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A friend has been considering signing her house off to her children (48 and 47 years old) but believes that there is an age limit which she has passed, supposedly 60 and she is now 70. Is this a real thing? She has no intention of avoiding care home fees as she is perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but signing it over sooner rather than later before she passes (again, this wont be happening any time soon as she is in good health).

Another thing she's considering is an equity release? Is this a good idea? Mortgage is paid off and she would receive around 50k, house is valued at around 130k. She has an adviser coming round to explain it but I feel they will be biased, since the company is providing the' impartial ' advisor.

Sorry if this isn't where something like this should be posted. Not too sure where else. I realise everyone's financial situation is different and as such Is difficult to comment on but external opinions would be welcomed. Lives in the UK.

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    In which country does she live? – Hart CO Apr 3 '18 at 17:25
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    Why does she want to sign it over? Be sure you speak to an estate planning specialist - in the US, "giving" a house to your heirs rather than it passing in death can have major tax consequences, and might make her ineligible for Medicaid or other benefits. – D Stanley Apr 3 '18 at 18:37
  • So, she might give her house away because she doesn't need it, or she might sell part of it to get some money. Those are two rather different ends of the spectrum! – AndyT Apr 5 '18 at 13:56
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I'm not aware of any age limit for signing over a house in the UK

What I would be cautious about is how this may look if something does happen the council may refuse to pay care home fees or pay at the rate they would have done before assets were given away (this is assuming that they would do anyway) on the basis the house was signed over to avoid charge they call this deprivation of assets.

I'm unsure what the benefits of signing over a house are, I can see that it may reduce inheritance tax if this is applicable although the house should be under that threshold anyway. Inheritance tax has rules about what happens to gifts over a certain amount gifted in the last 7 yrs before death so simply signing stuff over unless this is done early doesn't complexly remove inheritance tax. There are also rules about what happens if the property is conditionally gifted for example if gifted on the understanding that reduced/no rent will be paid it will be considered part of the estate

It is hard to comment on equity release without knowing what equity is being released under what terms and for what reason. But it does sound like something that should be considered very carefully in particular consideration of what happens to the property and the outstanding debt in the event of death.

If she has any doubt about the financial advice given or the person giving she should go out and find someone herself who she knows is impartial. Also the money advice service may be able to help (info on equity release here).

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