You and the Law – 31st August 2011

Pass it on

My mother and father are in good health, but they would like to give us their house as they are worried that the council would take it off them if they needed to go into care.  Can they do that, and how would it affect us as regards tax and so on?

Your parents should discuss the issue in detail with a solicitor, because their home could be at risk if, for example, you were to run into financial difficulties or die before them.  If they transfer the property to you, the local authority would have to prove that they had intentionally deprived themselves of capital to qualify for assistance with nursing- home fees before the value of the property could be taken into account.  But you may then have to pay capital gains tax on the property when it comes to be sold.
A partial solution may be for your parents to divide their ownership of the property by becoming tenants in common so that only half the house is available for care-home fees.  They would need to amend their wills for this to be effective.

Is my move protected?

I work in the security industry and the firm I work for has lost the contract for the building I work in.  However, the company taking over has offered me a job. My current employer says this is a Tupe transfer, but the new firm says not. Who is right, since one of them will owe me money in lieu of holiday pay?

If you were employed by a contractor which has lost the contract to a similar firm, you and your employment contract will usually transfer automatically to the new firm.  There should have been consultation about this.  If this is the case you will be able to take your outstanding holidays as normal.  You would only be entitled to take money in lieu of holidays if your employment had come to an end.  If in doubt ring ACAS on 08457 474747.

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