Last week it was reported that a mother, 82, gifted her £1.4million home of 40 years to her daughter, 52, and has now been ordered by a Court to leave her home.
The case was heard at the London Central County Court last week. In 2004, when their relationship was good, the mother transferred the property into her daughter’s name to ‘avoid inheritance tax’. However, the relationship soured in 2008 and after a long feud the daughter applied to have her mother removed from the property.
Giving judgement, Judge Nigel Gerald ordered that the mother must leave her home of more than 40 years. The Judge commented that some might find it surprising that a daughter would evict her 82 year old mother, but others might see that the daughter had been pushed to her limit by her mother’s behaviour.
This case highlights the dangers of people transferring their homes to family members to try to avoid inheritance tax or care home fees. In addition to the risk of a relationship breaking down which is highlighted in this case, there are other issues which may arise if homes are transferred to family members. For example, the property can become part of the marital assets of the new owner, and be at risk on divorce, or if the new owner was to get into debt, then the property may be repossessed or charged.
It is important to take professional advice on how to mitigate risks and potential future liabilities.