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query on house inheritance

  • 27-08-2022 12:06am
    Registered Users Posts: 180 ✭✭

    Wonder if anyone can help with this scenario :

    Father had an incident and after the hospital stay he can no longer live in his house in the West. We live in Dublin and have jobs here. Brother lives locally in the West but is a stranger to the family and was also not interested in how father got on in the hospital and had no desire to help with paperworks. Prior to the hospital stay we also had a carer paid to visit twice a week because the brother who lives in the same town did not want to drop by. We do all the fair deal stuff and other paperwork from here.

    Now the house is empty and will no longer be used, neither by the father nor by us. We have no intention in becoming a landlord so the idea is to sell it. It's in the father's name. We know that in the will the house is explicitly left to us, any other assets are not mentioned so would be shared 50/50 with the brother. So it would not make sense to sell it now because then the proceeds of the sale will go into the "other assets" pot once the father passes away and will be split. If the house is still in the father's possession the day he passes away it will not be split with the brother because it explicitly left to us.

    We have a buyer for the house who is a good friend. He does not want to rent it, we do not want to become landlords so sale is a win/win situation. But due to above scenario we can not sell it to him for the moment. We also do not want to have the house empty for an unknown time.

    We thought about letting it to be used by Ukrainians in the meantime but possibly if there is some way of "sale ageed until further notice" where both parties have certainty of the sale but it only changes ownership in the future. Renting it out temporarily could also work but it's not really what anyone wants, we have no intention of becoming landlords.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭whippet

    A lot to consider here.

    firstly .. is there a will in place ? If not is your father legally of sound mind to put a will in place?

    secondly … if the house is in fair deal you can not sell it while your father is receiving nursing home support payments. If you do he will have to pay the full fees for his care - could be as much as €5.5k per month. Is this affordable ?

    if there is no will in place .. when the time comes probate will need to be done on the estate and this is a legal framework and does not account for emotions and ‘fairness‘ as you might think.

    thirdly .. if you do rent it out while in the fair deal scheme .. 80% of the total rent will be claimed by the fair deal scheme as part of your father’s income to pay for nursing home fees. On top of that depending on tax credits there may be up to 40% tax due on the total rent … which in effect may actually cost money to rent out.

    it’s not an ideal situation and I know first hand the issues and decisions as I had to deal with the same think for the last few years

  • Registered Users Posts: 552 ✭✭✭awsah

    Why doesn't tour father just gift you the house now? I don't know what the value of the home is but you might not owe much on CAT and you could get the small gift exemption.

    You aren't going to get legal advice on this forum but it might be worth paying a couple of hundred to get advice from a solicitor

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,376 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    Sell the house and get a new will drawn up. It's not difficult. Talk to his solicitor. Fair deal may be an issue hut it's not insurmountable either.

  • Registered Users Posts: 180 ✭✭Haithabu

    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    1) There is a will in place and it only more or less covers the house, the way the will is set up the house goes to us and anything else will be split

    2) The house is in a fair deal scheme, I did not know that selling would mean we would have to pay the full nursing home fees, I was under the impression that proceeds from a sale would be treated the same way as the house itself. But we did not plan to sell anyway because as per the will we would inherit the house but if there is no house to be inherited we would not get it, we would only get 50% of whatever is left of the proceeds when the day comes.

    3) I completely overlooked that the rent income would count towards his income. Thanks for that hint. I had already done a calculation on the rent and even with the full income I estimate that we would be about break even after tax and expenses for repairs, so with that part gone it would be even worse. It's an old house in the West, not an apartment in Dublin so rent expectations are really low. Plus it's a good friend who wants it so I would chare minimum anyway. I just try to get them in rather than wait and have the house empty.

    Appreciate your tips, sorry to hear you had to go through it yourself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 180 ✭✭Haithabu

    Thanks for replying. We should have considered that a few years back but we did not think about it. Now it's too late as we just started the fair deal process and then a sale would still be part of any assets to be declared in the application.

    Yes, I am not looking for legal advice, just for ideas if I have overlooked something that would be the win win situation.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 180 ✭✭Haithabu

    Actually it's not quite as easy as that, father is still of sound mind but physically not mobile at all and very sick. Even back then when he was fit setting up a will was very difficult with him. It did cross our minds however to sell now and set up a new will, especially since the solicitor can do both (house sale and will) at the same time. We decided against it however. The brother might be distant now but once there is a Euro to be grabbed he won't be far and he is cunning. The will as it is is strong because it is in place a long time. There is a risk that if a will is changed (or a new will is set up) shortly before someone passes away and it is in full favour of the someone who is looking after the owner of the will, that the will be contested. Then it might be declared void and all goes 50/50 anyway. Plus the will is clear at the moment, it clearly mentions the house and clearly that we will get it. Noone can contest that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭BarneyJ

    A few questions based on your post. When you refer to 'we' who do you mean? Is your father availing of a Nursing Home Loan along with the Fair Deal Scheme? (If so, if he sells the house then he would have to repay the loan within 6 months). You have said that 'we do not want to become landlords'. It is your father that would be the landlord if the property is rented out when he is still alive. Also you say 'we have found a buyer for the house', what are your father's wishes here? Does he wish to sell it? Until your father dies the property is his and he would have to be the person making the decisions.

    Has your mother predeceased your father?

    Finally, selling the house to a good friend sounds like a bad idea. Any issues with it could strain the relationship and also probably the sale price is not optimal market price.