It is 30 years since Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister and enabled tenants to buy their council house and we are now seeing cases where a person has purchased their council house and then passed away without leaving a Will. If they were near retirement when they purchased it in the 1980’s it was often just in their in name, but younger relatives often paid or borrowed to fund it. Was that you?
Sometimes the property has already passed from one spouse to another or from joint names to one. If there was no deed of trust set up and then there is no will, this can lead to all sorts of disputes especially between family members. Was the money loaned? Was there any mortgage? Was there a trust? Should the property belong to the estate or those who paid for it originally? Who has lived there and maintained it? Has anyone paid for an extension? Has it been insured if they have passed away?
Something which was bought as an asset which has almost certainly increased in value can then lead to a stressful dispute between family members. Matters become even more complicated if others have lived there, often over several generations and want to remain. Sometimes they have given up their home and job to look after a sick relative.
Families are diverse, often blended with second marriages, partnerships and varieties of ages of children, with different roles and finances and with some more dependent on their parents than others.
If you need advice to protect your position or if you recognise any of these signs and do not know where to turn; contact one our lawyers in our Probate Disputes Team or our Wills & Probate Team.