The Fair Deal Scheme: Practical Guidelines for You

Farm Transfer & Succession

Common Issues > Farm Transfer & Succession

The Issue...

Peter, a bachelor farmer from Co. Mayo, has turned 70 years of age and is thinking about handing on the farm to the next generation.

The Challenge...

Peter is unclear about a number of issues:

  • Who will take on the farm?
  • Is Peter ready to give up control?
  • Will the house and land be included in the calculation for the Fair Deal Scheme indefinitely?

The Solution...

There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to farms. No two farms are the same so the advice that we would give to Peter will not be the same advice as what is required in your situation.

When deciding whether to consider a nursing home for your relative the important thing to understand is that the HSE will work out a financial contribution that he must pay based upon his  income and assets.   Check with local nursing homes to determine the weekly cost of care and multiply that by 52 weeks to get the annual cost of care.

He will have to pay 80% of his income annually which includes State pension and private pensions; rental and other income with some allowable deductions such as health expenses and property tax.    The HSE will deduct  €36,000 from the total assets for a single person such as Peter.

He will also have to pay 7.5% on the value of his assets annually for the duration of his stay in the nursing home.   This means cash assets in the form of savings, shares, money owed to him and non cash assets like property including the family home, farm business.

The family home is only assessed for the first three years of Peter’s stay in the nursing home.  This does not apply to other property.

The Government has approved the General Scheme of a Bill in relation to the Treatment of Family Farms and Business Assets under Fair Deal which sets out conditions that need to be met in order to qualify for a three year cap on the value of the farm.  The situtation is under review and the conditions are strict with a view to the farm continuing to being worked by the immediate family.   Not every farm situation will qualify for the three year cap.

The HSE will take into account  and clawback assets transferred in the last 5 years and this includes cash gifts and non cash assets.

It is possible to apply to the HSE for an ancilliary loan during the intial application stage or antyime when the resident is in a nursing home.

To get an idea of how much your relative will have to pay in Year 1 check out our Fair Deal Calculator.   A single person is assessed on the basis of their assets whereas a couple who have been living together for more than 3 years will be assessed on the basis of all of their assets .

For more detail about your relative’s situation contact Emer Lavin today who will give you information about The Fair Deal Scheme, and help you to assess whether it is the best option for your relative.

Disclaimer: In order to maintain the anonymity of past clients, Emer has changed identifiable characteristics and details (e.g. names, occupations, places of residence etc.) from their stories above.

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