Failure to seek professional advice can have serious consequences
Professional advice is always necessary when entering into important transactions. Failure to seek expert guidance can have serious consequences, as one recent case has illustrated.
An elderly couple’s transfer of their home to their son was declared void by a judge because they had not obtained an independent valuation before going through with the deal.
The son had paid his parents £150,000 in 2001 for their London property before they moved into residential care abroad. The value of the property had since risen to over £1 million and, following the couple’s deaths in 2005 and 2007, their daughter disputed the validity of the transfer, accusing her sibling of cajoling their elderly parents into agreeing the deal.
The judge in the case rejected the sister’s allegations as “vicious” and “fanciful”, and said there had been no wrongdoing on the brother’s part.
However, the judge ruled that the brother had failed to advise his parents to obtain a professional valuation of the property prior to the transaction. The couple had placed trust and confidence in him and, given the closeness of their relationship, there was a presumption that they had acted under his undue influence.
There was evidence that the property was worth more than £220,000 at the time of the transfer and, as such, the judge declared the transaction void, meaning the property fell into the couple’s estate and stood to be divided equally between the brother and sister.
How can our solicitors help you?
Gotelee Solicitors deal with gifts of property, taxation, applications for probate and estate administration on a daily basis.
Our expert team of lawyers is experienced in assisting you through every aspect of the process and offers an efficient and professional service.
To find out more about how Gotelee can help, contact Gotelee Partner Peter Crix on 01473 298151 or at [email protected]