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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33810
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am joint owner of a house but when I was getting divorced

Resolved Question:

I am joint owner of a house but when I was getting divorced I signed a Trust Deed to give my share of the house to my 5 children. In 2004 a Solicitor who was making a will for my ex-husband wrote to me to ask if I would transfer my half of the house to one of my daughters as the tenancy hadn't been severed and so we were still joint owners. I refused as lots of things had happened over the years. Now my ex is suffering from Alzeimers and one of my daughter is seeking Power of Attourney and has presented the Trust Deed at a solicitors and he said it is OK and they own half the house, even though the tenancy was not severed. Since then one of my sons has died and I don't agree with the house being given over at this stage. I am 75 now and need some of the money and would leave most of it to my children when I die. What would you think is the legal position please
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** *****
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When was the Decree Absolute?
Was there a Financial Order made at the time in which this agreement was set out?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My divorce was absolute on 1st April 1977. I didn't ask for anything except I wanted my children but when it went to court my ex delayed the proceedings by not getting a solicitor for 6 months. The judges then said he had coped for 6 months so he could have the 5 children but I could have them every weekend and I made it a condition that if he kept to the agreement I would sign the trust deed but after a few months he wouldn't let them visit. I had to then move house to enable my children to visit me whilst their father was at work. This has meant that my relationship with my children is very fragile as he kept telling them I had left them but it was him I had left and had to wait till I had the backing of the court as the divorce was very volitile.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There was no financial order but as my husband had taken out a second mortgage on the house to buy a truck that enabled him to earn over £400 per week and I didn't try to claim part of that, I just asked that he support the children and pay the court costs. I also wanted my sewing machine which I had bought and nedded to earn my living but he wouldn't let me have it so I had to borrow money from my mother to buy one as they were industrial and cost £250 at that time.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Do you have a copy of the Deed that you signed?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have just looked at the papers and it is actully called a Declaration of Trust.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Did you both sign it?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes but I don't believe the solicitors took it any further because they knew that the terms were not being adhered to.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Is there any evidence of the basis of the agreement?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't quite know what you mean by this question, but if you mean the conditions attached there is a paper that states that the rules of the agreement must be strickly adhered to eg I must see my children weekly, my ex has to pay the court cost, mortgage and upkeep of the children. This house was the second house we had purchased together and it only had a small mortgage on it.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Excellent - that was exactly what I was asking.
How much is the house worth now and will your ex remain living there for now?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My ex is now in a home for Altzeimer patients, he will never be able to come out. The house needs at least a new bathroom then it will have to be rented as the Council want to put charges on it for the cost of my ex's care. The house would be between £160.000 and £200.000, that is the prices that all the other houses go for in that estate. I had to get the deeds from Halifax and lodge them at the Land Registry as the house had not been registered and the Council couldn't put charges on it. This was because the house has only 1 previous owner and he had usedf Halifax for his mortgage. I was the only one who could get the deeds, and I filled in the papers needed to register. This is one of the reasons that I feel the Declaration of Trust carries no weight. That and the fact that his solicitor asked me to sign over to my daughter when he tried to make his will. We had owned a house previosly and put all that money into this present house.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My ex is now in a home for Altzeimer patients, he will never be able to come out. The house needs at least a new bathroom then it will have to be rented as the Council want to put charges on it for the cost of my ex's care. The house would be between £160.000 and £200.000, that is the prices that all the other houses go for in that estate. I had to get the deeds from Halifax and lodge them at the Land Registry as the house had not been registered and the Council couldn't put charges on it. This was because the house has only 1 previous owner and he had used Halifax for his mortgage. I was the only one who could get the deeds, and I filled in the papers needed to register. This is one of the reasons that I feel the Declaration of Trust carries no weight. That and the fact that his solicitor asked me to sign over to my daughter when he tried to make his will. We had owned a house previously and put all that money into this present house.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Do you wish to force the sale of the property so that you have your money?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My plans would be to rent the house until my ex dies and then sell it, at which stage I would divide half between my children of that marriage and retain the other half to make my old age a little more comfortable but invest some of it to cover whatever I used so when I die my children would get my half which could be increased in value.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My plans would be to rent the house until my ex dies and then sell it, at which stage I would divide half between my children of that marriage and retain the other half to make my old age a little more comfortable but invest some of it to cover whatever I used so when I die my children would get my half which could be increased in value.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
For clarity - you do not wish to live there?
Whatever else it did the Deed of Trust certainly severed the Beneficial Joint Tenancy - so whatever happens you will only receive half of the proceeds of sale at most
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I can't see that the tenancy is severed when I am still listed as a joint tenant and the solicitor my ex went to for his will has told me this.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Your name is ***** ***** the Land Registry documentation as a legal owner as a Declaration of Trust only deals with the Beneficial Ownership.
The fact that there is a Declaration of Trust means that you hold is as Tenants in Common rather than beneficial Joint tenants even if that is not recorded at the Land Registry
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33810
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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