am an eldery widow. My daughter recently suggested a solution to my loneliness and advancing age and her financial problems. She lives in rented accommodation with her husband. She suggested that I sell my flat in a central location and buy a bigger flat on the outskirts of town which could house all of us if I moved in with them. She asked me to register it in her and her husband’s name, promising that I could live there for the rest of my life, and that she would always look after me, even if I became sick or senile. I am worried that something could go wrong if I give them the flat as a gift. How can I co-operate, yet protect my future ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 03 May, 2022
You can co-operate by making a contract, only with your daughter, in which you undertake to transfer title of the property, without actually transferring title at the Lands Registry. You must make sure that your daughter’s obligations towards you are set out clearly and that it is stated that transfer of title to her is conditional on the fulfillment of these, and is to be effected only after your death. This way, only a written undertaking to make a gift is made, and you are protected as you can cancel it if your daughter behaves extremely negatively towards you. If, however, you transfer of title during your lifetime, then cancellation is extremely difficult, and depends on the existence of exceptional circumstances.
The contract can be reinforced by a will in you make a conditional bequest to her daughter – the flat, if she fulfils her obligation. By taking these two legal steps, the contract and the will, as outlined, you would be protecting your future, and not put be putting it at the mercy of your daughter or the success of her marriage.