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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9216
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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In June 2012 you arranged a will and lasting power of

Customer Question

In June 2012 you arranged a will and lasting power of attorney on behalf of my sister Phyllis L Crispin, for myself and my brother Norman H Bradbury. I look after all of my sister's financial affairs as she has dementia and since Feb 2014 has lived at Nower House Care home in Dorking. She has recently said verbally that she would like to help me and my brother with a financial gift. I have explained to her that her savings are for her benefit, but she still says she would like to do something. I am seeking advice as to what is permitted within the law as I do not want to invoke any tax liabilities. Do I need to get something in writing for her to agree?
This whole area seems to be a bit of a minefield and I would like some clarity.
In the event of her death you are appointed as executors. Richard Bradbury
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

We don’t arrange wills or lasting powers of attorney, so you may have us mixed up with another company. We can however answer your question for you.

Whether you would be allowed to do this or not would depend on the state of your sisters mental health and whether she was aware of the nature and quality of her actions. There is no point whatsoever in getting something in writing from her to agree if a medical expert would not say that she was aware of the nature and quality of what she was agreeing to.

You need to either get a medical professional to write a letter that confirms that she knows what she’s doing and get a letter from her to say what she wants to do or, if you cannot get the medical professional to do that, then you need to contact the Court of Protection who will then say whether you are allowed to do this or not.

Unless it is a gift which your sister would normally be in the habit of making, or if it was going away a substantial amount of her assets, it is unlikely that the court would agree to make the gift.

It is not really a tax issue although depending on the amount of the proposed gift, there may be inheritance tax ramifications if your sister does not live for a further 7 years.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.

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