Q: My husband and I are housebound due to health problems, but we have a niece whom we trust implicitly, who visits us regularly. We would like her to assist with handling our finances, including making trips to the banks on our behalf. A friend said if we set up an ‘Enduring power of attorney’ we could legally appoint our niece as a deputy to help us. Otherwise, if we lost mental capacity without setting one up, we would have to wait for the court to appoint someone to act on our behalf whom we didn’t know. What do we need to do?Read more
Q: I live with my partner. We are not married but we have a joint bank account and a joint mortgage, and we purchased our house as joint tenants. We also have equal savings offsetting our mortgage in the account. The big difference is that my partner earns almost twice as much as me and when we purchased the property, he put up most of the deposit. So, if we split up would the property be split equally, irrespective of who put up the most deposit? And would I be entitled to withdraw my half of the savings? Finally, would the fact that he pays a bigger proportion of the bills give him more entitlement?Read more
Q&A - If my ex is deliberately withholding money left to our daughter in his father’s Will, what can I do?
Q: My ex-husband’s father said he would leave money to my nineteen-year-old daughter when he died. A year after his death, nothing has appeared. My daughter’s father and uncle were the executors of the Will and her uncle continues to live in her grandfather’s house. I have approached my ex-husband, but he refuses to discuss it with me. Can I get a copy of the Will? And if it shows the old man’s wishes were not carried out, what can I do to ensure my daughter gets what is due to her?Read more
Q: We have lived the past ten years in dread of our daughter marrying her lazy partner, but at Christmas she announced they will marry in the Summer of 2020. As our only child she is the sole beneficiary of our Wills. Now we are terrified that our future son-in-law could end up with half her inheritance if they later divorce - if he hasn’t already squandered it away - and that our two grandchildren will not benefit later on. Is there any way we can put conditions in our Wills to protect our assets solely for the benefit of our daughter and grandchildren?Read more
Q: My partner is giving me a hard time about making a Will. But if neither of us has any children to fight over it, and my half of the house we bought together is less than the Statutory Legacy amount that I believe has just increased to £270,000, why would I need to make a Will?Read more
Q&A - My brother is more ill than he realises and needs to be sectioned. As his nearest relative what can I do?
Q: My brother has suffered mental illness for many years. His son and his wife have both died in the past twelve months and I think this has affected him far more badly than he realises. I am currently visiting him every week because I am so worried about him. I think he needs to be admitted to hospital for treatment as I believe he is a danger to himself, but he won’t discuss it. His wife always took responsibility for him when his mental health deteriorated in the past, but now he has no-one. Is there anything I can do?Read more
Q. I separated from my wife last month. I have read online that we should wait two years to get divorced as it will make things easier for us. Is this right?Read more
Q: I have just had my house valued and discovered it has risen considerably. I don’t have much cash but with the value of the house now exceeding £375,000 I am worried that it will mean my son having to pay Inheritance Tax when I die. I have considered signing the house over to him now, but at my age I am concerned I won’t live the required seven years after doing so for it to benefit him. What else can I do?Read more
Q. When my daughter was 9 months old I took her to hospital for tests as she was not gaining weight as expected and had delayed motor development. She was given a ‘sweat test’, which involved applying metal electrodes to her arm.Read more
Q: After I got out of an abusive marriage almost a year ago I was in a bad way mentally and the local authority took my sons away from me. At the time I could see there was no other option as their father was likely to abuse them like he had abused me and I couldn’t even look after myself let alone them. I have been allowed to see them under supervision once a month. Now I am in a much better place mentally but Children’s Services won’t increase access to my children. What can I do?Read more