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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31300
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am trying to figure out when something is classed as

Customer Question

I am trying to figure out when something is classed as coercion. My elderly father (86yrs) has suddenly decided (or been persuaded) to move to a small flat, and to sell his large 4 bed house in a hurry - coinciding with an annual visit by my sister from Australia.. I have to be honest and say relationships between my sister and myself have not been good for many years.. However myself & my brother I feel have a good relationship with my Dad - and he put a POA in place several years ago (myself & my brother to act for him) for any circumstance of incapacity. Moving has been something discussed gradually between us over time, and a smaller place would be of benefit and I certainly want to do the best for my Dad. However since she arrived 9 days ago this has moved to a firm offer on a flat his house being valued (£580K) and his house about to be put on the market with an impetus to sell as quickly as possible. He can more or less afford to purchase the flat - and we (myself & brother) have offered to support financially if needed... However the insistence still seems to be on selling his house (with the incumbent stress on him) and I cant help being suspicious of her motives....
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Just to add ..... she has visited his GP with him - to discuss a cataract op that is booked for a couple of weeks time, and in email back stated that the GP agrees with her (she is an ex nurse) that although getting very forgetful and often very confused he does not have dementia ...... To me the only reason for putting that in writing is to state that he has capacity - and therefore the ability to make decisions (good or bad). But the speed of this - and potential effect of his house being quickly sold from under him (together with estate agents & buyers visiting etc.) can only have a negative impact on him. We have offered to support the flat purchase & suggest to sell his house calmly and in time once he has moved out - so cannot see any reason for a mad panic sale other than an ulterior motive (but to prove undue influence / coercion is probably very difficult........??
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

When does your sister go home?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
She leaves at the end of next week..
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Do you have any advice ???? As haven't seen any response ?
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.

My apologies for the delay - I was unexpectedly offline for a few days.

has she taken him to visit a solicitor at all (to the best of your knowledge that is)

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I think over the past few days we have managed to slow things down a little....... They have visited a solicitor regarding the purchase of the flat - and may even have discussed sale of his house (although cant confirm the latter). But I think I now have his agreement not to sell in haste - and I am visiting the solicitor engaged to act on his purchase tomorrow - and will take my PoA documentation too, and ask to be used as primary point of contact. Was intending to raise the issues raised here with him also.............
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

I have to ask - do you have any concerns that he may have been convinced to make a new Will?