Can I buy my mother's home for £30,000?

My father recently passed away and my mother is living alone in their home. It was last valued at £90,000, can I buy it for £30,000?

Question: My father recently passed away and my mother is living alone in their home. There is £23,000 left outstanding on the mortgage and I am considering buying the property from my mother for £30,000. It was last valued at £90,000. I intend to move in with my mother if we can legally do this. Is it possible? 

Answer: Your mother presumably became entitled on your father's death to their home, either as the surviving joint tenant or under the terms of your father's will, or under the laws of intestacy if he did not leave a will.

The mortgage will have to be redeemed when you buy the property, although you may be able to take over the mortgage from the lender if you can satisfy their lending requirements.

If your mother accepts £30,000 from you and redeems the mortgage, she will be gifting you £60,000 — so do remember that this gift from her may have tax implications for you.

Sometimes people enter into a deed of variation in order to save tax. Your mother could enter into a deed of variation to vary the terms of your father's will if she wished to gift the property or part of it to you — although considering the value of the property there may be no tax consequences.

Finally, a sale at an under value may be seen as deprivation of assets should your mother wish to apply for means-assessed benefits at some stage.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. 

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor. 

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