Q: My dad died of COVID last year and mum became so lonely that we have decided she should come and live with us. We plan to sell her house and ours and buy a bigger house so that we can all have our own space. If we keep our mortgage as it is now, then mum can put the extra out of her sale proceeds. In which case, should her name be on the deeds? Or would it be better for us to increase our mortgage and charge mum rent to make up the difference in our monthly repayments?
A: There could be implications whichever way you decide to do it. Firstly, your mum needs to think about how it could affect her Will if she co-owns the new home with you and has beneficiaries in her Will other than you. Also, if you all owned the house as tenants in common and she needed future care, then her share of the property might affect her financial assessment. Further, if your mother 'gifts' you the money to purchase the house, that could be deemed deprivation of assets if she needs care, and the state may then refuse to pay.
On the other hand, if you increased your mortgage and charged your mother rent to make up the additional cost, you may run into trouble with the mortgage company. And if your mother did have to go into care, would you be able to meet the additional mortgage costs without her rent coming in?
These are only a very few of the implications to consider. Therefore, you should seek legal advice as to the best way to achieve the outcome you are looking for. Do however make sure that you and your mother seek separate legal advice, so there can be no suggestion that you coerced your mother into making any decisions and so that you can avoid any conflict of interest.
This question has been answered by Ulia Choudhry, a Solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. In accordance with government guidelines, some of our lawyers are currently working remotely which means you may not now receive a response as promptly as you may expect. Please kindly bear with us and we will respond as soon as we are able.
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