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Ask our adviser – Can my dad help his grandson buy a car?

"I am attorney for my dad who no longer has capacity and is resident in a care home. I would like to transfer £7,000 from his account as a gift to help his grandson buy a new car as I know he would want to help him. Is this allowed?" - Service User


Gifts can be made on a ‘customary occasion’ such as a wedding, anniversary, birthday, graduation, or civil partnership. This also includes occasions where gift giving is customary such as Christmas, Hanukkah or Chinese New Year. Reasonable gifts can be given to friends, family or close acquaintances of the donor.


In terms of what is considered a ‘reasonable gift’. You should always consider if it is in the donor's best interest to be making gifts. You will need to look closely at the donor's finances. Any gifts given should not impact on their ability to be able to meet their living costs or pay for their care for the rest of their life and should be comfortably affordable. This amount will vary from person to person.


It is important to understand that gifts which do not fall into the above categories can only be made with the express permission of the Court of Protection. This can include, for example, permission to make a gift as part of the annual Inheritance Tax Gift Allowance.


If an attorney were to make substantial gift to someone or had used the donor's money to make a gift to themselves, the consequences can be serious. The Office of the Public Guardian may investigate the attorney and their actions, ask them to pay back money or return gifts and remove them as an attorney or deputy.

For more information on gifting visit gov.uk/opg, listen to their podcast on anchor.fm/opg-podcast, their social media accounts Facebook and Twitter @OPGGovUK or call their contact centre 0300 456 0300.

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