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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34886
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My brother(74) and I(68) jointly own the family home which

Customer Question

My brother(74) and I(68) jointly own the family home which we inherited and n which he lives. I have my own home. His only income is the state pension and I have given and loaned him money over the past 10 years. He now owes me some £30,000, of which £26,000 is currently bequeathed to me in his will. We were both born in -and reside in-Northern Ireland. The estimated value of the house would be between £60,000 and £80,000.
I would appreciate advice on :-
(i) whether a local authority could sell his house if he went into care,
(ii) whether they could seize my share of the proceeds,
(iii) whether they could seize the £26,000 or the £30,000 referred to above, and
(iv) what steps I could take to protect my financial interest in the above under Northern Ireland law.
Brian Chalmers
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. So are you saying that you are aware of instances where others have left early and not had to pay this back?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How is the loan documented?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The loan is not clearly documented.
I have recorded the loan of £24,070.13 made by me in November 2005 and his repayments made to me prior to his retirement in January 2007. In his subsequent will (following our younger brother's death in March 2010) he bequeathed £21,000 to me. At that time, that sum represented the outstanding balance of the above loan. I possess a document signed by him dated 12th March 2014 stating that he owed me £8,000 "in addition to the £21,000 ... to which my will refers". Since I have loaned him further sums and given him gifts of money. I would be content to safeguard the debt of £29,000, payable to me or my estate following my death.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Will your brother agree to a figure - and could you prove that the sum went from your account to his
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am sure that my brother would be happy to agree to a figure - if I were to ask him.
Of the original loan of £24,070.13, £21,820.13 was paid by cheque by me direct to his creditors. I believe the remainder was paid in cash by me to him. Subsequent loans were in cash or by cheque to his bank account. In short, the minority of the sums involved were not paid into his account. The bulk of his debt to me dates back 10 years. As I said, I would be content to know whether the £29,000 to which I referred in my previous message could be protected.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
In answer to your questions:-
1. Yes if the house share is his only asset they can insist that the house is sold so he can pay for his care
2. No your half share is safe and cannot be touched.
3.. Yes that sum is at risk unless you protect is with either a formal Charge (mortgage) on his share of the equity or a Declaration of trust confirming that the the property is held in unequal shares
4. You will have to protect the money with either a Charge or a Declaration of Trust BUT be aware that the Local Authority will check that the money was indeed loaned to your brother - so be prepared to prove it.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
With reference to my original query, please confirm that your advice is correct under Northern Ireland law.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did reply to your last response.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Yes that is correct