Funeral Plan Checklist

Funeral Plan Checklist
  • Organising a funeral has been compared to organising a wedding in its complexity;
  • Decisions must be made in a short time frame at a time of bereavement
  • The process can be overwhelming, planning in advance is a good idea

 

 

Funerals present a unique challenge at a difficult time. With average costs now rising about £5,000 and expected to exceed £10,000 by the end of the decade, planning in advance is a good idea. The below gives an idea of some of the factors that you will need to consider in planning a funeral.

 

 

Funeral Plan Checklist

Organizing a funeral requires a lot of time. Often, the process involves a lot of pressure, and this might force you to dole out a lot of money. Besides being time-oriented, the emotions involved might result in some hiccups amid the planning process. For this reason, we have highlighted a detailed funeral plan checklist below.

Service

To get the best funeral service, you should focus on the budget and the location of the event. If possible, go for companies that might allow a pre-paid funeral plan. You might be lucky to find experts to help you do the planning bit as you mourn the deceased.

Flowers

Think about the best flower that would match the message you are trying to pass. There are many types of them, and you must ensure that the right type of flowers is available on time. If possible, you can check with online retailers to pick one that best suits your budget.

Date and Time Planning

The date and time of the event should be carefully planned so that it does not inconvenience anyone willing to attend. Most of the time, it is safe to do it over the weekend when most people are out of work. Also, it should be done in the afternoon to allow everyone enough time to get organized to attend the event.

Personal Requests

Make sure to pay close attention to the deceased’s special requests when they were still alive. If their wish was to be buried in a private cemetery or to be cremated, it is important that you do your best to honour that. Also, it is okay if some requests are impossible to meet; however, there needs to be some effort toward meeting most of them.

Doctors’ Fees

If the doctors’ fees are not cleared, this is the best time to do so. Talk to the doctors about pending payments and arrange to have them cleared on time. In case the information is unclear, ask for proof so that you only pay for the actual pending fees.

Gravedigger Fees

Ask yourself about the gravedigger fees and how they will be paid. You must make this arrangement in time so that the resting place is ready when the body arrives at the cemetery. The fees vary among diggers, which is why there is a need to budget for this.

Contact with Bereaved

When arranging the burial, the bereaved should be contacted regularly. They need emotional support to get through the tough times. Therefore, in your checklist, you want to give this a priority and make sure that it is done.

You can contact them via phone calls, emails, or messages sent on the phone. Also, try to see them in person so that they do not feel lonely. Assist them in any way possible and genuinely show them that they are not alone. While working on the plan, make sure that the deceased is well taken care of at all times. To get premium services from experienced organizers, it is advisable to consider a pre-paid funeral plan.

 

Confidence Wills work with the country’s best funeral planners and are able to support you. Contact us now on 0121 231 7010 or email info@conofidencewills.co.uk for more information.

 

 

WHY HAVE A PRIVATE FUNERAL?

Private funeral
  • A PRIVATE FUNERAL is when a small gathering of immediate family and close friends, attend by invitation only.

Although most celebrities usually have private funerals, the average services are open

to the public.  There are good and understandable reasons for choosing a private funeral.

First and foremost, of course is it’s private.

 

  • Some people have led very private lives and may request that their funeral be a quiet     intimate affair with only their close family and friends in attendance. The family may feel

they want privacy at a very emotional and difficult time because they are unable to cope with their grief in public.

 

  • It maybe that the person arranging the funeral just can’t cope with organising a large gathering in their state of grief. Also, expense and budget may come into it and that is certainly a private decision and nothing to be ashamed of.

 

How many times have you heard someone say “I went to his funeral; the church was packed!”

Suggesting that somehow that it was an indication of the deceased’s popularity! Whilst that may be so, I don’t think that it is necessarily the case! It may just be that they were a member of a very large family or worked for a large company or belonged to lots of organisations, possibly represented by people that were unknown to them!

Conversely the fact that a private funeral is not attended by lots of people is also no reflection on the popularity of the deceased! But simply the choice of the people concerned.

A private funeral reduces the pressure on the organisers of the occasion, financially and emotionally. Whilst providing a meaningful and intimate funeral for their loved ones, the pressure of having to have a top of the range casket, an expensive showy floral display, several funeral cars and an expensive wake may be avoided.

Emotionally a smaller private funeral means you can grieve without the pressure of having to conceal your grief, in a room full of people, some of whom you may not know.  You may not feel strong enough to socialise and exchange small talk with a lot of people at such a difficult time. A private funeral also avoids the need for prolonged funeral planning thus removing the stress when least able to cope with it and at a time when you would rather focus on coping with your grief and the grief of others who were close to the deceased.

Another advantage of a private funeral is that there are many ways for close friends and family to celebrate the life of the deceased for instance, why not choose to go to the deceased’s favourite restaurant and share memories together, or if its summer time how about a picnic somewhere peaceful, it’s a huge comfort to be with people you love and trust and share a happy time to remember for ever, something special between just you and your nearest and dearest.

It is of course, a very personal choice, and it really is a case of what you feel you want at the time and also what the deceased may have chosen.

 

 

Want to know more? Talk to us…

No pushy sales people, no jargon, just clear, helpful information, contact Confidence Wills now on: 0121 231 7010 or email info@conofidencewills.co.uk.

 

WHY HAVE A FUNERAL SERVICE?

Why have a funeral service
  • Humans have held some form of funeral service for those they have loved and lost throughout time it would seem.  Grief comes naturally and is very painful to suffer and a funeral service is an opportunity to express and share that grief with friends and family.

 

  • A religious service is an opportunity to pray for the soul of the person you have lost and to connect with your God on a personal level thereby reducing the sense of total loss.

 

  • If it is a non-religious service it helps to acknowledge that someone we love has died and the gathering for the service of friends and family provides a support system.

 

The sort of funeral service will depend on a variety of aspects not least of course the desire of the deceased person. I have known people who have passed over who have planned their funeral service to the last detail, choosing the hymns, speakers, guests, their choice of flowers, even where the wake should be held.  Others don’t wish to discuss it or even think about it and leave it to their family or friends to decide. It’s a very personal matter and some people don’t want to think about death or anything associated with it. Perhaps death and the prospect of leaving the world behind frightens them. Whatever the reason it’s their choice.

If there are no plans or requests in place by the deceased then it is often the nearest and dearest who decide on the type of funeral service and it is often based on the knowledge of and the relationship with the deceased. My mother would never discuss funeral arrangements, satisfied that she had made a will stating her wishes for her estate and she had put in place a power of attorney, she would laugh and say, “make sure you have a party and the girls wear pretty dresses” so we did our best and knowing that she loved red roses her coffin was covered with them!

She had been a war time bride and so the music in the church was one of her war time favourites,

‘We’ll meet again’ and I hope we will. She had lived a long and happy life. Of course, it’s very different if someone has died tragically in an accident or prematurely of illness, or even before they’ve had a life, at birth or shortly afterwards. However someone dies or at whatever age, the loss for those that loved them goes deep and whatever sort of funeral service is decided upon, be it a large gathering or an intimate small gathering, it is, in my opinion an occasion for a very special opportunity to say a final Goodbye and as we celebrate every birth of a new life so we are able to celebrate the joy of having known and loved the person we’ve  lost at whatever type of funeral service we or they choose.

 

 

 

Want to know more? Talk to us…

No pushy sales people, no jargon, just clear, helpful information, contact Confidence Wills now on: 0121 231 7010 or email info@conofidencewills.co.uk.

 

How do I prove I have power of attorney?

Lasting Power of Attorney Cost.

Managing your property and financial affairs is a bit challenging if you become mentally incapacitated, but you can continue with your life as normal if you have a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint another person to make his or her legal and healthcare decisions on their behalf if they are in a position where they cannot do it themselves.

The two types of LPA are property and financial affairs and health and welfare. You need to submit two separate applications to get both of them. General lasting power of attorney covers a wide range of situations like writing wills, finances, purchasing items, accessing bank accounts and many more. A lasting power of attorney will be effective even after you are deemed cognitively incompetent until you die or revoke the right.

How do I prove that have a power of attorney?

One thing you should note is that you should prove that you have a POA to conduct business on behalf of another, especially when it comes to sensitive areas such as wills and finances. You cannot just get into a bank with a copy of the POA and expect that the cashier will just give you the money. So what should you do for smooth transactions?

  • One way of proving that you have a lasting power of attorney is by presenting a certified copy of the LPA. You should send these copies to all the financial institutions that the donor deals with. These institutions include the banks where they have current saving accounts, their landlords, their general or life insurer, mortgage provider and their investment portfolio managers. Other essential institutions to deal with are their gas, water and electricity providers.
  • You can also use a normal photocopy if the donor countersigns it while they still have the capacity. The requirements are that the donor must write: ‘I certify this is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original LPA’ at the bottom of each page. The donor must also write: ‘I certify that this is a true and complete copy of the LPA ‘at the final page of the copy, plus every page must be signed and dated. You can get copies of the OPG document from a solicitor at an affordable price, even if they are not the providers of the original POA. Call us now on 0121 231 7010’, to find out more, or email info@confidencewills.co.uk”.
  • Some Institutions, mostly banks, will require you to make a declaration about whether the donor can sign checks and receive statements or whether they lack the capacity. In situations where they mentally incapacitated, the attorney takes over all the transactions of the donor. You don’t need evidence to make the declaration, but you must give accurate information about the donor’s condition.

Why are Lasting Powers of Attorney Important?

Lasting Power of Attorney Guidence
  • They let you appoint those you trust to make critical decisions for you, should you lose the capacity to do so.
  • There is no ‘next of kin’, recognised in UK law.
  • 33% of those over 65 will get dementia.
  • One person will suffer a head injury or stroke each minute in the UK.
  • The cost and stress of appointing a deputy through the courts may be much greater.

 

Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) allow you to appoint those you trust most, to make critical decisions relating to your health and finances, on your behalf, should you lose mental capacity in the future.

These are hugely important documents, and yet time and again, when the topic is broached, many shoot back with comments like:  “it won’t happen to me”; “I don’t need one yet”, “it costs too much”; “my husband/wife will look after me”.

Such objections are specious and often mask deeper anxieties. In my experience, the greater the responsibility borne by the individual, day to day, either by virtue of their work or family life, the more reluctant they are to entertain the notion of ever handing control of their affairs to another.

I say to you, what I say to all I speak to on the topic. Please, JUST HAVE THE CONVERSATION. Phone us on 0121 231 7010, there really is no obligation, just 10 minutes of your time to find out more. If you don’t like what you hear, end the call.

Back to those objections. To say “it won’t happen to me” or “I don’t need one yet”, with respect to LPAs, is to ignore not only the data, but the logistics of getting these documents completed and registered.

The process, when executed perfectly, may take 12 weeks. Confound governmental bureaucracy with the burdens of Corona virus, and this period may extend to months.  You must think about this now, you CANNOT register a document after losing capacity.

Somebody is hospitalised with stroke or head injury, every minute in the UK. Moreover, 33% of people over 65 are expected to get dementia. In cases of dementia, it is quite possible for capacity to be lost, post-diagnosis, before an LPA can be implemented.

To say “it costs too much” or “my husband/wife will look after me” is to ignore the alternatives.

There is NO NEXT OF KIN recognised in UK law. In practice, one’s family must apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a ‘deputy’ to manage affairs, on loss of capacity.

This process can take six months or more, during which time assets may be frozen. Who would fund your care and living costs during this time?

Failing to complete an LPA is the falsest of economies. It may cost £400 to apply to the Court of Protection and £100 to nominate a deputy. Legal work in preparing a court order may exceed £1,000. Annual reviews and ongoing management of the arrangement may incur recurring fees from £320 to £1,800 (depending on whether a non-professional or professional attorney is appointed).

It is so much less stressful to put LPAs in place. Preparing an LPA may cost as little as £150-£200 per document. Registration fees, charged the government are fixed at £82 per document (with income based reductions and benefit based exemptions available).

Without wishing to repeat myself. I urge you, please, JUST HAVE THE CONVERSATION. Phone us on 0121 231 7010, there really is no obligation, just 10 minutes of your time to find out more. If you don’t like what you hear, end the call!

 

Can You Do a Power of Attorney Without a Solicitor?

Can You Do a Power of Attorney Without a Solicitor
  • Yes, but scope for error is significant. 22,000 Lasting Powers of Attorney were rejected in 2019
  • A will writer, who is a member of the Society of Will Writers may also offer support.
  • Some firms, including Confidence Wills, offer reduced price services for social reasons.
  • 75%-90% of those creating Lasting Powers of Attorney seek professional help.

 

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) can be made at any time and allow you to appoint somebody trusted, such as a family member, to make critical decisions for you, should you lose capacity to do so. With approximately one person per minute suffering from new stroke, head injury or dementia, diagnosis, in the UK, LPAs are more important than ever.

Recent government research indicates that nearly 75% of people believe that their ‘next of kin’ will be able to make decisions for them, should they lose mental capacity. This is not the case. If you make no power of attorney, you may be assigned a deputy by the courts, to perform this role. You and your family are likely to be required to pay fees relating to the appointment of such a deputy. Research by the Office of the Public Guardian, suggests these fees to be 1,200% greater (12x) than the costs of putting an LPA in place. This figure does not include ongoing supervision and bond fees charged by the authorities.

It is possible to apply for an LPA directly, without help from a professional, however, this route is not without risk. Research by the Office of the Public Guardian suggests around 75% of those submitting LPAs seek professional help in some form. Confidence Wills’ data indicates a figure nearer to 90%.

The reasons so many seek professional help are two-fold:

Firstly, the complexity and subtlety of the documents leaves much room for error. Last year alone more than 22,000 LPAs were rejected. By way of an example, instructing attorneys to provide support to loved ones, should they need it, may create a conflict with best interest rules and lead to your document’s rejection.

Secondly, the consequences of a rejected document may be great. Not only does resubmission cost a good deal of money (potentially hundreds of pounds), but an already lengthy application process is reset. A perfectly completed document, submitted to a perfectly efficient department, may take 10 weeks to process. In reality the process can take months. During the Covid 19 lock down, that period has proven longer still.

It is quite possible for one diagnosed with, for example, Alzheimer’s disease, to lose mental capacity before the process is complete, and miss their opportunity to register documents in the event of error.

We recommend seeking support when completing these documents. High street solicitor charges may fall in the range of £600-1,000 (inc VAT). Service is typically of good quality. Will writers who are members of professional bodies, offer a similarly good and potentially more cost effective solution in the £400-600 (inc VAT) range. We advise against using services which involve the completion of online questionnaires. In some cases, such documents may fail, even where completed well.

Confidence Wills offer a full one to one service, in person, at rates significantly lower than those set out above. We price check regularly to remain less expensive than other providers. This is a social, rather than a commercial decision, made further to our founders’ work in the field of dementia and brain trauma.

If you would like a conversation about creating a lasting power of attorney, without obligation, call now on : 0121 231 7010 or book a consultation

Lasting Power of Attorney Cost?

Lasting Power of Attorney Cost.
  • Registration of Lasting power of Attorney: £82 per document (total £164 for both);
  • 50-100%: reliefs available for registration fees;
  • Completion of each document (approx.): £175-300 (professional will writers); £400-700 (High street Solicitors);
  • Confidence Wills prices checks regularly to beat such prices;
  • >£100,000 & 12 months, potential costs arising from legal challenge in absence of LPA;

 

Having worked with dementia and neurological injury, the founders of Confidence Wills’ placed Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) at the heart of its mission statement. We aim to take the percentage of the population with registered Lasting Powers of Attorney from today’s figure of 1%, today, to 2%, by the end of 2021

To this end, Confidence Wills (overseen by the Society of Will Writers) price checks one to one services regularly and offers one to one Lasting Power of Attorney document completion services, from less than £150 per document (including VAT).

Our team of experts, make completion and registration of these (lengthy) documents, straightforward and provide expert advice at every stage. Call us now on 0121 231 7010 (or email on info@confidencewills.co.uk) for more information.

A loss of mental capacity is something most don’t want to talk about, however, the importance of these documents cannot be overstated. Without them in place, the sale of your home (to pay for care fees), the giving of consents for key medical treatments and the simple management of day to day activities, may be taken out of your hands.

What few realise is that completion and registration of the documents may take months. Accident and trauma notwithstanding, if one takes action even immediately after a neurodegenerative diagnosis, it is quite possible to lose mental capacity before registration of an LPA is complete.

We recommend seeking high quality advice when creating of these documents, it is very easy to complete applications for Lasting Powers of Attorney incorrectly, errors can lead to conflict, cost and delay at time sensitive points!

Our research has found fees for the creation of such documents, by qualified will writers, to be in the range of £175-£250 per document and £400-£700 per document, in the case of high street solicitors.

Registration of these documents unfortunately attracts further cost. The documents are invalid until so registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Many think such fees unhelpful given implications of caring for a loved one without such lasting powers of attorney. £82 per document is charged by the office of the Public Guardian for registration, thus for a pair of LPAs, a total of £164 is chargeable (nb. prices apply to England and Wales).

Reliefs are available for those on benefits, or low income, subject to completion of appropriate paperwork, with which we can assist.

If you would like to discuss any of the matters raised, please contact us now on 0121 231 7010 (or email on info@confidencewills.co.uk.

 

 

 

Why have a lasting power of attorney?

Lasting Power of Attorney Guidence
  • To gain control of finances in the event of a loved one’s loss of capacity
  • To access jointly held assets like bank accounts;
  • To give medical consents for treatments on behalf of a loved one;
  • To avoid onerous and costly applications to the Court of Protection.

 

A lasting power of attorney (LPA), allows you to set out how affairs, relating to your health and finances, should be managed, should you ever lose the (mental) capacity to do so.

Only around 1% of people in the UK have these crucial documents. I’ve a professional background in Alzheimer’s Disease myself and as co-founder of the firm, insist that Confidence Wills price checks, so as to offer high quality LPA drafting services at the lowest cost.

Legally there is no recognised ‘next of kin’ in English law (though many believe there to be). If you do not have a registered lasting power of attorney in place before you need it, the Court of Protection will take control of your affairs. Challenges to this court may absorb six figure sums and years of life.

Many do not wish to face the implications of losing mental capacity and the loss of control entailed.

Leading reasons for loss of capacity include: dementia; stroke/brain injury and mental health problems. This year in the UK, one person was diagnosed with dementia; hospitalised with brain injury or deemed lacking in capacity under the mental health act, every minute.

 

Moreover, few realise that registration and completion of such documents may take time, it is perfectly possible to move from a diagnosis of dementia to a loss of capacity more quickly than such a document can be finalised.

 

Below are two cases to which the presence and absence of LPA documents (respectively) was pivotal (details including names and dates have been changed):

In 2013 Edna registered a Health and Welfare LPA appointing her husband Reg attorney. By 2016, Alzheimer’s disease had taken hold. The condition brought with it, not only cognitive decline, but fear. Edna’s communication became muted and uncertain. Intensely private, she would whisper her wishes to her husband and no one else. Diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2018, Edna attended hospital for a key examination. Without consent from Edna, the doctor informed Reg that he was unable to proceed. In the event, Reg produced the LPA, signed 5 years earlier, and treatment continued. Latterly, Reg attributed his final 18 months with his wife of forty years, directly to the existence of that single document.

In 2016 Simon, a professional man of 38, fell off his Triumph motorcycle on the A435 south of Birmingham. His wife Julie, had supported him throughout his career. Despite postgraduate qualifications of her own, she took pride in her role as homemaker, raising their three young children. The crash left Simon in a coma for four years. In the absence of an LPA, Julie was unable to access even their joint bank account, into which she herself had paid, but for which two signatures were required.  Struggling with single parenthood and grief, the Court of Protection decided that Julie was to be paid an ‘allowance’. She was forced to explain to the authorities, each penny spent. Balancing, what amounted to, an account of her own misfortune, tore at the fabric of her fragile young family. When Simon ultimately passed away, jointly held property such as bank accounts and their house passed to Julie, her emotions were understandably chaotic, and in truth remain so.

I mean no melodrama, cases such as those of Simon and Edna, occur daily, each different, each personal. You, yourself may have experienced the upheaval of the court’s placing of an elderly loved one into a care home, followed by the enforced disposal of their assets to pay for the privilege.

The complexity in creation and registration of such documents, persists. Their low prevalence suggests that salutary lessons of cases such Simon’s and Edna’s, go unlearned.

Confidence Wills can help, we will always discuss options and costs candidly with you. Please enquire now.

How do I sign a will during the Covid 19 outbreak?

How do I sign a will during the Covid 19
  1. Physical signing and witnessing of the document is still required,
  2. Witnessing can take place at distance or through windows,
  3. DIY wills are potentially more risky in such times,
  4. Factors such as sanitisation and materials used, during signing, may mitigate infection risk.

Current English law on the creation of a legally valid will rests for the most part on the Wills Act 1837. Under this act, testators (those making a will) must sign the document ‘in the presence’ of at least two witnesses. The Law Commission examined the notion of ‘presence’ for such purposes in 2017, concluding that individuals must be both in the same room and have line of sight of documents.

The need for ‘physical presence’, is believed to exclude the use of video conferencing or other telegraphic ‘lines of site’, and has been held for some time (In the goods of Chalcraft [1948]).

In the context of virus containment measures, aimed at limiting spread of Covid 19, the Ministry Of Justice have recently been considering emergency legislation aimed at making the signing of wills easier.

Proposals have included the use of ‘video’ witnessing, the use of a ‘privileged will model’ (based on short form documents given to soldiers directly before combat, requiring of no witness) and the need for only one witness (based on Scottish law).

Despite elevated demand, at this anxiety provoking time, The Ministry for Justice has rejected such proposals. Commenting: “This is a delicate area of law and we absolutely must continue to protect the elderly and vulnerable against potential fraud”.

One can see their point, at a time of heightened dependence amongst the vulnerable, the risk of factors harmful to the integrity of a will, such as undue influence, might reasonably be assumed to be elevated.

This highlights the importance of the instruction taking process. In a one to one meeting, even by phone or video-link, certain evidence can be gathered by a drafter to support your will in the event of future challenge. People considering DIY wills at this time, should be more careful than ever, as the absence of a direct interaction risks compounding those already present.

There are certain elements which can be combined to potentially mitigate the risk of viral transmission during signing. Firstly, and whilst video witnessing is excluded, witnessing through a window has been deemed to constitute physical presence in case law (Casson V Dade, 1781). Secondly, protective clothing and sanitisation can reduce the risk of viral transmission. Finally, evidence is crystallising on Covid 19’s ability to survive for periods of time on different materials (see https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-basics).

Whilst no approach can be deemed fool proof, not least due to the newness of the Corona Virus and associated ignorance, Confidence Wills have consulted with both vulnerable clients and clinicians to develop an execution protocol, which is practical and aimed at mitigating risk to signers, based on the evidence available.

If you would like any further information on this key area please contact Confidence Wills on  0121 231 7010 or info@confidencewills.co.uk.

Will They Take My Home to Pay for Care Home Fees?

Will They Take My Home to Pay for Care Home Fees
  • You can ask for your property to be disregarded if certain people still live in it.
  • A jointly owned property may be inadmissible for means testing.
  • The reason for and the manner in which a home is jointly owned may be material.

 

Some argue the forced sale of assets to pay for late life care, a pragmatic approach to supporting an ageing population. Others, feel betrayed by an establishment, which deployed short termism in winning votes from those it now disregards.

The most valuable asset most people own in the UK, is the home that they live in. This personal space elicits emotions associated with familiarity, safety and even territoriality. The thought of being forced to hand this over to a faceless authority, in exchange for placement in featureless accommodation, is especially galling.

For permanent care, the value of your home might be considered, in a means testing process, at its present market value (less any secured debt and 10% to reflect sales expense).

Critically, however, a ‘property disregard’ order (from local authorities) may be attained, excluding your property from means testing.

Such orders are required to the extent that your property is currently occupied by one of:

  1. Your partner or former partner (unless estranged);
  2. An estranged or divorced partner if they are also a lone parent;
  3. A relative aged 60 or older or who is incapacitated.

Local authorities are able to grant discretionary property disregard, in circumstances where, for instance, a vulnerable, adult/child is resident in the home. Such orders must be sought and resistance may be met, depending on the attitude of the local authority. Though formal guidance exists as to when such discretion should be exercised by a council.

In determining whether sale of a jointly owned (i.e. where all relevant parties are treated as owning 100% of the house) property may be enforced, to fund residential care costs, a judge may look at the reason that it is jointly owned in the first place, and whether that reason persists. In the case of Chief Adjudication Officer (CAO) v Palfrey (1995),  the judge found that joint ownership was in place for the purpose of providing a family home (for Mr Palfrey and his daughter), and that this purpose persisted (even when Mr Palfrey was absent). The forced sale was blocked.

In the case of Wilkinson v CAO, however, in which a pair of siblings had inherited a property in equal part, no such purpose was shown to exist and enforced sale was upheld. Crucially, however, as in the case of tenants in common (whereby each owner holds a discrete share in the home), those forcing the sale must create a market for what amounts to ‘half a house’. Some assert that it is consequently preferable to hold a property as a tenant in common than a joint owner.

Seek advice urgently, if an authority tries to value a property by dividing its entire value by the number of co-owners or presents itself as a willing buyer. Ask yourself, what would I pay for ‘half a house’? Perhaps not very much.

 

The above does not constitute legal or financial advice and you should consult a professional. If you would like assistance with any of the issues raised please do feel free to contact Confidence Wills now at info@confidencewills.co.uk .