Your Questions

Thank you very much for letting me have your questions on legal matters this month. Here are just a few of the matters you are interested in:

I am giving my son a deposit to enable him to purchase his first home. He is obtaining a mortgage too. How will this gift affect the mortgage?

The mortgage product will not change. Nearly all lenders are happy with family gifts. You may need to complete a gifted deposit letter for the lender or sometimes a lender’s special form. The lender will need to see a bank statement showing where the gifted deposit has come from. You should take legal advice separately from your son so that you understand that you will have no interest in the property he is purchasing and that you will have no right to have the money back

I have my home on the market for sale but cannot find a buyer. I want to buy another property as my main residence before I sell my home. Will I need to pay higher rate stamp duty?

Yes you will need to pay higher rate stamp duty if you complete the purchase of the new property before you sell your home. If you then complete the sale of your home within 3 years of the purchase of the new property you can claim the additional stamp duty back from HMRC. If you sold your previous main residence on 28 October 2018 or earlier then HMRC must have your request for a refund within 3 months of the sale of that previous main residence. If you sold your previous main residence on 29 October 2018 or later then HMRC must have your request within 12 months of the sale of that previous main residence or within 12 months of the filing date of the return for your new residence whichever is later.

I am an attorney under my father’s lasting power of attorney. Can I carry on operating my father’s bank accounts using this lasting power of attorney after my father dies?

No. The lasting power of attorney can only be used whilst your father (the donor) is alive. Upon his death the authority under the lasting power of attorney ends and it is his executor who then has authority to act. The executor and the attorney may of course be one and the same person but the executor will normally need to obtain a grant of probate to access your father’s accounts.

My husband died 5 years ago leaving me with a young family. I am remarrying next month but want to make sure that my home ultimately passes to my children. How should I deal with this?

Any Will that you presently have will automatically be revoked (cancelled) when you remarry. It is therefore very important that you make a new Will before your marriage. You can make this new Will in contemplation of your marriage and it will not then be cancelled by your later marriage. You can make provision in your new Will for your children and for your new spouse if you wish.

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