Both of my parents are in their mid-70s, retired and unfortunately in poor health. My dad was recently diagnosed with a terminal sickness; my mom had a stroke many years ago and needs home care.
She has HSE caregivers who call three hours a day and my parents were able to handle it, but now my father is no longer able to help and provide extra care for my mother.
He has his affairs in order and informs me that he bequeathed the property to me and that he has divided his savings and investments between his brothers and sisters. Also my mother did not bank or savings account in his name, only his State pension.
Does the Retirement Homes Fair Deal Program wanting to take into account the value of the property and the savings and my father’s personal bank account, even if it is no longer for him to give it as he once bequeathed it to his family?
Can the HSE still come after the property after my dad dies?
Mr. JTHE, E-mail
Age can raise very difficult questions for couples. In this case, your mother has clearly had health issues from a young age, and like many families, her partner did most of the work in the caregiver role.
The hours of home care provided by the Health Service Executive are clearly welcome, but since your mother is unable to lead an independent life and your father now has his own very difficult health issues to manage, they will not go enough. far. to adequately meet their needs.
It is worth asking the HSE for extra hours of home care, but the service is in high demand despite repeated promises and protests from the government. This means that a switch to nursing home care which will probably prove to be more costly for the state will be necessary.
There are a few issues here in the way your father organizes his affairs and what that might mean for your mother and, separately, for funding her care if she were to move into a nursing home, as seems likely.
Treating them in that order, your father’s will – as he told you – provides for you and for his siblings. Surprisingly, he doesn’t make any arrangements for your mother.
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It won’t wash away. Spouses are automatically entitled to a certain share of the other’s assets upon death, regardless of what a will might say or whether there is a will at all.
This is called the division of legal rights and it states that when there are children, as in this case, the surviving spouse is entitled to one third of the deceased’s estate. If there had been no children, she would be entitled to half of the estate.
One thing to note is that the spouse must formally choose to claim the legal share of the rights. Anyone who manages your father’s estate after his death would have the obligation to formally inform him (or his representatives) in writing of his right. She would then have six months to claim it (or 12 months after her death, whichever is later).
If she is not able to make this informed choice, someone who represents her by proxy can do so, or if not, the decision will be made by the courts according to the procedures under guardianship.
So it’s technically possible for her to pass on her share of the legal right, but that would be highly unusual – and anyone making this decision on her behalf should be able to show that it was in her best interests.
This is the first thing. Regarding the issue of assets, I guess there is a family home. I understand the intention is for your mother to move into a nursing home while your father is still alive but is no longer able to provide the care she needs, but even if he dies , it is still the couple’s family home.
Under the Family Home Protection Act 1976, if I understand correctly, even if the family home is only in his name, he cannot sell it or transfer it to another person without his express permission. In other words, he cannot make her homeless.
Thus, if your father is alive when your mother applies for the Fair Deal, the HSE device to support the financing of care in EHPAD – or a request is made on his behalf – his financial contribution will be assessed on half of the family income and the half of the estate, including the house. If your father is already dead, if I understood correctly, your mother will still be in possession of the house.
If your mother goes to a nursing home, under the fair deal, the HSE will have a charge on the home for the first three years of her care. Assuming your father is still alive, the fee will be 3.75% per annum. Otherwise, the fee percentage rises to 7.5 percent for the years he is not alive.
In terms of the overall cost of her care under the Fair Deal, this charge will be in addition to a similar annual levy on family savings and 40 percent of family income (a figure that would rise to 80 percent of his income, i.e. state pension – in the event of your father’s death).
When your mother dies, if your father is already deceased, the HSE will request payment within 12 months of the guaranteed “retirement home loan” in charge of the family home. If your father is still alive, he can request a deferral of reimbursement until his death. But, at this point, the loan must be repaid within 12 months of his death.
The fact that he bequeathed the property will not avoid the obligation to pay the bill imposed on him.
The same goes for the annual charge under the Fair Deal agreement on the savings he intends to pass on to his siblings upon his death – at least as long as he’s alive. If your father is still alive, the first € 72,000 of savings are exempt with an annual charge of 3.75% on the balance.
If he is deceased, only the first $ 36,000 of any assets outside the family home that your mother retains under her legal entitlement will be relevant, but they will be subject to an annual charge of 7.5 percent. There will therefore be no clawback on the savings your father wanted after his death, but they will be taken into account as part of your mother’s Fair Deal financial contribution until that time.
It does not matter until her death that the savings are intended for people other than your mother under the will.
There is no three-year limit for the burden on assets and savings outside the family home. This charge will be taken annually as long as it benefits from the Fair Deal. To reflect the changed circumstances, it would make sense to request a financial review after your father dies, assuming he dies before her.
Giving those savings and investments before he dies – and before your mother enters a nursing home – will be counterproductive if your mother has to go to a nursing home within five years. Under the fair deal, the HSE enforces a clawback agreement and will simply assume that they remain under the family’s control for the purpose of assessing the load on their care.
Finally, after the first three years, if your mother has no assets outside the home, she will be billed 80% of her state pension and the HSE will have to cover the rest of the costs.
Please send questions to Dominic Coyle, Q&A, The Irish Times, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2, or email [email protected] This column is a reading service and is not intended to replace professional advice. No personal correspondence will be exchanged