Sharing a home with an elderly relative

It is common that an elderly person shares owner occupied accommodation with other people. This is usually a son or daughter, but it can be any third party.

Common situations arise where:

  • You move in with one of your children with no capital changing hands
  • You contribute towards the purchase of a larger house, together with one of your children, to accommodate you and your child’s family
  • You pay for all or part of the cost of constructing a “granny flat” annexe or extension]
  • Your children come to live with you to provide care at your home, perhaps on the understanding that the home will eventually be left to them or they will acquire an interest in it

All of the above can raise various issues. You will want to ensure that you have a right of occupation of any property. You may also want to ensure that any financial contribution is recorded so that you can recover this if the arrangements do not work out. Also that you can leave your interest under your Will as you wish.

How can Linder Myers help?

While, of course, it is hoped that such arrangements are a success, inevitably there are those that do not work out. You should protect your interests.

We can draw up the appropriate documentation to record the agreement between the parties as to the arrangements for sharing a home. We can record the intention of the parties regarding any financial contribution.

Common documentation includes:

  • A declaration of trust, for example in the purchase of a joint property, paying for a “granny flat” or where the carer moves into your home and acquires an interest
  • A loan agreement, perhaps backed up by security such as a legal charge
  • Changes that need to be made to the title deeds
  • An entry that needs to be recorded on the title to protect your interests

At Linder Myers we have a great deal of expertise in assisting elderly relatives when they have made a decision to share a home with their children, and to advise upon and prepare the appropriate documentation.

We have a dedicated team of lawyers specialising in estate planning and drafting trusts.

It is important to ensure that any arrangements are properly documented. Unfortunately we have dealt with the problems and issues that can arise when there is a falling out between the parties (or one party dies) and there is no record of any agreement.

It is vital that specialist legal advice is obtained to ensure that you receive the correct advice and the correct action is taken.