What are you opening hours?
Our formal hours of opening are 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Appointments outside of these hours (including Saturdays) are available upon request. We do spend a lot of time out of the office visiting clients who are not able to come to our office (either at home, in a care home or a hospital setting). If we are not available when you contact us do leave a message so that we can get back to you.
What hours does Hugo work?
Hugo is a very popular member of staff. His typical working week is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and alternative Wednesdays. He does not usually attend the office on Fridays.
Can I attend the appointment with my mum or dad?
It is often children who phone to make an appointment for their parent – for example ‘to get power of attorney for them’. It is important to remember that the parent is the client and the person giving instructions even though this might sound daunting and they might want a family member there for support. In such circumstances it may be possible for other family members to be in attendance for an initial overview of the situation / to determine the nature of the advice being sought but when it comes to giving instructions and at some other key stages in order to protect the parties involved (for example reasons of confidentiality, undue influence, coercion or capacity), it will be necessary to see the client on their own.
Can I transfer my home into my children’s name?
People often ask if they can transfer their home into their children’s names. Whilst this is possible it is not without significant risk. These risks include:-
- The person you give it away to dies and it passes to someone under their estate. (Maybe someone you don’t know, or like).
- The person you give it to gets divorced and it forms part of their assets when dividing up their matrimonial assets.
- The person you give it to gets into debt and the trustee in bankruptcy sells it to recover their debts.
- Circumstances change and you fall out with the person you have given it to. Or perhaps not them but their new partner – who knows what the future holds?
- The local authority regards your gift of property as deliberate deprivation. This means the local authority will still regard you has owning the asset and so they will recover your care fees directly from the person you have given it to.
- What about if you wanted a higher or better standard of care than you can afford with the income and assets you are left with? The local authority will only provide care at their basic rate, which means that you will have a significantly reduced choice of care home.
- What if your circumstances change and you discover you need the asset to pay for something that you need? What if you needed an operation that would improve your quality of life but the waiting list is too long?
- What if you decide that you want to spend more of your own money during your lifetime? What if you wanted a new kitchen, or an extension, or to downsize and go on a world cruise and enjoy living for as long possible?
- What if you needed an equity release because your pension is not enough to live on? If you have given away your asset you would not be able to do this. You will lose both control and the flexibility over what to do with your (former) asset.
- If you still live in the property, it will still form part of your estate of the purposes of Inheritance Tax. If your estate is taxable, IHT will still be payable on the value of the property.
- Giving away an asset to potentially prevent a disgruntled family member from claiming an entitlement under Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 can be set aside by the Court.
Consider very carefully:
Will giving your home away really achieve what you are seeking to achieve?
There are other ways which will enable you to protect and preserve your estate for your loved ones. For an appointment to explore what would be appropriate for your circumstances contact us on 01704 870404.