I once had a leather skipping rope. For me, it was an ornament rather than exercise equipment.
I gave to my nephew. As a gift.
I got irritated at my nephew because I discovered he no longer had the rope. He had traded it for something or other at school. The details of the swap escape me.
After my vexation had subsided, I alighted on the thought that the skipping rope was his, he could do with it as he pleased.
We come to the point of giving your home to your children. This calls for fidelity to the language. A home is not tangible. You can no more give away a home than you can buy air. We talk here of your principal residence.
These are general observations, rather than advice. Nonetheless, here goes.
It’s your property, it’s your stuff. You can do what you want with it. You can give it to whomever you please – at anytime.
The risks involved are huge. They come in various guises. They as huge as Wembley Stadium.
1 Giving it up. If you give up your house, that’s it. You may be turfed out. The morality is one thing. You and I can jump and down all we like, you’ve no legal right to the property. End of.
If your children ran into any sort of money problem, their assets could be seized to pay their debts. Your house, your former house is now one of their assets.
One rule of taking people to court is there’s little point suing someone who’s no money to pay the judgement. It doesn’t matter, the house isn’t yours.
3 Capital gains tax
A problem more for your children. If your children do not use the property as their primary residence, they might have a liability to capital gains tax.
4 Care Fees
Many give their houses to their children with the aim of avoiding selling the house to pay residential care fees. This often a stratagem so faulty it sounds like a Donald Trump promise.
The local authority may assess the value of your house to pay for the care fees. The claim would likely be founded on the principle of deliberate deprivation: that you deliberately deprived yourself of your assets with the object of escaping your liability to care fees.
There are several salesmen of infamy who’d tell you signing over your house would help you avoid care fees. They’re liars. They’re cheats. They’re not to be trusted or believed.
You want to give away your house. If you’ve somewhere else to live, go ahead.
However, if you’re contemplating signing over your house, the roof over your head, I’d say, go ahead if you don’t mind living in a tent.
Better though, is to speak to someone who has a lifetime’s experience of such matters.
What to read next: lasting power of attorney