In UK news recently, there has been much talk about so called 'dementia tax', that is, the government using assets (such as property) to pay for social care in old age.
Whether or not people should have to pay for this care (given that they've previously paid taxes etc) is debatable and probably not a discussion to be had here as it's primarily opinion based.
My question is whether it is permissible for parents to 'gift' houses to their children before reaching old age to avoid the family home being taken.
As I understand it, there is a limit on the value of gifts that may be passed on without taxation, but what I don't understand is what stops parents selling their home to their children for some nominal fee, say £1. Whilst I can imagine the government wanting to stop this kind of practice, I'm not sure how they would intervene, every day houses sell for above and below what they're truly worth!
Ethics aside, is there any legitimate reason why this is unlawful, and if not, are there other means the government can use to recoup this money (it has been suggested to me, anecdotally, that it's fine so long as it takes place x years before the death of the person originally owning the home).