Latest insights from our experts

Posted 8 February 2017
by Lucy Lamb

Should I gift my house to my children to reduce future care home costs?

One of the questions we are often asked is: “Can I give my house to my children?”   The simple answer is that an individual is always free to give away money and assets as they choose.   Whether doing so would be a good idea and would achieve any other objectives they may have is a far wider question.

People often wonder whether giving their house to their children will help protect it if, in future, they need residential care and the Local Authority assess that a contribution is required from their finances.   If a property is given to children and there is no reason for the gift to have been made, other than the hope of avoiding care homes, then the Local Authority have the power to include the value of the property in their financial assessment.   The term the Local Authority use in these circumstances is to say that individual has “deprived themselves of an asset.”

Trying to tackle the issue in another way, a couple who jointly own their home may choose to make Wills which provide for the survivor to have the right to live in the deceased’s share of the property, rather than owning it outright.   In this way, part of the property would not be included in any financial assessment by the Local Authority if the survivor needed to move into a care home.  Then at least some of the property would successfully be protected and reach the chosen beneficiaries.

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About the author

Lucy Lamb


Solicitor in the wealth management team