Putting deeds in my name

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Taximan, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. Taximan

    Taximan Registered User

    Mar 31, 2015
    13
    Please forgive me if i'm going about this the wrong way.I find this forum quite difficult to negotiate,and i never know if my postings are being read.So if this is wrong,by all means move it to the correct place.
    My wife was diagnosed nearly two years ago now,she has gone downhill quite a bit over the last 6-9 months,so much so that i have had to give up work completely.I applied for both LPA's with my son being the named financial attorney,whilst we both have joint attorney over health and welfare.I mention this because i've realised that quite a few financial matters were in her name,which i've begun to cancel,and where applicable,put them in my sole name,this has included bank accounts,where she had her own fee paying credit card.I initially tried to cancel these,and applied for my own credit card,at first i was turned down,i asked the bank how it was possible that she had been granted a credit card,with no income apart from her small pension,answer came there none.
    Anyway,i digress,i've spoken to my son about downsizing,but realised that were that to happen,my wife who is on the deeds,would have to participate in the buying and selling transactions,she finds it difficult to sign her own name these days.So,the question is,how do i go about transferring the property into my sole name,and what are the implications,who should i consult,is the first stop a solicitor?All help appreciated.
     
  2. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,839
    England
    #2 Katrine, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
    Hi Taximan. I am not a legal expert, but here are some first thoughts.

    When you say that your son is the 'named' financial attorney, er, well, that means he IS your wife's sole financial attorney, not you. You must be careful not to overstep your legal authority. I would suspect you may have already done so, with the best of intentions. You can't just get the deeds put in your sole name. That would be depriving your wife of her half share in your property.

    It is important for your son to get up to speed with his duties, which will require him to act in your wife's best financial interests. He should be the one liaising with the banks, or rather you should be working together on this. Your wife's pensions/s and benefits need to go into an account in her name, and there must be a clear separation of her spending and your spending. Of course she is probably contributing financially to the household, that's normal, but your son needs to work with you on joint budgeting so that it can be seen to be planned spend on things that are of direct benefit to your wife. Utility costs, insurance, house repairs, gardening, shopping, clothes, use of a car; all that sort of thing.

    Has the OPG been notified that your wife has now lost capacity to manage her affairs? They need to know that your son is now active as her attorney. If he's not sure what to do, he should phone the OPG for guidance.

    If you are planning to sell the house you do need legal advice. Solicitors for the Elderly will have a list of solicitors in your area that have the right kind of expertise. You may also want to get advice from someone who specialises in estate planning. There is a professional body called SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisors).

    Please don't think I am criticising or suggesting you have intentionally done anything wrong. It is natural for a spouse to step in and take charge if their partner becomes ill. However, since your son is your wife's legal attorney, you must let him take the lead. I am sure he wants what is best for both of you.

    I repeat, I am not an expert, these are just my personal opinions. I hope you will get plenty of additional responses in the morning. Best wishes, Katrine.
     
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,962
    Brixham Devon
    I'm no expert either but I don't think that you have any chance in putting the deeds in you sole name. If you downsize half of any funds left over will be split 50/50.

    Any funds which belong to your wife which have been transferred to your name will still be hers.(I don't know how you have managed that) If your wife needs residential care in the future, and if she is not self funding, those funds will be taken into account. The LA can go back as many years as they see fit to get a true picture of your wife's finances. They will probably take a dim view of any attempt to 'hide' investments/cash etc.

    If the LA get a sniff of someone trying to 'beat' the system they may look at finances VERY closely.

    Your Son HAS to start acting in your wife's best interests. That is why he is attorney.
     
  4. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    #4 Saffie, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
    I agree with the above posts. I do hope you still have the all the capital from any accounts belonging to your wife that you have transferred into your name as, should the need arise, the LA will look at this as deprivation of assets and will want it repaid or, as Lyn has said, taken into account when assessing your wife's capital which amounts to the same thing.

    I too, wonder how this was accomplished. Your son, as your wife's attourney, should not have allowed this as he is legally bound to protect his mother's assets and act in her best interest and I 'm afraid depleting her capital obviously isn't doing this.

    In fact, if your wife has sadly now lost capacity, then you should not be dealing with any of her finances as these matters are now the responsibility of her attourney. I can understand that this might be difficult when you have perhaps been looking after your wife's financial affairs yourself for some time but this is why he has the LPA.

    I'm afraid I see no way that you can transfer your jointly owned house into your name.
    I think you can sell the property, with your son acting for your mother as long as he has no interest in the house, but the replacement house should be in both your names unless bought with only half the proceeds. This would have to be totally transparent.
     
  5. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,898
    Female
    Scotland
    While I agree with all of the above advice I would suggest that any spouse should be a joint attorney for financial as well as health and welfare so that it is simple to do basic transactions without bothering a third party.

    It may be too late for you to be named as joint attorney but you need to be more aware of your financial position should SS become involved eg if financing a care home.
     
  6. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    When my late husband went into a Care Home, I visited a solicitor, and arranged that John and I would cease to be Joint owners of our home, but would become Tenants in Common, and I altered my Will accordingly, leaving my assets to my children.

    That way, had I predeceased him, my half of the home would have gone to my children and this is perfectly legal. However, even this involved a rigmarole, of someone having to witness that I passed a certain document (sorry, forget what it was called) to John, and he touched it, even though he hadn't a clue what I was doing.

    But he still owned half the home. Had I wished to move, his assets would still have been protected. Should you wish to downsize, a solicitor would be involved anyway, and in order to avoid any misunderstandings, it may be best if you find out exactly where you stand now. Make an appointment with a solicitor, and take along your LPAs, and any financial documents in your wife's name, or both of your names.

    I'm jumping the gun here, but should your wife ever have to go into Residential Care, it is only her financial situation that is taken into account, and would not include your home. I wish you well.
     

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