Q: Watching people on TV who caught COVID-19, lying helplessly in hospital beds and in some cases destined to die, has made me consider whether in dire circumstances I would want to be kept alive. I am 93 and would not want to carry on if my quality of life was taken away. Can I register my wishes now in respect of how I would want to be treated in case I am unable to voice my wishes when the time comes?Read more
Q: Despite asking for our house purchase to be rushed through to take advantage of the COVID stamp duty holiday, we took the time to get a full structural survey done as we were cash buyers with no lender’s survey being done. Now we are in the property and a builder engaged to do some alterations has found several defects the surveyor should have picked up. Among these is a manhole that has been concreted over, severe damp in two ground floor rooms, rot to a couple of roof joists and a ‘missing’ soil vent pipe. How should we go about trying to get some compensation from the surveyor, who we were told was RICS qualified?Read more
Q&A - My sister is mentally ill due to COVID – can I get help to look after her kids while she recovers?
Q: My sister has suffered mental health problems since the COVID pandemic began. As a single mum she is finding it very hard to cope with her children aged seven and four. The children have not seen their father since he walked out three years ago. My sister needs help to get better but is terrified the children will be taken away if she asks for it. I could take care of them until she gets better, but I would need some financial help. Could I apply for temporary custody and get financial help to look after them?Read more
Q: I arranged to show a client around an empty property but when I met him, he wanted the keys and to go round alone. I refused and explained it was company policy that clients must be accompanied. He became verbally abusive and said he was an important client so he could do whatever he wanted. He threatened to put in a complaint and have me sacked. Frightened, I gave him the keys and waited in my car.Read more
Q&A - Historic debts can have serious consequences when someone dies so it is worth seeking legal advice, both before taking such a loan and before settling an estate.
Q: Due to the coronavirus pandemic my father’s business has suffered greatly and he has borrowed money as the government aid did not meet his needs. The stress has taken a toll on his health and we don’t really know even now if the business will survive. This, together with the fact that COVID-19 is still a potential death threat hanging over us, has made me wonder what would happen to the debt if he should die before clearing it, as mum doesn’t really understand it all. Could my mother inherit the debt?Read more
Q&A - My sister is joint attorney with me for our mother but refuses to agree to live-in care. What can I do?
Q: Our mother became frail and asked me to arrange a lasting power of attorney to handle her affairs as my sister lives abroad. Mum wanted to stay in her own home, so I organized private carers to visit daily. However, before the COVID pandemic began my sister visited Mum with a lawyer friend, demanding that she be made joint attorney with me so that I could not make decisions alone and she could ensure I wasn’t syphoning off mother’s money. Mother was upset but agreed. Now mother’s health has deteriorated. She has fallen twice whilst on her own. I’ve suggested live-in care and Mum likes the idea, but my sister says it is unnecessary. I think she wants to keep mother’s money in her estate. What can I do?Read more