Is there a way I can get my deposit back if my boyfriend and I separate

I am buying a property jointly with my boyfriend. I have a large deposit to put down on the purchase. Is there a way I can get my deposit back if my boyfriend and I separate?

Whenever you buy a property jointly with another person you should consider whether there should be a separate declaration of trust. This is so even if you are buying the property with your spouse or civil partner. In this declaration of trust you can record the deposit that you have paid and make provision for this to be returned to you in the event of your separation. You can also indicate in the declaration of trust that if your relationship does break down one of you can buy the interest of the other in the property for its market value rather than you having to go to the expense of selling the property. In the absence of any declaration of trust then you would have to argue in the event of your separation that it had been agreed between the two of you that you would have your deposit back. The legal expenses in arguing that could run into thousands of pounds and it is consequently well worth spending a few hundred extra pounds when you purchase the property to have a declaration of trust in place.

I am aged 90 years and live alone in my own home. I have only £10,000 in savings. I have had a stroke. I am not able to look after myself and have carers funded by the local authority. I am worried that if I went into a nursing home the local authority would make me sell my home to fund the nursing home care. Am I able to transfer my home to my son?

If you went into a nursing home then you could apply to the local authority for help with the payment of your nursing home fees. You would be entitled to funding for the first 12 weeks of your care as your capital is low. After the first 12 weeks the local authority would not force you to sell your home but they would expect you to pay your own fees. In some circumstances they will agree to loan you the money to pay them. This loan would be secured upon your home and repaid when the home was sold. It is important that you apply to the local authority for funding before you move into a nursing home. If you transfer your home to your son now and later move into a nursing home and seek help with the nursing home fees then you will be asked if you have ever owned your own home. The local authority may refuse to fund your care if they are able to prove that you transferred your home to your son for the purposes of avoiding nursing home fees. It is very important that you take proper legal advice from a solicitor before transferring your home to your son. You and your son need separate solicitors as you both need to have independent legal advice

My husband and I have been married for 20 years. We have however both been married before and each have our own children from our first marriage. If I die before my husband how can I make sure my children end up with my share of our house?

You and your husband probably need to own your home jointly as tenants in common. You can then each provide in your wills that in the event of the death of one of you the deceased’s share in your home will go to the deceased’s children with the proviso that the survivor may live in the home as long as he or she wishes. This will ensure that your children get your share in the home. This arrangement could also be used legitimately whether you had children from a first marriage or not to preserve part of your home from the payment of nursing home fees in the event of the survivor of you moving into a nursing home. These arrangements are commonly called property trusts or blood line trusts and again can be dealt with by your solicitor.

If you do require help with a legal problem then e mail or contact Helen Stewart on 01425 279222