When Would You Need a Solicitor in a Property Dispute?

A property dispute is something no one really wishes to get involved in but it does happen and for a couple different reasons. There are those that may feel conflicted over the ownership of property and there can be boundary disputes between neighbours. The second issue can often be a very long and costly situation if allowed to escalate. The best option in a boundary dispute, is making the upmost attempt to get the conflict mediated and come to a negotiation or settlement.

Then there are other claims such as TOLATA, which is typically used when cohabiting partners have a breakdown in their relationship and create a dispute over to whom the property should go to. Additionally, there are situations such as Easements where, neighbours may disagree to a right of passage or drainage etc in which the law can step in and imply an easement, in favour of one party.

There are several other issues with property that could be raised and if things can not be settled by mediation or amongst the individuals involved, solicitors can be brought in.

Why Should You Get a Power of Attorney?

The importance of a Power of Attorney is greater that most people know. No one really wants to consider being in a situation where they cannot make decisions for themselves, but these things do happen on occasion and it is important to have a plan in place. If something were to befall you that caused you to lose your decision-making capacity and you do not have a Power of Attorney, there is no one that automatically has the right to make decisions on your behalf.

This tends to come to a shock to many people as it is usually assumed that a spouse or close family member would automatically be given this right but this is not the case, unless you have given them legal authority through a PoA. In the case there is not PoA, family members can appeal to be granted these powers but the process is long and expensive. It typically costs around £2,000 and requires a court hearing.

How to choose a solicitor to make a will?

Executors are people named in your will who will carry out your wishes after you die. They’ll be family or friends, but you ought to ask them first if they’re willing to require on this role because it involves a great deal of responsibility. An executor also can be a knowledgeable and professional person, like your solicitor. If you employ a solicitor for this service, you’ll need to pay some reasonable fee. Most of the people have two executors, but you’ll potentially have up to four. You ought to opt for a minimum of one or have a second executor just in case your main one is unable to act on your behalf. You’ll prefer to appoint the solicitor or firm who draws up your will as your executor. This suggests they’re going to handle the arrangements for your estate once you die. Always ask how you’ll be charged – some solicitors will take a percentage of your estate to satisfy the bills. Others will charge for his or her time.

What happens if you never make a will?

If you were to not make a will, when you pass away, you will have died ‘intestate’.

Think of a will as a set of statutory rules, which specify how your assets are distributed to family members, and this can be in a fixed order. If you have no family members then your assets will go to the Crown. The real risk of ‘dying intestate’ is that you will not have have a say on who gets what, and after all, they are still your belongings! We can understand that if you had some family members whom you would not wish to inherit your assets, this may be a wise option, but there should always be a better cause than the Crown in our opinion. Even if you were to give the money to charity it would make more sense, so this is why it’s so important to ensure you have a will. Likewise, any people who are not blood relatives, such as unmarried partners, may not receive anything. It is therefore critical that you make a will to avoid this situation if you don’t want your loved one to miss out.

Joint Property Ownerships: The potential problems

Let’s first explain what joint property ownership is. If a property is held jointly with right of survivorship, when the first owner dies, the surviving joint owners in the normal course automatically become the owner of all of the property. So let’s say a brother and a sister own a house together. They each have two children.

When the parents have both passed, they will each own a quarter of the property. There are potential problems with this though, and it’s usually due to a conflict of interests. If one individual wants to keep the property but the others want to sell, the property will be sold, unless the one that wants to keep it can buy the others out, but of course a price needs to be agreed one. That can be the case if two want to sell, they can force the sale, so really it’s just a case of an individual or a couple of individuals in this instance feeling as though they’re losing control, and this can often cause disputes.