Property: Joint Tenants issue

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by gina78, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. gina78

    gina78 Registered User

    Aug 26, 2013
    8
    My husband has developed Vascular Dementia following a stroke 3 years ago. After he
    had his stroke we made wills. We decided on the option of being Joint Tenants. Moving forward I need to know that if I should go first and if he should end up in care, will the Local Authority be able to make a claim on the property even though he has made a will and left it to our two children and his nieces? Can anyone offer the best advice?
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,024
    Male
    North Manchester
    If you predecease your husband the whole of the property will pass to your husband and be available to pay for his care, anything in his will does not take effect until after his death.

    If the property was jointly held as tenants in common rather than joint tenants you would each have been able to bequeath your share of the property to to someone other than your spouse.

    Changing to tenants is simple, it just needs one of you to serve notice on the other. It's rather pointless though unless your wills are updated.
     
  3. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108
    I agree with Nitram. My parents were in a similar position, and they decided to change their main home to 'tenants in common', which means they each legally owned 50% of the property. My father also changed his will (my mum already had Alzheimer's and the solicitor believed she was not capable of fully understanding why she was changing her will and so did not proceed), so that upon his death his share of the property would go to his children. We were very glad our dad decided to do this as he became very ill and died within 1 month of going into a care home. Our mum also went into a home, and we decided we would have to sell the house so that we could use our 50% share inherited from our dad to pay the expensive 'top-up' fees the home was charging. That is the only way we could afford to pay the fee so that our mum can remain at a decent care home.
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
    The truth is though, if your father hadn't changed the ownership of the house and his will, everything would have gone to your mother anyway, so she would have been self-funding and top-ups wouldn't apply. I suppose in certain situations it might be a financial advantage to do it the way you did it, in that the LA might kick in more money if they accepted her half of the house wasn't enough to make her self-funding and her income was fairly low.
     
  5. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108

    Yes but if she had inherited the whole house and then deemed to be self-funding (in reality even with the 1/2 share she was deemed to be self-funding and the LA's contributions over the last 2 years or so had to be repaid when the house was sold) the funds would not have lasted long, and once exhausted and she was no longer self funding we would then still have had to step in to pay the top-up amount which would be £'000s per year. With us children inheriting our dad's share of the house value, we will have enough money to pay the expensive top-up fees for a significant time to come, and dont have to worry about not being able to afford the fees.

    But yes, each family has to assess their own individual circumstances, but from experience I would suggest many families would struggle to pay top-up fees based on their own incomes.
     
  6. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Can you explain to me why your Mum's half share "would not have lasted long" but the inherited half will last "for a significant time to come"?:confused:

    Also why did you have to pay the LA contribution back?:confused:
     
  7. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    1,353
    Herts
    Can I just ask someone to clarify when making this sort of change would be interpreted by the LA as deprivation of assets?
    Tre
     
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,024
    Male
    North Manchester
    "Can I just ask someone to clarify when making this sort of change would be interpreted by the LA as deprivation of assets?"

    Depends on the timing, the full phrase is deliberate deprivation of assets.

    Even if was made many years before there was any hint of residential care being required it can lead to the value of half a house situation, in CRAG there was a statement that the open market value could be zero, this has been removed in The Care Act Book which means that at some time in the future there is likely to be a court case.
     
  9. Bigreader

    Bigreader Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    26
    Totally confused! I have just inherited mums flat along with my two children. I am about to change the name at the Land Registry and supposed that if I put all three names on it then if I went in to care some time in the future they would only be able to assess my share of the flat. In the meantime we are renting it out.

    So, does this mean that it will all be pointless and the LA will still get the whole flat?

    Bigreader
     
  10. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    In The New Care Act guidance it states.........

    ".......it would be unreasonable to decide that a person had disposed of an asset in order to reduce the level of charges for their care and support needs if at the time the
    disposal took place they were fit and healthy and could not have foreseen the need for care and support."


    So take care of yourself and you should be alright.:)
     
  11. Bigreader

    Bigreader Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    26
    Thanks Pete! Much obliged for the clarification. There is so much to do that I'm in danger of making a complete fool of myself by mixing up the phone calls and who I'm talking to!

    Bigreader
     
  12. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    #12 Pete R, Jan 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
    Oh dear, might already be too late then:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
  13. Bigreader

    Bigreader Registered User

    Jan 22, 2016
    26
    Lol, just what my family are saying! :)
     
  14. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108
    Had to pay the LA's contribution back as her 1/2 share in the house once it was sold meant she would have been self-funding over approx the 1st 2 years of her stay in the CH.

    Based on the house selling for £100k (common in NI where I live), if the full amount was used for self-funding, this would last about 5 years, after which family would have to find £000's each year to pay the top-up. If 1/2 inherited by family, ie £50,000, the self-funding would last about 2.5 years, but family would have £50k after that for the top-up alone which would last up to 20 years! Clearly I dont know how long my mum will live, hopefully a long time, but I wouldnt want to be in the position that after 5 years we as a family would struggle to pay the top-up fee.

    So long term, this was the best solution, particularly given the vast majority of CHs now charge an expensive top-up fee.
     
  15. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Got to agree with you there:(

    Thanks for explaining however I am still a tad confused (a common occurrence):)

    Did you have a Deferred Payment Agreement in place which required the pay back?

    For the remaining 50% share to last as long as you say how much do the LA(or its equivalent in NI) contribute when the self funding stops?

    I too hope that your Mum continues to have a long and fruitful life.:)
     
  16. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108

    We didnt have a formal deferred payments arrangement, rather once I told the Health Trust we were going to sell the house, they advised their contributions would have to be repaid once the house was sold - they put on the cumulative fees amount to be repaid on their invoices.

    The Trust is paying around £370/week contribution, which includes the £100 nursing element. The balance is paid from my mum's pensions/savings contributions and family pay the top-up. All figures are approximate!
     
  17. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,046
    Staffs
    Thanks for explaining. It is something similar in what I am trying to do in getting the LA to contribute their small amount which will go a long way to keeping my Mom where she is.
    :)
     
  18. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    108

    Indeed - make sure they pay what they should be paying as the most important thing is to be able to keep your mum in a place where she is well cared for.

    I get the impression from postings that NI is slightly better organised when it comes to such things as financial assessments - I cant believe that some people are in homes for months before the LA eventually decides to do a FA, and fail to explain to families the financial implications. It makes my blood boil that successive governments, of all stripes, continue to view the effects of a physical brain disease such as Alzheimer's as 'social' rather than health, thus making people have to pay for their care themselves.
     
  19. gina78

    gina78 Registered User

    Aug 26, 2013
    8
    Joint tenants

    Hello, Thank you for your reply. We have had a hectic few months here and sorry to come back to this point on which you have already quoted. In your second paragraph you state that had we been Tenants in Common we would have been able to bequeath our share of the property to 'others' - but we have done that (each) and yet we are Joint Tenants ? Have we done something which will not be 'upheld' ???
    :eek:
     
  20. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,024
    Male
    North Manchester
    #20 nitram, Nov 21, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
    There are two ways of jointly owing a property:-

    ● As joint tenants.

    ● As tenants in common.


    Hope that this clears up your problem, if not post back.

    EDIT

    On the death of a joint owner the jointly held assets pass to the remaining joint owner(s) outside of any will.
     

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