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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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situation: A father has gifted his child (a middle aged adult)

Resolved Question:

situation: A father has gifted his child (a middle aged adult) a property development, he has continued to spend his own money working on that development although his name is XXXXX XXXXX on the title deed. The Development is now half built, however relations between the father and the child have deteriorated. As a result of the fathers mental instability, the child wishes to sell the property to secure her financial future(the father is financially ok without the property), the father wishes in retaliation to put "a caution" on the property and try and reclaim the money that he spent on the development. Is he entitled to make those claims and what are the options for the child? Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX can answer this for you.

Customer:

Hi Tony, Thank you for your help

Customer:

my name is Tom

tdlawyer :

Hi Tom. Okay, I need to understand what the nature of the "gift" was ... was it an outright - I don't want it, it's yours ....?

Customer:

he said it was done for purposes of inheritance tax

tdlawyer :

So he is really saying that he remains the true owner?

Customer:

apparently it was bought by the child for 1 pound

Customer:

however the childs name is XXXXX XXXXX title deed and according to land registry she is the outright owner

tdlawyer :

Ah yes, she is to the outside world. But in reality, that's not the agreement between daughter and faither.

tdlawyer :

father.

tdlawyer :

And it's that agreement that's important.

Customer:

her name is XXXXX XXXXX freehold also

tdlawyer :

Doens't matter.

tdlawyer :

Thats why a caution would be needed to start with.

Customer:

the agreement was simply the one pound purchase

Customer:

ah ok

Customer:

the idea of it being for inheritance tax is new though

Customer:

originally it was simply a kind of early christmas gift

tdlawyer :

People do this kind of thing all the time, and the courts would look at what was really going on, rather than how it was dressed up for others to see.

Customer:

is the child still able to sell the property? or how is it best for her to proceed, his mental instability means that it cannot be solved reasonably and they cannot have face to face chats without him becoming violent.

tdlawyer :

Realistically, yes, but the caution would warn the person who lodged it when the sale is going through. They could take action at that point to obtain a court order to stop it. Also, most buyers will not buy when there is a caution on the title.

Customer:

is he able to reclaim the money that he has spent on the property? and is there a way to remove or fight against his caution?

tdlawyer :

Cautions are challenged either in Court or at the land registry via the adjudication process. So it can be challenged. And he may be able to reclaim the money spent on it, yes, if he is still the owner. Alternatively, he may simply be able to get the property put back in his name.

Customer:

Sorry, i am quite confused. if she is the legal owner how would he be able to get the property put back into his name?mLand registry lists her as the owner,

Customer:

i also have the documents that show the purchase of land

tdlawyer :

Yes, it lists her as owner, BUT, he would say she is a mere trustee of his sole beneficial interest. As such, the sole beneficiary should be able to direct what happens with the trust asset.

tdlawyer :

It gets complicated when you talk about trust principles for non-lawyers (and even some lawyers!) but the principle is sound.

Customer:

ah, ok thank you....as this seems to be unlikely to be solved reasonably as a result of the violence and behavioural issues what is the best way for the child to proceed? she has limited income, as she was originally working for the father and now is not all she has to her name is XXXXX XXXXX

tdlawyer :

Well, the cheapest way is perhaps for her to challenge at the land registry, it's less formal etc. that Court.

tdlawyer :

To be honest, I would say get a solicitor involved either way, because it's complex stuff.

Customer:

does she have a good chance of being able to keep the property? how much would something like this cost and is it worth doing?

tdlawyer :

I dont know about the evidence etc. so I can't say about chances to keep the property, but the costs of a dispute like this could be high depending on when the matter is resolved. At trial, it could be £50k or more.

Customer:

Right, that is not ideal. I will look into getting that going. Thank you for your help, whilst it was not the most encouraging it was certainly helpful. Any final advice?

tdlawyer :

No more final words from me, I think you have a useful understanding now?

Customer:

yes thank you

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