If you continue to live in the house it would be regarded as a ‘gift with reservation’ and may be subject to inheritance tax even though your daughter’s name is on the deeds. In addition, she could become liable to pay capital gains tax when she came to sell your property, whereas as things stand there may have been little or no capital gains tax to pay. As regards care home fees, the local authority could refuse to pay them if it could prove you gave away your assets to avoid them. So it probably won’t be a good idea to give your daughter the house at this stage, although there may be other things you can do to minimise tax on your estate. Discuss your plans in detail with a solicitor specialising in this area. I HAD an off-the-peg conservatory installed by builders and was given an insurance-backed guarantee. I discovered the builder had gone bust when problems began to appear so I contacted the warranty company. Now they say the design and materials were to blame and point out a clause in the guarantee making the customer responsible for ensuring that technical specifications are adhered to. Is this reasonable? The terms of the guarantee must be ‘fair’. The exact wording will have to be looked at, but it sounds as though you should bring in a surveyor to see if what the insurers are saying is true. If the design and materials were to blame you may have a better claim against the conservatory manufacturer. I suggest you see a solicitor who can write to the insurance company and advise you further after seeing the contract. MY wife left me last year after 46 years of marriage. She is now living in a flat our daughters have bought for her. What is she entitled to when anything happens to me? Do I have to leave her anything in my will, or is she entitled to half of what I have? If you die while you are still married without making a will, your wife will automatically be entitled to the first £250,000 of your assets and half of anything above that sum. Even if you make a will leaving everything to someone else your wife may well be able to make a claim on your estate under the family provision legislation so you may want to consider leaving something to her and you should get some legal advice on your position. After 46 years of marriage she may of course be entitled to a share of your property if you were to divorce.
WHAT A DAMPENER
BUILDING work next door has caused damp to come through into my kitchen and living room. I have asked the neighbour both verbally and in writing to make good the damage but he has made no effort to comply. Contact your buildings insurance provider and make them aware of the damage to your prop- erty. You may also have legal expenses insurance included on one of your policies, which may cover the costs of any dispute. If you don’t have insurance, you should instruct a solicitor to write a formal letter to your neighbour. If that doesn’t prompt your neighbour into action, you may have to take them to court.
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