“We thought we were being really sensible when we had our Wills written. Just as my parents had done we just passed everything to each other. It was the normal thing to do we were told at the time. It was only when my dad passed away leaving mum widowed did we discover the problem.
Mum and dad had bought the family home back in the early sixties and raised us there. It was such a lovely place and my brother and I have so many happy memories growing up. They had a great marriage and I knew they had done their Wills so I didn’t worry too much about the future.
Things dramatically changed three years ago when dad passed away. He had a heart attack and suddenly mum was widowed. Everything dad had went to mum according to the Will they had written together years before. So mum now owned the family home outright.
We didn’t think this would be a problem but six months later mum had a stroke. It was clear she was going to need residential care and probably for a long time.
We thought that because mum only really had the house and little personal savings the Local Authority would pay for the care that mum needs. But after an assessment, the authorities decided that she would need to pay all her care fees and the family home would have to be sold so she could afford it.
That was two years ago now and mum is still in care. The family home was sold for £200,000 and the care home fees are well over £1000 per week. So more than half the money from the sale of her home has already gone. They worked so hard all their lives and I know dad really wanted an inheritance to eventually go to our daughter, Rosie, so she could get on the housing ladder or have a fund for university.
We thought that everybody else was in the same boat and it was only after we met Mary, the daughter of the lady in the room next to Mum’s. She told us that her parents had written a different type of Will with a special Trust inside. It was done when both were fit and well so that a half of the house passed into a protective Trust on the first death. This has meant that their family home was protected and the state has paid for their Mum’s care.
It seems so unfair that mum has been treated differently. If only they had been properly advised when dad was still here. Mary kindly introduced us to Sam and now we have rewritten our Wills so that our family home will be protected should anything happen to either of us and we end up needing care.
It’s sad that it was too late for us but it’s such a joy to know that Rosie will get a great inheritance and won’t end up seeing her childhood home lost to pay for our nursing care in the future.