You might decide that you want to make a gift of property to your children, other relatives or even unrelated third parties.  However, whilst there may be many reasons for making such a gift, there are lots of points to consider before making such a huge decision.

In the current climate, many people want to do all they can to help younger family members onto the property ladder or to ensure that their children receive the property they have worked hard to own and if you are considering making a gift of property then you will have your own reasons for that. Making any gift raises a very important question: Am I certain I want to do it? It is important to ask this in all cases but even more so when property is concerned. It may be one of your main assets. There are many reasons to be cautious.

If you do decide to go ahead an make a gift of your property, when you contact your Solicitor you might wonder why you are asked to liaise with both a Conveyancer and a Wills and Probate Specialist?  This is due to the high level of risk and numerous implications to your Estate as well as capacity and deprivation of assets.  Very often the specialisms of Property and Wills and Probate overlap.

You may also be surprised to note that your Family Member/Donee must have their own separate legal representation and that we cannot act for both sides.  This is to avoid any potential for conflict of interest.

When making such a decision the following major points will be taking into consideration:

  • Financial Difficulties
  • Divorce
  • Benefits
  • Duress and indue influence
  • Gifts of Income Generating Assets
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Care Home Fees and deprivation of assets

It is important to remember that anti-avoidance measures in the law allow some gifts (including a transfer to a family trust) to be ignored by the local authority, and even set aside by the Court. The measures in place now might change in future and are pursued more vigorously by some local authorities than others. Bear in mind however that the cost of care is going up, people are living longer and money is tight.

We can help

At Ringrose Law our view is that local authorities will, if anything, get tougher in years to come and will look very carefully at what you have done.

In most cases, your intention behind making the transfer is the most important factor. If the local authority believes that the house has been given away with the intention of creating or increasing entitlement to means tested care, it may decide to treat you as though you still own the house.

You should note that there is no time limit on local authorities when deciding whether you deprived yourself of the house for the purposes of avoiding care fees. There is nothing to stop them looking back say 20 years and taking the view that you were trying to avoid paying for care.

Before you make a decision about your property and your future think carefully about the above and please contact Emma Van Der Sluis or Lorraine Hunt at our Sleaford office for more information. Contact 01529 301300 or email


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