SHOULD I CHANGE MY WILL IF MY PARTNER GOES INTO CARE?
Many of us have simple “Mirror Wills” and a jointly owned house, and maybe if we are lucky some savings.
What should I do if my partner starts to lose mental capacity, should I still leave them everything? While it makes fine sense if they are well, the situation can quickly start to change, if they suffer with Alzheimer’s or other disabling illness.
The first consideration is the house or main residence. If this is jointly owned, if one partner should die, it will pass to the survivor. In this situation described above, if the well partner should suddenly die, everything will pass to the one with dementia. If the well partner is no longer able to look after the ill one, this will mean the surviving partner with dementia, is likely to need full time care. Typically, the house will be sold, and the bulk of the proceeds used to pay for long term care. You are allowed to keep around £23,000. In some cases all the remaining equity in the house may be used up. For example, if the house is worth £200,000, £177,000 could be used to pay for care.
As some readers will know, it is possible to change the way a house is owned, so both partners own a half share each. This is known as “Joint Tenants in Common”. One partner can serve a notice to the other, to say they wish to own the house this way. This should be documented with the Land Registry. When the house is sold, each partner will receive their half of the proceeds.
There is nothing to stop the well partner serving such a notice, and severing the tenancy. Once they have done so, if they have children, they can write a new Will leaving everything to them.
This means that on their death, their share of the house, and any other assets they own will pass to their children. If the house is sold in this situation, only half of the sale proceeds would go back to the partner with dementia. The other half stays with the children.
What to do next ?
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