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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35044
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My Father who is 78 owns his own property with no mortgage

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My Father who is 78 owns his own property with no mortgage attached to the property, about 8 years ago he decided he needed to release some of the equity, his only other sibling ( my sister ) felt that most of the equity release companies were charging too much interest which would drastically reduce the equity left for my sister and I when my father eventually dies. My Father and sister managed to release capital for him by going to a finance company and putting my sister as joint owner of his property, as she has a fairly high income as a property developer she is guarantor of this loan which seems to operate similar to a credit card. The property is currently worth £200k , with this arrangement it gives him up to £100k which so far he has spent £45k and the other £100k cannot be touched and on the deeds is also my sisters. My Father has recently been discussing his will due to ill health and has told me that both my sister and I are executers of the will and that we both will get a 50% of his estate, I asked him about the part of the property my sister has as I cannot see how that can be part of his estate, he said that I would have to trust my sister to give me half of the part of the property which she has in her name which I do not feel very happy with. I have asked if a legal letter could be drawn up getting her to sign that although her name is ***** ***** deeds, she would honour the 50/50 split that my father has promised. So far my sister is reluctant to agree to this and I have asked my father why would she object ? I was not informed about this "deal" until after it had all been signed, Is such a letter possible and would it hold up in a court if there was a dispute. Many thanks Alan XXXXXXX

Thank you for your question.
A contract of some type would be possible of your sister is prepared to sign it; it might be too late and she might refuse.
It would be preferable if the two of them granted a charge over the property in your favour. That would provide you with complete protection in th circumstances that you describe.
I suggest that you discuss matters further with your father because at the moment you have little protection where the property is in joint names and your father is spending on the strength of his equity in the house. Note also that you say that the property is mortgage free. I presume that the finance company also have a charge on the property so any charge in your favour would be a second charge.
Happy to discuss further if you have further information.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help
In fact there are two ways that this could be dealt with.
The first is for your sister and your father to sign a Declaration of Trust confirming that the property is held on trust for your father alone to be dealt with in accordance with his wishes on his death.
The other option is for your father to confirm that your sister owns half of the property and to leave his half of the property to you.
If neither of these are possible then the only option is to ensure that your father writes a statement confirming his understanding of the basis on which the property was held and place that with his Will
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35044
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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