Care Questions : Article 14Care Questions : Article 14

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.14

"I am 77 years of age and I have some savings which I would like to give to my son and daughter. Would they have to pay tax on the gifts?"

Answer : You are permitted to gift up to £3,000 a year free of Inheritance Tax. So if you give your son and daughter the amount of £1500.00 each per year, then tax is not payable. You can however, give larger amounts with no Inheritance Tax payable, but you do have to survive for seven years after such a gift is made.

"I used to have a very close and enjoyable relationship with my grandchildren. They lived close by and were an important part of my life. Unfortunately, due to my son and his wife divorcing, the children have now gone to live in the North of England and my ex daughter-in-law is, I am sure, trying to sever their links with me. For example I am told they are never in when I telephone. I have asked if I can come and see them or could they come and stay with me and the reply is always that it is not convenient. My son now lives and works abroad and his own contact is therefore limited. I am very unhappy about this situation and would welcome any information that may be of help."

Answer : You may find it helpful to contact the organisation Grandparents Apart. They are a self help group dedicated to ease the suffering of parents and grandchildren when families are torn apart. They have a network of support groups, leaflets, literature and a help line. There are various telephone numbers around the country but the most central is London on 0207 237 5681.

"Can herbal and homeopathic products be prescribed by my GP?"

Answer : Homeopathic medicines can be prescribed by a GP, but as with all drugs, the GP must be clinically competent to prescribe them. The majority of herbal products are not licensed medicines and therefore are not considered appropriate for prescription on the NHS.

"I live in a village where there are many older people and basically no social amenities. I am thinking about voluntarily setting up an afternoon social club in an under used village hall, offering companionship, activities such as bingo, cards and some light refreshment. I have had it suggested to me that I could qualify to run such a club as a charity. How do I go about finding out if this is possible?"

Answer : To become a charity any organisation has to be seen as having a purpose that the law perceives as exclusively charitable. This broadly means that the organisation must be either for the relief of poverty, or for the advancement in education or for the advancement of religion or serve a purpose that is beneficial to the community. In England the place to contact to see if you can register as a charity is the Charity Commission. They have a form which contains questions which will help to determine whether your organisation is suitable for charitable status. Their telephone number is 0870 333 0123

Another source of help is a book titled "Running a Charity" by Francesca Quint, Ken McManus and Leonard Freedman. The book covers the legal, financial and regulatory aspects of running a charity. It may be a book that is currently in your local library or they could order a copy for you.

"My Mother will soon be celebrating her ninetieth birthday. She has always loved band music, especially of the 1930's and has many old 78rpm records. I have tried to find modern day recordings of some of these artists but have been unsuccessful. I would love to be able to present her with "her music" on her birthday and I write to ask if you know of any organisation that can transfer music from old recordings to CD's?"

Answer : An organisation called Precious Voices may be a company that can help you. They can transfer recordings from old records, reels or tapes on to CD's. They are also a useful company to contact if you have any personal recordings, such as family tapes made when children were small, family party sing songs, etc. that you would like to hear again.

They can be contacted by telephone on 01526 399455 or by post at Moongate, Lowthorpe, Southrey, Lincolnshire, LN3 5TD.