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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35050
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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A deed of variation sounds like an expensive option to pass

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A deed of variation sounds like an expensive option to pass the bulk of the value of a deceased grandparent's home (a modest one) to the next generation of now grown-up children.
Not doing so appears to have rather fewer costs.
Or have I got that backwards?
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstCould you give me a brief overview of the position that led to this being suggested?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,Apologies - just got back to my desk.We were sitting with our financial advisor and the kids (son and daughter) and their partners outlining our desire to take my wife's share of the sale (around £150,000) and split it into three so my son and daughter get £50 each to use as a deposit on a first flat - with their partners.The advisor was there to answer general questions about purchasing property.His suggestion for the variation was to do with Inheritance Tax and the need to reduce our taxable assets.I see his idea as a bet on our living more than 7 years after making the gifts. I'm 66 and my wife 65 and we are both in good health with parents who reached their 80s and 90s. And I really don't want to chuck £1,500 at lawyer's fees when the money should be going into more important stuff.More to the point we have an insurance policy in place to cover the inheritance tax bill the kids will face if we both die before 75. It's the house problem - a modest terrace in our part of London now goes for £1.3.If I had a magic wand I'd knock a zero off all London homes to help out the next generation! The figures are positively a war on the next generation.I think I may have just answered my own question with a 'no'.The next question is: how to do we hand over the money but make sure it stays with our children in the event one of the kid's partners drops dead or runs off for whatever reason. Neither are married as yet.Thanks for your help.Chris
I suspect you are correct - you have answered your own question.The Deed will only help if you do not survive the 7 years!So long as your children are unmarried then the money cannot be claimed by their partners in the event of separation or death.Please ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,If the flat the kids buy is jointly owned (50-50) then it feels like we might have a problem. No?Can we write into the purchase contract that the capital sum (or the capital sum plus proportional increase in value of the flat) be repaid to the contributor in the event of a sale?That way they can buy flat two if still together. And if apart our son or daughter has their gift back to help them start again..Is this a useful way to think about it?Chris
Why would joint ownership be a problem?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My son is Joss. My girfriend-in-law is Danni.
They by the flat and a month later Danni goes under a bus. Her parents inherit and want to sell. Joss loses 50% of his deposit.
Same scenario if they split up.
Otherwise there's no problem with joint ownership. It's what my wife and I have always done and it works fine.
Ah I misunderstood!Your son should protect his investment by way of a Declaration of Trust stating that he should receive his capital back (or as you say capital plus) in the event of a sale.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,A Declaration of Trust sounds like fun. I suppose we could write our own, although wildcat strikes involving lawyers are never a pleasant subject on the 6 o'clock news.If we were to ask you to do one (hypothetically) would it:
* Be in contemporary English or in legal jargon? Is there a dummy template online I might view?
* And could you give us a "more than this but less than that" idea of how much we might end up paying for one.And just to be certain, is there no way to write the gist of a D of T as a couple of paras in the purchase contract?Chris
There is a good one online somewhere - I just have to remember where!This is a good starting point
It does have to be a separate documentI
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,You're worth your weight in Smarties!Thanks for the steer to rocketlawyer as the template DofT looks exactly like the sort of thing to give Joss and Danni control of a property in their terms while satisfying our own apprehension about life kicking the chair out from under them.If we did want to get back to you again, since you're up to speed with us as it were, how to we do so? I assume there's a pool of legal help here at JustAnswers so how can we find you?.
If you title your question "for Clare" it will reach me!