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Moving to retirement complex,been advised to change will need advice.

(26 Posts)
Elenkalubleton Thu 30-Jan-20 09:31:24

We are in the process of moving,husband been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.a friend of a friend who is a Will writer has told us to sign the contract for our new place as “common tenancy”to protect either one of us from paying nursing home fees.Meaning the funds can only be used for whoever has to go into home,for there half of property.Another friend has told me that this is not necessary,and that the one remaining at home will never be made homeless.Also the Will writer has said he will make a new Will for us? Whereas I’ve also heard we just need to change the address on our original Will.I am needing to know what to do,and soon.Ive never had to do anything like this before,and finding the responsibilities difficult.Any advice,really appreciated.

Nanabanana1 Thu 30-Jan-20 09:34:30

Hi, sorry I have no experience of this but it would seem sensible to seek the advice of a solicitor.
Good luck in your new home.

Eglantine21 Thu 30-Jan-20 09:35:44

Go to an established solicitor. It really doesn’t cost that much. Your Will writer is giving you bad advice

glammanana Thu 30-Jan-20 09:42:50

Please go and see your solicitor who is dealing with your purchase and seek his/her advice do not rely on a friend of a friend he/she sounds as though he/she is touting for business.

luluaugust Thu 30-Jan-20 09:52:28

Same advice from me, a quick word with your Solicitor dealing with the purchase.

annsixty Thu 30-Jan-20 09:56:56

It is my understanding that the one left would not have to leave the property but the value of the property , or half of it ,could be used in the calculation of fees and then used after the second one dies or leaves the property.
With tenants in common, you can each leave half of the property to whomever you want.
This can also lead to problems if the “wrong one” dies first.
It is all fraught with problems.
The other difficulty is that this should have been done before your H’s diagnosis as he may be deemed not able to understand, this happened with us.
Please see legal advice, do not use a will maker.

Fiachna50 Thu 30-Jan-20 09:59:30

Seek legal advice. Do not follow any friends advice. If you do need a will made, get a proper solicitor to do this. No one else. Good luck.

kittylester Thu 30-Jan-20 10:36:42

What annsixty said.

Cabbie21 Thu 30-Jan-20 10:54:26

Re care costs. These are subject to an assessment of income of the person needing care. The house is not included if the partner still lives in it.
www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/care/paying-for-care/paying-for-a-care-home/do-i-have-to-sell-my-home-to-pay-for-care/
Owning a property as tenants in common may have other advantages eg if you wished children from a previous marriage to inherit your share. Also, when only one of you is left, you will be assessed as owning only your share of the property, if the other share is in trust for other beneficiaries.

You should consider whether your husband is still able to give his consent for you to have Power of Attorney, for both health and finances, so you can make decisions for him in future. If he no longer has capacity, then you can apply for Deputyship, but it takes several months and is not cheap, but worth it in the long run.
Definitely take advice from your solicitor re how to own the property, and what this will mean both now and in the future, as well as when one of you dies. I hope you are not using a conveyancer rather than a solicitor for the purchase.
Definitely use a solicitor to write or rewrite your wills. These matters are too important to be left to unqualified people.

cornergran Thu 30-Jan-20 11:17:30

I'd also strongly urge you to consult a solicitor. It needn't be too expensive. Better to be safe. Wishing you well with the move.

Izabella Thu 30-Jan-20 12:21:07

Elen I have Alzheimers (hence abbreviating your moniker) and we are in the process of doing exactly the same thing. We obtained excellent legal advice and financial advice about all sorts of things via the Alzheimers Society. They have a telephone helpline on 0300 222 1122 and I strongly advise you to contact them. They will put you in touch with a support worker (ours visits our home) and there is also an online forum where you can get excellent advice from other carers.

Your priorities as we see it are, ignore 'friends' advice see a solicitor for wills, and apply for Power of Attorney NOW. Feel free to send a pm if you need further help.

(Written with help of OH)

Elenkalubleton Thu 30-Jan-20 15:34:12

Thankyou all for your advice,I have POA in place,and my husband is still able to understand most things.The Will writer did the POA for us.Our solicitor did the Will before my husband was diagnosed.We are selling and buying the new place through another solicitor on advice from estate agent,and where given an estimate of there charges.We thought we would be saving money by doing that.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 30-Jan-20 15:48:22

As I understand it, joint tenancy means you both own the whole of the house, so should you die before your husband it will automatically go to him (and if he needs care it will be taken to pay for it). Tenants in common means you both own half the house each (or whatever percentage you stipulate when purchasing) so you can leave your half to someone else other than your husband if you die first.

kittylester Thu 30-Jan-20 16:05:50

As Izabella says, the Alzheimer's Society have brilliant support workers. AgeUk are really good for money, benefits and legal advice.

M0nica Thu 30-Jan-20 16:52:40

The fact that your husband can still understand most things means that there are some things he doesn't understand and these will vary from day to day. This means he will be considered to be unable to give informed consent.

You are in a tricky situation. As your DH has dementia, if he needs to go into longterm care and needs council funding, they will look very closely at any financial transactions that have taken place since he first showed signs of dementia to see if in any of them you acted in a way to deliberately make some of your money unavailable for your DH's care fees. If that happens the council will act as if this transaction never took place and that the money is still available to him.

As everyone says, it is essential that you consult a solicitor who is an expert in wills and probate and can refer to other solicitors expert on the law of property. They will advise you on the best way to purchase your new home and arrange your affairs to your best advantage.

A will maker with no idea of the law of property, or the workings of the benefits system, or how the law affects people with dementia and how this could affect the disposal of your money, and is no more qualified to sort this out for you, than someone you meet by chance in your local supermarket.

Get proper legal advice

Sussexborn Thu 30-Jan-20 17:08:16

When my OH was made redundant three times in one year he worked briefly for a will company. They seem mainly interested in charging for storing the wills.

Eglantine21 Thu 30-Jan-20 17:12:05

That is true Hooty however in joint tenancy the question of beneficial interest comes into play.

It’s really complicated.
For example

You and your husband own £200,000 property as tenants in common. He goes into care home. His share of the home is 100,000. You cannot be turned out of your home but the local authority can put a deferred charge on his half so that when you die they can recoup their costs from his seperately owned half.

Or
You and your husband own a 200,000 property as joint tenants. He goes into a home. The LA Assessment is then based on his beneficial interest: that is half of what the property would fetch on the open market given that the second joint tenant will continue to reside there. This could be nil or a very low amount. In those circumstances it could be judged to be unsaleable. It wouldn’t actually go up for sale since the wife would own it all, the assessment must reflect what a purchaser would judged to be willing to pay.

In this case it works to the advantage of joint tenants.

You can see why expert legal advice is necessary!!!!

Elenkalubleton Thu 30-Jan-20 19:06:59

Eglantine21,that is so informative,we’re still waiting for a moving date,and have decided to see our original solicitor for advice and change address at same time.But don’t want to see him until we get an actual date? Our will maker said he advises everyone to sign for common tenancy,but from what you said,I just don’t know?

M0nica Thu 30-Jan-20 19:33:59

Elen You have made the right decision about seeing a solicitor, but I would not wait to do so until you have a moving date for your new home. Decisions about the form of ownership need to be made in advance of that as, with your DH's dementia, it may take some time to arrange, as he will probably be considered unfit to make an informed decision.

Speak to your solicitor now and get all these things orted in advance ahead of the final gallop of legal formalities as you reach the purchase and move in.

suziewoozie Thu 30-Jan-20 20:51:10

If you own a house as joint tenants and one of you goes into care and the other one carries on living there, none of the value of the home counts towards the means test assessment. Obviously if the second one goes into care, then it does count

suziewoozie Thu 30-Jan-20 20:54:38

Eglantine is wrong about a beneficial interest in a home owned under joint tenancy if one is in care and the other one stays living in the home. I’d be wary of a solicitor offering advice on this - I’d get in touch with Age UK or Citizens Advice

Eglantine21 Thu 30-Jan-20 21:26:58

The advice I gave came direct from AgeUK. You can see it on their website, together with a similar example to the one I gave.

However Ellen I wouldn’t rely on advice here or even Apan organisation like CAB or AgeUK. You really need individual advice from a good solicitor to work out what is best for you.

suziewoozie Thu 30-Jan-20 22:23:31

Eglantine you completely misread it. The rules on beneficial interest do not apply if the husband/wife goes into care and the partner stays living in the home. Then the value of the property is completely disregarded. I only post with advice like this when I know I am right. Here’s the relevant bit from the Age UK fact sheet.

If you enter a care home permanently, your interest in your existing ‘main or only’ home is usually taken into account as capital. However, the value should be disregarded from the financial assessment if you no longer occupy the home but it is still occupied, in part or whole, as their main or only home by:
 your spouse, partner, former partner or civil partner, except where you are estranged
 a lone parent who is your estranged or divorced partner
 a relative of yours, or member of your family, who is:
 aged 60 or over, or
 a child of yours aged under 18, or  ‘incapacitated’.
They must have been occupying the property before you went into the care home. The disregard lasts until this changes, at which time it may be included in the financial assessmen

suziewoozie Thu 30-Jan-20 22:24:48

OP start with Age UK and not a solicitor - before you know where you are s/he’ll be tying you up in unnecessary trusts etc.

M0nica Fri 31-Jan-20 07:48:07

Not necessarily. You have obviously had a bad experience, Suziewoozie

We have made and revised our will 4 times and never had any dealing with trusts.