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Big help to buy house, with strings.....(9 Posts)
Any advice please. Mum's mum died,she now wants to help me and my sister buy houses, up til now we both renting with no hope of buying. hooray for that. however, my DP has been occasionally flakey and mum rightly doubts his reliability long-term, and so wants to protect the property from future wrangling, and therefore I am limited to what I can buy on my own, and have found one property which is a likely goer. So, has any one got advice on how to make sure property is safeguarded, is it in effect best to legally make it my property and write a will/covenant to pass it directly to my two kids if i die? I have no idea where to start, need to ask a solicitor loads of things, but just wondered if you have experience, either good or bad, of similar situation. Thanks.
Erm - if he is flakey, then just don't live with him?
Come on, he is a man! He is a man who has just had his life turned upside down by two small children, of course he is going to be occasionally flakey. That isn't his fault! He is very nice in many other ways, and there is no WAY I could cope with being a single mum. So, back to my MAIN point, as in, what legal nicities do I have to put in place as a non-married partner oand parent to protect the future home of my family in the event of me not being around.
Being a man doesn't make someone flakey, seriously.
A solicitor can best advise you, but really if he is that flakey I'd get shot of him and find someone who isn't flakey. Most men aren't, you know.
OK, well so long as you don't marry him, you don't have too much to worry about. He could, if you split up, make a claim against your house under land law IF he can prove that he's made a significant contribution to, eg, the mortgage. If you marry him then he will potentially have a claim under family law (Matrimonial Causes Act 1973) which would put him in a stronger position. In divorce proceedings, it doesn't particularly matter whose name a property is in, the Court can make whatever order it thinks is fair.
If you go ahead and buy a house in joint names (because that's the only way you can get a mortgage), then it's absolutely essential that you make a trust deed, say 95% to you, 5% to him. That can always be replaced over time by a more evenly balanced one if you agree and if, eg, he pays half the mortgage payments.
So far as passing the property on is concerned, yes, you should make a Will. Whether you buy it together (as tenants in common would be my advice), or in your sole name, you could include in your will provision that he can continue to occupy the property either until the children have grown up, or he dies or remarries, or various other "trigger events".
I'm a family and wills lawyer and have recently started my own freelance will writing business. If you'd like more info I'm happy to give more confidential (and free) advice by email at
My standard charge is £75 for a single will, £130 for a couple, but if you do put the house in trust under a life interest it's a bit more complicated so the cost would be a bit (not much) more. You don't have to buy the house to make the will, it would probably be sensible to do one soon anyway so you can appoint guardians, and then as and when you buy a house, the will will automatically cover that and any other assets.
Thanks for advice, luckily and happily it will be a cash purchase, so I will not need to apply for joint anything! I am happy for it to be entirely in my own name, and I think most of the stress points in his are financial, so he may be a lot happier when the rent money is then available for making his business grow or getting a pension. And yes, I am sure there are mnay men out there who are not flakey, but I am not in the mood for flirting and attracting another man, my children and I love their father, and I am possibly equally annoying to him sometimes. I am afraid I see the flakiness of men in the biological/social sense: it is their evolutionary right to procreate and move on, we mums are the ones who usually stay with our families, i.e. we don't just walk off and leave them (usually) . I would rather stay and make things work, and show strength rather than behave like a child, throw a tantrum and run off toanother corner.
It's great that it'll be a cash purchase - in that case, as you say there's no need for him to go on the deeds, and so long as you don't marry, you don't need to worry about him making a claim if you do split up (just to clarify, he could make a claim but it would only be successful if he could show that he'd acted to his detriment, ie made a financial contribution but got nothing back.
If you decide to go ahead and make a Will, please feel free to email me and I'll happily give you further advice.
Thanks, I wanted him to marry me a few years ago, but perhaps now I am glad that he was less keen, as it makes it more straightforward now. Am I in a fairly unusual position then? I am worried about variuos things sometimes, but probably getting a house under my belt might make the future more stable all round, for our relationship too. I hope to be in touch, thanks!
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