Was rejecting lawyer's house plan a mistake?

WE had wills and power of attorney set up by our lawyer.

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At the time he told us of another thing that would save us losing our house if we had to go into care. It cost of almost £4000, we decided against it.

I have since heard that this is not 100% foolproof.

Have we made a mistake ?

I don't think it is a question of making a mistake.

Every family's situation is different and what might work for one client or couple might not be effective for another.

The product your solicitor was talking about was probably a trust, which is called various names like Asset Protection Trust, Family Trust and so on.

Basically it involves placing your home and possibly other assets into a trust, which is a separate legal person from you, and cannot be used by the authorities assessing you for care home benefits.

However, if they consider that you have created the trust just to qualify for benefits, they may refuse you on the basis that you have wilfully given away capital.

Thus the trust route is not always certain but it is worth taking advice in case it can help you.

MY grandfather died aged in his 90s. I have been told lies about his estate, and now believe there was a will.

How do I find out, as no-one is telling me or my sister anything useful?

Your note to me was very short so I don't know if your own parent - your grandfather's son or daughter - is still alive.

If so, he or she has legal rights in the estate which can be enforced.

If they have already passed away, then those legal rights devolve on you and your sister equally.

As beneficiaries you are entitled to know what is in the estate and to insist on your share (or your parent insisting on his/her share).

If no-one in the family is talking, you can take them to court, but before that, check in the sheriff court for the area your grandfather lived in, in case his estate was passed for Confirmation, which will tell you if there was a will or not.

MY ex-husband says he can stop paying maintenance for our daughter when she turns 18 this year.

She is going to university full time in September, and I was under the impression he would need to continue to contribute while she is in full-time further education.

Yes, you're right, he's wrong - the obligation remains up to the age of 25 in these circumstances.

CAN you advise me if there is a legal time bar on billing someone for work done?

In 2010 I asked a lawyer to draw me up a new will, but I have never received a bill for the work.

Most civil debts expire after five years. However if he is holding a will for you, he may charge a storage or releases fee if this was agreed at the outset.


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