A smiling carer chats with an elderly lady

The Family Home – keep it in the family

Although the markets have wobbled over the past few years, the rising value of property continues to outstrip the Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band.  When you die, unless you make plans beforehand, there may be some tax to pay.

Along side the position on death, is the current issue over a charge being placed on your property if you need care during your life.  If your assets are above £23000 the main asset you have may be your house.  While you may not have money in the bank or other realisable assets to pay the care fees, the Local Council may instead place a charge on your property under Section 22 of the Health and Social Services and Social Security Adjudication Act 1983.

Further, there may be someone left in the property – an adult son or daughter who has an interest in the property.  They may own part of the property.

The Council will then value the property, sending round their Property Services Division when you are out.  They will often not actually go into the property.  A snap shot from the outside seems to suffice.

Do you agree with the valuation?  Do you know the guidelines behind how they value?  Is it worth fighting?  What is the value of the share if there is a family member left behind?

My advice is – take some.  Only too often I see a value slapped on with no real consideration as to whether the Council has done it properly or is entitled to do it at all.   If there is someone left behind in the house who would want to buy the other  share?  The value might just be nil.  There may be a good argument that no charge should be placed on the home at all.