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Elderly parents and the family home

Picture this. Not an unusual scenario.

Mum and Dad bought their property 40 years ago. This was very much the family home. They brought up their two children, Tim and Kath, in the house but the kids have long since moved out and started their own families...

Dad unfortunately died after a short illness last year. It was Dad who dealt with all the family finances. The children are concerned that Mum’s health is also deteriorating and it is proposed that Mum sell the house and move in with Kath. Both children are anxious to help mum as much as possible. Mum has indicated she would not feel up to dealing with solicitors in connection with the house sale. She is finding it increasingly more difficult to cope with her day to day finances.

How can Tim and Kath Help?

Legally, even though Tim and Kath are “next of Kin” this gives them no legal authority to deal with their mothers affairs. If no other arrangements exist it must be mum who deals with the property sale and signs all documentation in connection with the sale. It would be mum alone who would then have to deal exclusively with the sale proceeds.

If mum does indeed wish her children to deal with the administration on her behalf then she could consider asking QualitySolicitors Bradbury Roberts & Raby to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for her.

If in place a LPA will allow Tim and Kath to deal with all the legalities and administration in connection with the house sale on behalf of their mother. Mum could thus be relieved of this burden.

Of equal importance once the sale of the property is completed, the children will be able to assist mum in connection with the investment of the sale proceeds and thereafter administer mums finances generally.

The added benefit of a properly prepared LPA is that in the event of mum in the future suffering a stroke or in the event of dementia to the extent mum loses mental capacity the children will still be able to administer mums affairs and ensure her bills are paid etc.

If no Lasting Power of Attorney exists and mum loses mental capacity then legally Tim and Kath have no authority to deal with mums affairs. Banks and financial institutions would not deal with the children. In this case the only option open to Tim & Kath would be to make a full application to the High Court (Court of Protection) to be legally appointed deputies of mum’s affairs. This application to the court is extremely time consuming and expensive.

Asking QualitySolicitors Bradbury Roberts & Raby to prepare a suitable Lasting Power of Attorney would avoid the need for any application to the High Court.

To arrange an appointment to discuss your requirements, call us today on 01724 854000, or visit our Lasting Powers of Attorney page to watch Associate Solicitor for Wills & Probate, Victoria Norman's video and download the guide.

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