I LIVE on a farm which was owned 50/50 by each of my parents. They are both dead now, but the farm isn’t registered at the Land Registry. I’m slightly worried about this and about inheritance tax, since I would like to pass the farm on to my own son. I TAKE it you inherited everything from your parents either through their wills or because you were their only child. You could apply for probate or letters of administration to their estates, and, if you are the sole beneficiary, transfer the farm into your own name if that has not been done already (at which point it would have to be registered).
If you have only one child your son may inherit the farm the same way you did, but you should make a will to ensure this will happen. You may be able to claim relief against inheritance tax for farm property, but this is a complex subject and you should seek proper advice.
EX CAN STAY
MY partner bought a house with his girlfriend in 2006. They have a child but split up four years ago. She still lives there.
He has paid all the bills and the mortgage and her name isn’t on the title deeds. If the house goes up for sale, what is he legally entitled to claim? SHE could apply to the court to remain in the house for the benefit of the child until the child reaches 18, or leaves school.
She could also apply for some of the equity in the property to be transferred to her if she has contributed in any way.
Your partner could ask for the house to be sold if he can persuade the court that his ex could live somewhere smaller. He isn’t obliged to pay the bills but as the mortgage is in his name he is contractually obliged to pay that. He will probably also have to contribute via the CSA unless he can reach an agreement with his ex. He should see a solicitor.
JUST ABOUT MANAGING
I OWN a leasehold flat in a block of four. Who is responsible for setting up a management company: is it the tenants or the leaseholder? THE block should be managed by the leaseholder/landlord, who will be responsible for maintaining the fabric of the building and the common areas and for which there will probably be a monthly service charge.
Check your lease to clarify your rights and responsibilities. You - the tenants - should only consider setting up a management company if you were dissatisfied with the way the flats are currently being managed, and even then it may be better to appoint a different managing agent. The best option is to get your landlord to carry out his duties effectively.
I DESTROYED MY DEEDS
NEARLY 40 years ago I left my then partner in a house I owned.
I now learn that she has died, and the council has put a possession notice on the house. Some years ago I destroyed the deeds since I never expected to have anything to do with it again.
Would I be able to prove ownership after all this time? PROBABLY. The Land Registry has a procedure to establish ownership in the case of lost or destroyed deeds.
More urgently you should contact the council and let them know that you are claiming ownership so that the notice can be removed.
If any former neighbours can testify that you lived at the property this will help with your application to the Land Registry.
You should also be able to find the electoral roll for the period showing you lived there, and any other documentation would be helpful.
Call SAS Daniels LLP Solicitors on 0161 475 7676 or 01625 442 100. Visit www.sasdaniels.co. uk
If you have any legal questions, write to Weekly Law and You, MEN Media, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Chadderton OL9 8EF, or leave your query on the legal advice line 0117 964 4794.