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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if your neighbour has any family please who would inherit her estate after her passing?
From what you say I presume she is required to pay for her own care as opposed to being funded by the local authority?
Have you yet been appointed as her attorney?
You would not be able to sign any transfer deed yourself as attorney if you are transferring the property to yourself. However providing your neighbour is of sound mind then she is entitled to sell the property to you at whatever price she wishes and she can sign a transfer deed in her own right.
The main significant issue may be deprivation of capital. This is a situation where the council could potentially claim that she has undersold the house to you and claim the difference from her through insolvency laws which enable them to potentially make a claim against the property for up to five years from the date of the transaction.
There is therefore a potential risk to you in this respect. I note you have gone offline. Would you like to continue?
A pleasure. If I may just add something to the above before you go...
In order to guard against the above risk (which is probably relatively low but nevertheless...) you can obtain something called Insolvency Act indemnity insurance via your solicitor as part of your purchase.
This is an insurance policy which covers the potential risk above that the council or in deed any other party makes a claim against the difference between the property's market value and the price you paid for it within 5 years that this could potentially occur. It will give you peace of mind that you are covered in this respect and the cost of the premium is a one off fee of normally around £150 or so. If you are obtaining a mortgage it will be required but if you are buying in cash it is still well worth considering.
Good luck with your purchase.
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