My grandson is buying a house with his girlfriend and I would like to help him out with a deposit.

My grandson is buying a house with his girlfriend and I would like to help him out with a deposit. How can I make sure that if they split up that money comes back to me.

The best way to do that would be for there to be a declaration of trust signed by your grandson and his girlfriend protecting the investment you have made in their property. In this way if your grandson and his girlfriend separate that money would be earmarked as yours before the remaining monies were split between your grandson and his girlfriend. You need to have a solicitor acting for you in this matter separately from the one acting for your grandson and his girlfriend

I am buying a property for the first time and need to know how much stamp duty I will have to pay

If you are a first time buyer then up until 24 March 2012 there will be no stamp duty for you to pay as long as the purchase price of the property is £250,000 or less. If the purchase price of the property is more than £250,000 then the stamp duty payable will be between 3% and 5% of the purchase price depending on the value of the property you are purchasing

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

No. The enduring power of attorney only lasts whilst your father (the donor) is alive. Upon his death the authority under the enduring 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 operate the deceased’s accounts.

I want to give some money away to my children. How much am I able to give away without incurring any inheritance tax liability

Provided you live for 7 years from the date of a gift then you can give as much as you like to an individual in your lifetime. However you also have an annual allowance of £3,000 per year and a small gift allowance of £250. For the small gift allowance you can give as many small amounts of money (£250 or less) away to as many different people as you wish. You can also gift £5,000 to your children in contemplation of their marriage.

My husband and I bought our home over 40 years ago. I am told that as our ownership has not been registered at the Land Registry we will have difficulty in selling our home in the future

In some areas Land Registration was not compulsory 40 years ago and so your title to your home consists of a large bundle of unregistered deeds. You need to keep them in a safe place. You will still be able to sell your home even though the title is unregistered. You can if you wish voluntarily register your ownership now and we would be happy to help you with this

For future interest if there is a legal topic that you would like to read about in the Barton Bugle then please let us know on enquiry@dixonstewart.com or alternatively if you have any questions you want to ask then please e mail those questions to the same address and we will try and answer them in future editions of the Barton Bugle.

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