What should you do with your parents' home if they are put into care?

publication date: Sep 17, 2009
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What should you do with your parents' home if they are put into care?

Putting a loved one into care is an incredibly emotional and stressful experience; I know, we had to do make the decision on behalf of my mum when dad was suffering with Parkinsons and dementia.

In mum’s case we were lucky, she could still afford to stay in their home even when paying for dad to be in a special care home. As mum’s home was big enough to create a bedroom downstairs and we had a loo on the same level, eventually as dad’s illness progressed, we were able to bring him home for the last few months.

However, not everyone is as lucky as we were so I’ve written a quick guide to different circumstances you may find yourself in so you know what options are available to you and you can try to work out what the best thing to do is.

Lone parent goes into a residential/nursing home or hospital temporarily

Firstly, despite some horror stories, if your loved one is in a home or nursing home for however long, no one can force you (or them) to sell the property. However, what will happen is if your parent is getting financial support to help for care at home, that money is likely to be stopped after four weeks of being in hospital.

It is important to remember if you have a loved one in temporary care and they are feeling poorly and frail, what happens to their home while they are away could be quite stressful. As a result, it is a good idea to put their mind at rest and either discuss a plan of action or let them know what you are going to do. If you have any queries at all, then please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07585 897128 or via email.

Sadly another fact of life is that if your parent hasn’t been very well, and especially if they are suffering with any dementia related illnesses, that they have managed to keep up to speed with all their bills such as phone/gas and electricity/TV licence etc. Check with each service what you can do to keep the power/line active while keeping the bills as low as possible.

Whatever you decide, the first thing to check is your parent’s home insurance. If the property is going to be unoccupied for more than 30 days and you do not advise your insurance company, the insurance may be invalid. Speak to the insurance company to see what you can do or go to specialist companies such as Towergate who will insure the property cost effectively.

Once you’ve sorted the insurance, then it’s important to decide whether you are going to leave the property empty or whether another family member might stay there (who your parent will trust) or you can consider renting the property out.

Read my next article in this series Leaving a Property Empty Long Term.

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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