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Legal & money

Annexe

(16 Posts)
blueskies Tue 07-May-19 08:38:50

I have to accept that very soon it will be difficult to continue living independently. I live alone in a 3 bedroom house which I own. I have a cleaner and a gardener fortnightly. I am socially active and mobile although I don't drive.My eldest son ( I have two ) has a large garden and the idea of living in an Annexe to his house appeals to me. He lives in the West Country a four hour journey away. My other son is just five minutes from me but works away for weeks at a time. I don't know where to start. How to broach the idea. How long would it take to build. Finances. Would it work. Suggestions please.

tanith Tue 07-May-19 08:48:10

I think you need to first have a conversation with your sons and gain their perspective and reaction to the whole idea.
Then take it from there.

BradfordLass72 Tue 07-May-19 08:54:06

Having lived in the West Country for many years in the 80's and 90's and loved every minutes, I'd jump at the chance were I in your position.

As for finances that's something you, your son and a legal-financial agency need to address.

Would he get permission to build an annexe? Could you live in a roomy caravan whilst it's being built so you are on the spot and can make decisions about your new home?

Does your son live in a place where you could easily resume the activities you now value - or begin new ones?
The last thing you need is to be isolated as a non-driver (how well I know that feeling).

Your other son who works away such a lot will have to make an effort to see you but if you get on well, he will.

Broaching the subject? Do you mean your elder son has not actually suggested this annexe idea?

If not, then his agreement may be the first thing to ascertain (I'd put it in a letter first) and if he has family, they would need to agree too, bearing in mind that you may come to a time when you need extra care - would they be able and willing to give it? Would you want them to?

So much to think about eh? But good for you to start planning early and getting things straight. smile

I don't mean to presume but if you need any help writing that initial letter, feel free to PM me.

Cabbie21 Tue 07-May-19 08:54:48

I can’t say whether or not it would work, but it might be better to broach the subject of your concerns about your future and see where that leads, rather than this specific suggestion. If you were to live so close to your son, are you assuming that he would become your carer eventually, or his wife, if he has one? That is a big step, a huge responsibility.
Another thought is that a house with an annexe could be hard to sell, in the future.
Then there are the legal and financial complexities, on which both parties should seek advice independently. Such a decision will also affect your other son when it comes to inheritance, as some of your estate will be tied up, possibly for years, in this property.
Another aspect is the social side. Do you know anyone in this place? Will you feel isolated in your annexe, leaving all your friends behind?
My daughter has a house with an annexe which is currently a holiday let, so I have thought about this possibility too.

Elegran Tue 07-May-19 09:08:39

This has to be your son's suggestion, not yours. If you and he are very close, you may be able to hint a bit and put the idea into his head, but if you "broach the subject" and suggest it to him, he could find it very difficult to turn it down. That could lead to him having to have you living with him, whether he is happy with that or not. It is not just for now, but for when you are less mobile and need a lot of his time and attention. And what would happen if he and his family want to move elsewhere?

The whole subject of your old age and dependency needs to be discussed as a family, and decisions taken jointly. There are three of you (at least three - don't forget any daughters-in-law) to consider here. Take it slowly and considerately.

kittylester Tue 07-May-19 09:11:46

Well put, Elegfan.

MawBroonsback Tue 07-May-19 10:13:48

So tempting isn’t it, especially the lovely West Country.
But it would have to be his suggestion, and he would have to have thought through all the ramifications.
You say you are socially active - good! But could you happily leave old friends behind and have you thought about how easy it would be to start a new social life in another area? I have often toyed with the idea of moving closer to DD and she would love it ( she says) but how much would I be giving up?
Would you consider downsizing to a retirement flat instead? Who knows, the discussion about that might trigger alternative suggestions from your sons.
Good luck

crazyH Tue 07-May-19 10:23:21

Good idea if you get on wellwith your son and daughterinlaw. I know my sister-in-law wanted to do similar to you in her son's garden, but it caused a huge falling out. Daughterinlaw hated the idea of mother inlaw at 'nosing' distance. There were also legal and financial issues.....very complicated. So the idea was binned.
You will miss your friends and making new ones at this stage in our lives is going to be difficult. Good luck !!

blueskies Tue 07-May-19 10:39:13

Thank you all. Lots of points for me to think about. My son moving was not something i had thought about. I would not want them to care for me--I would pay for that if I needed it---but I am tired of things going wrong in my house and coping with repairs and workmen. I love walking out into my garden so living in a flat is out. The bus service is not good here so I am used to taking cabs. My son lives in a village and there's lots going on. I have a nice circle of friends but they are in the same position-- getting older and moving on. I just like the idea of being self-contained and being independent but family being nearby if I really needed them.

Floradora9 Tue 07-May-19 11:37:16

Friend was to build a house on one of her DC's farm until she realised the house would go to him when she died and not shared with her DD . It would not have been sold independently

midgey Tue 07-May-19 11:43:21

I wonder if there might be a more practical ground floor flat nearer to hand. Leaving everything you know is not easy. We moved so we were nearer the hospital, great for my husband who doesn’t travel well but I have lost all my friends and familiar faces/places. Think very hard before you uproot!

grannyticktock Tue 07-May-19 12:09:35

Obviously the first priority is to talk it over with your son. If he is less than enthusiastic, or if it's possible he might move in your lifetime, that would make it very difficult. And do think carefully about having to start again, socially, in a new area.

When it comes to planning permission, it would amount to creating a new, separate dwelling adjoining your son's house, and there might be issues with parking, access etc. However, I think there are special rules about a "granny annexe" intended for a family member. You may find you can get permission for this, but on condition that it's only for the use of a family member, and this restriction would affect it when you die or the property changes hands - it would have to be treated as a single dwelling. That's my understanding of this, but you would need to take professional advice.

Nannarose Tue 07-May-19 12:46:38

Definitely start the conversations and the research. Bring it up generally - you don't know what your sons may also be thinking. It's a very good idea to begin the conversations and the research early.
My usual advice in these situations is to begin to research on-line, which helps you get the ideas straight in your head, then you make the best use of specialist help.
An annexe may not end up as the best idea for lots of reasons, but if you do, then there's a lot to consider, but these are the 3 biggest:
Do you want a completely separate annexe with a separate address and bills, or do you want something more like a 'suite' in a house?
What will the 'caring' relationship be? Are you expecting to pay for care you need, and just have family for company and an emergency; or are you expecting them to care for you?
Who will pay for the annexe, who will own it, and who will inherit it?

Good luck

M0nica Tue 07-May-19 15:50:14

What happens if he has to move for any reason or dies?

This is happening in my family at present. Elderly uncle moved to live, not with but close to single DD when she retired. Shortly after his move she was killed in a road accident. He was left on his own in an area he wasn't familiar with, a long way from the rest of his family. He is now upping sticks selling and buying property for the second time in 2 years. Not much fun when you are in your 90s.

Divawithattitude Tue 07-May-19 19:56:30

We built an annexe on the side of our house for an aged parent and the understanding was that they funded the building of it from the proceeds of selling the family home a number of years ago, and we would look after them for as long as needed. It worked very well right to the end of their life, we were able to care for them without being intrusive, provide meals, do washing, pop in for chats but they still had their independence and were able to shut the door between us when they wanted to. The idea came from them, we did not suggest it and it was only the last few months when they could not be left alone that it became tricky for us. We knew what we were getting in to and accepted the responsibility that came with it. My siblings accepted that we had helped our parent in a way that they had not and were more than happy that we had taken on the reponsibility for them. they also agreed it was fair that the increase in value to our property was fair recompense for this. It caused no arguments at all.

Divawithattitude Tue 07-May-19 20:00:42

Granny tick Tock youare right, there are planning restrictions and we had to have a connecting door between our house and the annexe so it could not later be sold as a separate property. Permission was relatively easy to get, the annexe has its own front door and we have a large drive so parking wasnt a problem.
We agreed we would not consider moving until their death and they had 5 happy years living here with us.