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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I would be grateful if you could help me. Myself and husband

Customer Question

I would be grateful if you could help me. Myself and husband and my three children currently live in the same house, we built a kind of granny flat extension 10 years ago to which myself husband and three kids live in and my mum and dad live next door but it is all one house with a adjoining door. The thought being that if something happened to one of our parents we would be able to look after or be close to them. We paid approx £120,000 to build this. But as it is an extension we do not own the house, the house is still in my parents name. My father has been a doctor for 50 years and now at 82 he has just retired. He is wanting to get equity release out of the house and I am worrying about the implications of this. Firstly if my father dies the whole estate goes to my mother and then she passes this on to me at which point we would probably have to sell the property as we wouldn't be able to avoid to pay the equity release company back, however we are able to pay the interest so the deducted amount off the entire proper will not be as much. The biggest worry I have is that my half brother (from my fathers first marriage, he is 53) came to stay at the house for a supposed short period and has now been here 5 years. He still has a property in cyprus. My father also supports him financially as he is in debt etc. I have been reading up on who can contest a will. What I need to know is could he contest the will of my father dies even though my mother gets the house and everything as a dependent and as he has been living here? Or if not can he then contest the will when my mother dies , assuming my father died first (he is 15 years older than my mother) when the estate has been left to me and my family? My father has got a will that states all this and his solicitor has made him write letters of intent to my half brother and my half sister (also from his previous marriage). But they are not aware of his intentions and have not seen these letters. I guess I just want to make sure that it is all 'water tight' before we go ahead and get the equity release. My fathers reasons for leaving out his two previous children are that they have had more than diffident amounts of money Over the past years, houses, business that have failed, cars etc. My father as it stands now only owns the property worth approx £900,000 and an annuity and his medical and state pension, and various things of value like paintings etc in the house.. He has no other savings left mostly because he had been financially supporting both his previous children. I would be grateful if you could help me.
Many thanks and kind regards
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionsMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow much is the value the property and how much of the value is attributable to the extension?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Clare, I did mention above the property is currently valued at between £850,000 and £900,000, we paid £120,000 to add 'our bit' on in 2006, but although my solicitor has all our receipts of the cost I understand that this gives my family no claim on the house, which never really mattered as my fathers intention was always to leave the house to my mum and then to me. This was of of course not knowing at the time that my half brother would return from cyprus after losing his business and claiming there is no work there. 5 years later he's still here. Jobless and dependent on my dad!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
In fact i does not mean you have no claim - so best guess on how much the extension has added to the value?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oh god I'm hopeless at this kind of thing! It's added 2 extra bedrooms, bathroom 2nreception rooms, conservatory and made the garden landscaped and larger so say 200,000? Some estate agents think it may be harder to sell as if a buyer was to make it back into one whole house it would cost to do this, however I'm sure a contract builder would come and buy it and just rebuild it were in a area which is just selling all the time,
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
What was the agreement made in 2006 when you spent the money - what was agreed about what would happen when the property was sold?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We didn't make any written agreement but verbally we agreed that we would stay in the house and as I said I would look after who ever, and if we ever sold my dad would give me over half he value of the house. Or if we stayed the house would go to mum and then to me. I am really not worried about my share. I have seen the will and I know it's left to my mum if dad goes first (horrible to talk about death, but I have to plan ahead) What I am really worried about is my half brother contesting dads
Will when he dies, can he do this to my mum (his stepmother) or can he contest when she dies and it passes to me. If he can contest when it goes to my mum, is there anything we can put into place to prevent this, a waver which he could sign?many thanks.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Has your father considered transferring the house into joint names
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The house is in mum and dads name
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Have you considered 'Buying into" the property rather than your father obtaining an equity release?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We've tried down that road and to do that we would
Have to borrow 54,000 (existing mortgage) from a friend then pay the mortgage off he can then transfer and is willing to, the house into my and my husbands name but then we would have to get a mortgage to pay back the friend, plus extra money that my father needs now, there is only
One company that will do it but will not guarantee until after its in our name , which is a risk, also it would be just on my husbands salary which is 30k and we are in debt too so could be difficult. mum and dad would then have to pay us rent as per
Market value which is a lot in our Area and they have to live 7 years as classed as gift.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ment to add most mortgage company's won't touch us as my mum and dad will still be living in the house!
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
How much is your father trying to release?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
£150k and it looks like now he is going ahead with this. I have spoken to him about my step brother and sister and is willing to help with this, so I just need to know how best to make this water right .
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
OK.Is your father willing to agree to your having a share of the equity now if it can be arranged?