
    Hi,

    I am no expert and as others have said you need legal advice.

    Having read your post my interpretation of the dilemma is your Mother in 2007 was judged to need some care. The following year she needed more care and entered sheltered housing. So it is already apparent that she may need more care sometime in the future. The following year she sells her house and gives the money to her children. As care is already in the equation though being given by family I can see why they are treating it as depravation and are assuming the funds raised by the sale would last until 2017 if she went into care. The gift really needed to be done before 2007 when your Mother was well and showing no signs of needing any help.

    I am not sure you can blame the downturn on her enforced move. Downturns are going to happen, infections cause downturns, anaesthetics cause downturns, progression of the disease causes downturns.

    My husband is in a nursing home and though I am fit and fairly healthy I am aware that I too might need care in the future. I hope I don't but there are no guarantees.

    It is unfair but unfortunately if we have the funds, we are responsible for ourselves and my home will have to fund my care. If I am lucky and avoid care then my home will then be my children's inheritance. The government are making a bit of a pig's ear of changing the law regarding funding and I can't see it being sorted any day soon.

    I apologise if my thoughts are way of the mark, it's just the way I read it and understand these damn rules we have to abide by.

    Jay


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point mobile app
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,429
    I think Jay's got it spot on, I'm afraid. It's the whole: "what could be expected at the time of the disposal" and I'm sorry, I think this could have been expected. It's nothing to do with age, as despite what we might think here being the type of forum we are, most people remain in their own homes until they die. But once there were obvious problems, well...

    I think you need very specialized professional legal advice about this. The 10 year thing is a little odd, but it's possible that your LA dates this from the time of first contact with them when they are dealing with deprivation of assets.
     
  6. Dave...

    Dave... Registered User

    Oct 15, 2013
    2
    Ok thanks to everyone for the advice, I cant even see a chink of hope in the comments but I think your right. -
    Dave
     
  7. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    4,716
    Wiltshire
    Dave,

    I think your best approach and only hope really is to challenge the 2017 timeline. You can do your own calculations based on proceeds from sale of the house plus interest it would have accrued in the timeframe, plus any savings and other income eg pensions etc. Then deduct any outgoings over the period and then project forward. If her money would have reached £23K (the point at which the LA start to contribute) then you can challenge on that basis. If you haven't already done so, put in a claim for repayment of council tax. Apply for attendance allowance if you haven't already done so. Not a huge amount, but might help you and your siblings out.

    You say that you always intended to care for your mum. What did you all do with your gift? Did you do any modifications to your homes that could be argued were done for your mum's benefit? Walk in shower perhaps? Converted garage to a Granny annex perhaps? If you have receipts you could look to reduce the LAs figures by that amount.

    These would seem to be the only sort of argument that you have without involving a solicitor. For example, it is one thing to say she deprived herself of her assets by the gifting. No one will dispute that now. If however you acted in good faith in receiving the money and spending it, then what happens if you can't afford to finance her care home fees out of your own income? Where are the care home fees expected to come from? You're not alone in not knowing the rules. Many people don't. Ignorance is not always a defence but it might help you in this case. Whilst people on the forum might know the rules due to the topic coming up frequently. Most, if not all, people do not know that they exist when they arrive here. Most are not aware, for example, about CRAG until it affects them, so you are not alone in that regard.

    I wish you luck and that at least you get some level of consideration from the LA. Please let us know how you get on as the information will be useful for others on here.

    Fiona
     
  8. SallyPotter

    SallyPotter Registered User

    May 19, 2013
    161
    Gloucestershire
    Hi, I don't mean to cast a shadow of doom but this is one time when qualified legal advice is worth paying for, the powers that be won't show much concern in where the monies gone but will be concentrating on how, it could be argued that the gifting was taking advantage of a frail confused old women. As I said before please be cautious + try and set up an alternative arrangement for payment.
     
  9. BeverleyY

    BeverleyY Registered User

    Jan 29, 2008
    716
    Ashford, Kent
    Good luck...

    But considering there was recognition of memory problems before she sold the house, I would assume that it would be clearly deemed there had been a conscious effort to get rid of her assets.

    I'm battling on a finance front, but don't hold out any hope! Totally different circumstances though.
     

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