An­gela Brown

Macclesfield Express - - HOMES - DOWN THE MID­DLE STEP­FA­THER’S GIRL­FRIEND

Daniels LLP Solic­i­tors I AM 70 and have been liv­ing with a man for the last ten years since he per­suaded me to move out of my coun­cil house. He paid for our cur­rent prop­erty and I fur­nished it, but he has now moved out and is telling me to sell the house. The prop­erty is in both our names, but as we were not mar­ried I won­dered if I am en­ti­tled to half the pro­ceeds. THE law re­lat­ing to un­mar­ried cou­ples and prop­erty rights is com­plex. In or­der to an­swer this ques­tion it would be nec­es­sary to ob­tain some more in­for­ma­tion from the ti­tle deeds. This will help us to es­tab­lish whether the prop­erty is held by you both as joint ten­ants or as ten­ants in com­mon. If you are ten­ants in com­mon does a dec­la­ra­tion of trust ex­ist set­ting out each par­ties’ re­spec­tive share? You need to seek le­gal ad­vice be­fore reach­ing any MY mother died nearly 20 years ago without leav­ing a will. How­ever she asked her hus­band – my step­fa­ther – to leave her es­tate to me, and he made a will to this ef­fect. But when he died re­cently we dis­cov­ered he’d made a later will leav­ing ev­ery­thing to a girl­friend. He had noth­ing when he mar­ried my mother. Is there any scope for me to chal­lenge the new will? I have been told I can­not see it as I am no longer a bene­fac­tor. IT is very dif­fi­cult to chal­lenge a will and un­less you have good med­i­cal ev­i­dence that your step­fa­ther lacked the ca­pac­ity to make the will then your chances of chal­leng­ing it are slim. Also, if prop­erty was promised to you and on the strength of those prom­ises he acted to your detri­ment, then it may be pos­si­ble to bring a claim for ‘pro­pri­etary estop­pel’ and the first will is some ev­i­dence of this. It is a shame that your mother did not set up a trust in your favour which would have avoided these prob­lems. MY fa­ther is in a nurs­ing home and his cap­i­tal has now dropped be­low £23,250. As a re­sult we are now be­ing asked to pay a third-party top-up fee by the coun­cil. They are say­ing this can­not be paid by my mother. Is this cor­rect? THIRD-PARTY top-up fees are nor­mally paid only by rel­a­tives able and will­ing to pay them: you are not obliged to pay them. This sub­ject is some­thing of a hot potato at the mo­ment, with the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Om­buds­man re­cently crit­i­cis­ing coun­cils for fail­ing to give enough in­for­ma­tion. You should prob­a­bly take in­de­pen­dent ad­vice or at least in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther be­fore com­mit­ting your­selves to these pay­ments.

BONUS ON TAP

I RE­CENTLY had some plumb­ing work car­ried out. I was ini­tially told the work would take be­tween four and five hours. It took six, but I was charged for eight hours’ work on the ba­sis that the plumber hadn’t time to start an­other job that day. Is this le­gal? YOU must pay a ‘rea­son­able’ price for the work done. I take it you were given an es­ti­mate for the job, as op­posed to a quo­ta­tion which would have been a fixed price that is bind­ing on both par­ties. A court would prob­a­bly think it was rea­son­able for you to pay for the six hours that the plumber was at your house, but not for the ex­tra two which ap­pear to have been added be­cause the workman was badly or­gan­ised. If you only pay for the six hours the plumber would have great dif­fi­culty in get­ting you to pay more.

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 email mail@lawQs.co.uk

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