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Legal Advice re inheritance and housing

layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
Hi
I was told by a CAB advisor that I would be able to find legal advice through Scope, so I am hoping someone may be able to point me in the right direction.
I care full time for my daughter, who has ME and has been ill since the age of 12, so has no  practical experience of independent adult living. 
Rather than go into all the details here initially, I would just like to talk to a lawyer about the issues of home ownership as I am feeling utterly stressed because I can't be sure that I have arranged things so as best to benefit her and provide for her after my death.  Is there anybody to whom I can talk about this?

Thanks in hope!



Replies

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,924

    Scope community team

    edited February 2020
    Hi @layla53 and welcome. Unfortunately we're not able to provide legal advice through the online community, but if you call our helpline, they might be able to put you in touch with or suggest someone more local to you who might be able to provide some help.

    You can call them on 0808 800 3333.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Thanks Adrian. I did try, but the best help was a phone number for the Disability Law Service, which is all on answerphone and seems not to have an option that would in any way help me. I guess because this is not so much a specific disability problem, as one of how to ensure that my disabled daughter will be able to live independently as a result of my careful arrangements, and I desperately need to talk to a lawyer who can help and advise me. When I tried a local solicitor they told me of certain loopholes and told me to ensure that I wasn't going to cause myself issues - I thought I was paying them to help me, but they seemed very uninterested in getting involved, so I got nowhere.  I guess I will have to keep looking - thanks anyway!
  • Richard_ScopeRichard_Scope Posts: 2,725

    Scope community team

    edited February 2020
    Hi @layla53
    An advisory service that I have been made aware of is Will-probate.co.uk

    There is a specific section about disabled children and inheritance.

    I hope it is of some help?
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • TemplarEPTemplarEP Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Hi Layla. Did you get an adequate answer?

    I run a legal services company that specialises in wills, trusts and estate planning. This is a common problem experienced so I may be able to provide some advice if you give some details as it depends on your circumstances. 

  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Hi, no I didn't get the help I wanted. Covid has sort of stopped everything, but I do indeed still want advice,I worry even more about what would happen to my daughter now if I suddenly died. I do have specific I questions,but its just a question of being able to talk them through with someone who knows.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,010

    Scope community team

    Did you trying ringing Scope's helpline @layla53
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

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  • TemplarEPTemplarEP Member Posts: 11 Listener
    edited March 18
    If the helpline can help call that.

    <moderator removed - advertising not allowed on the community>
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,730 Disability Gamechanger
    Re:OP I think the CAB "advisor"was being extremely lazy in passing the buck, they should be better than that and personally I would try them again in the hope of speaking to someone at CAB who knows what they are doing.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,941 Disability Gamechanger
    woodbine said:
    Re:OP I think the CAB "advisor"was being extremely lazy in passing the buck, they should be better than that and personally I would try them again in the hope of speaking to someone at CAB who knows what they are doing.
    I must admit I am struggling to justify the advice given when the question is clearly within the remit of Citizens Advice. Not every site has access to a solicitor locally but they certainly have lots of other routes in and signposting wrongly to Scope is clearly worthy of complaint.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,334

    Scope community team

    edited March 18
    @TemplarEP I appreciate your wish to help the OP is well-intentioned however advertising is not permitted on the community (please see our community guidelines), As such, I've edited your comment above to remove your offer.

    @layla53 Sorry to hear the advice you were initially given from Citizens Advice was unhelpful.  I'd definitely consider revisiting them to ask for a second opinion.  Please let us know how you get on.  
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • TemplarEPTemplarEP Member Posts: 11 Listener
    edited March 18
    @Cher_Scope. I was not advertising or offering anything for sale. I think I even said it wasn't a sales pitch. If I mentioned my job or my role that was purely to explain my background and expertise. 

    I came across this forum when looking for some information to help one of my clients. I realised there are some who might benefit from my help/advice, such as @layla53. At no point have I tried to sell anything only offer free advice. @layla53 has clearly been let down by CAB and is worried so offered to help her. If you don't want me to do that, that is fine and I won't post to your forums.



  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected

    I will try to respond to everything all in one go. I was a bit surprised when I suddenly got notifications this week as there's been nothing for over a year!  Firstly, the CAB lady said she was not sufficiently well up in legal matters to help me when I outlined what I wanted to know, which is why she specifically referred me to Scope, she told me there was a  legal helpline.  I did phone the Scope helpline and was told there was no help available, and was advised to phone the Disability Law Service, which was no good either, as mentioned in my earlier messages above. My questions were about very particular things to do with ownership of my house, things which my own solicitor asked me to check out for myself rather than giving me an answer, which wasn't very helpful to say the least. Although this is all about securing the future for my daughter it is much more about legal niceties and inheritance law. I had a long phone conversation with a Tax Officer who was extremely vague and non-commital, and so again, that got me nowhere. 

    I was very disappointed that you deleted the post from Templar EP as they very clearly offered me Free advice, so I don't see how that can be construed as advertising. 

    I am back at square one now. It is worrying enough to be sole carer for someone so vulnerable, who now has Long Covid on top of ME (as do I, but that's another story), but having tried so hard to find some clear legal advice I just find myself going round in circles. If you don't allow your members to offer free advice, how can that be helpful - I don't want kind words and pats on the back, nor to be told to go back to where I started, I was looking for someone, finally to be be willing to engage with my questions, which are not exactly outlandish or strange! I'm very sad that yet again I seem to have hit a brick wall.

    I do have one other important question - I wonder whether anyone can answer this - as a totally housebound person, my daughter has no valid passport nor a driving licence. The time will come when she needs legally accepted Photo ID, when she has to fend for herself after my death. What do other people in this situation use? It would be ludicrous to apply for either of these documents, both financially and practically, as she has and will have no need of them, but in the absence of a National ID card, what else can be used and accepted by lawyers, banks and other institutions?

    Thank you


  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,940 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @layla53 - as far as photo ID goes, if your daughter has a Blue Badge, this should normally suffice. I have been able to use mine with a Building Society, 3 different solicitors, & an estate agent.
    I hope the health of you & your daughter improves soon.
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,730 Disability Gamechanger
    Just re-read your OP and i'm not sure theres a problem why not just make a will leaving your property to your daughter?
    As for photo ID many people get by without it, most banks etc will accept a number of other things as I.D 
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Hi Chiarieds
    Thanks,  but sadly she doesn't have a blue badge as she is virtually never well enough to leave the house, so that's out too!! She feels like a total non- person really, having been ill since she was 12 she has never had an 'adult' legal presence if you know what I mean.  Thanks for your good wishes :-)
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Hi woodbine
    I have of course already made a will long ago doing just that.  If there wasn't a problem I wouldn't have asked for help, but I'm not going to detail it all on here. Suffice to say I know exactly what I want to achieve but I wanted some knowledgeable legal advice which is why I was pointed here in the first place. 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 682 Pioneering
    I appreciate anyone who is a lawyer and gives general advice and hints, and if they know of specialist firms (their own and others) it would make sense to be pointed towards them, since, as OP found, a generalist will charge a fee for saying "I dunno, find out for yourself".    
    The I.D. problem is one which affects many people, and those who have been fortunate enough to have any form of I.D other than a passport may not have been talking of recent experiences, or are unusually fortunate.   
    The irony is, demanding passports is a recent rule, which was assumed to put a stop to all criminality of any sort, mainly money laundering, terrorists, drug and gun smugglers, and illegal immigrants.  Those, of course,  are the very people whose routine tools-of-the-trade are a ready supply of documents, fake I.Ds and handfuls of passports.  We ordinary people couldn't get any such I.D, but to a crook, it would be as easy as ordering pizza. 
    Some civil servant decided that because they and their friends wouldn't have any idea how to get fake I.D, then there is no such thing as a black market supply of false  passports. Duh

     Secure in their ivory towers of  ignorance, they changed the law.     They brought in rules that because they themselves, and their friends, are never far from their own passports and driving licences, those must be required for every normal transaction of life for the entire population.  Nothing will happen without these 'magic' documents, no solicitor or bank or employer or even a bed and breakfast landlady is now legally permitted to deal with anyone who hasn't got them and can't get them.
    As double irony, immigration organisations clamoured that it is racist to expect illegal immigrants to have passports, so they, alone, are allowed to access the N.H.S, social services, housing,  education,  benefits and of course lawyers, because, as their representatives argued successfully, they might have destroyed or mislaid their documents during or after their journeys.  
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,730 Disability Gamechanger
    i don't have a driving licence haven't had for 23 years now, I only use my passport to get back into the country (technically you don't need one to leave) and I have had no ID problems and have never been asked for my passport, even when I opened a new bank account last month, a solicitor needed proof of my ID last year when we were dealing with my dads will, a couple of utility bills did the trick.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • TemplarEPTemplarEP Member Posts: 11 Listener
    edited March 19
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Well, seeing another post from TemplarEP it looked as though you got exactly what I'm after,from the scant few words on the email. However when I clicked to come back in the site I find your message is not there so unfortunately I can't know what you were trying to say. 

    I just want to say I appreciate that you wanted to help,  I did in my naivety think that was what this message board was about, and I'm so sad that after all practical help is not available because of supposed advertising rules.  Surely if someone is offering free advice it is a genuine service.  Why ban it? 

    Life is so very tough at the best of times for disabled people and their carers, it's a minefield of obstacles and uninformed, unpleasant, uncaring bureaucrats, and always seems to end in a cul-de-sac. I'm an articulate, well- informed person with plenty of researching practice,  and if I can't get the answers I need I dread to think how awful it is for others less fortunate. And this is the main purpose for what I am trying to do.  If its so hard for me, now,  it will be impossible for my daughter when she has to try and navigate this on her own.  I am doing my level best to streamline and simplify things for her because when I'm no longer here she will be utterly alone and very vulnerable.  So forgive me if I sound bitter at being denied the possible chance of some help. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,730 Disability Gamechanger
    @layla53 I can assure you that scope only delete post that break the terms and conditions of use.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • TemplarEPTemplarEP Member Posts: 11 Listener
    @layla53 was looking for more security.

    I genuinely wanted to try and help. Nothing more. 
  • TemplarEPTemplarEP Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I don't know what's going on with this as it's not posting everything. 
  • TemplarEPTemplarEP Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I don't think I posted anything contrary to the rules. If I did, sorry.
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,372 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @layla53 and welcome to the community.

    I can certainly understand you not wanting to share specifics on here, but it can be difficult to offer advice or signpost potential services without knowing what type of advice you are looking for.

    With regards to homeownership issues at work I use the Leaseholders Advisory Service https://www.lease-advice.org/ and recommend it to our homeowners if they would like to get independent information or advice.

    There are some very good housing and property lawyers, I would suggest googling 'housing lawyers' to see if there are any near you. I would strongly suggest finding one which offers a free 1 hour consultation period so you can at least outline the issues and see if they are able to assist before having to pay them.

    The Housing Ombudsman website provides a list of useful contacts that might be able to help you. https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/residents/helpful-links/ but would recommend scrolling down to the section for legal advice.

    With regards to your daughter proving her identity it would seem a passport is the best way forward. I totally agree for what you pay if you are not going to use it for travelling seems excessive, in the end I had little choice but to get one as without it some basic services are next to impossible to get, I appreciate this is not what you want to hear, but it would make your daughter's life easier to get one if something should happen to you. Your posts suggests that your daughter has limited capabilities so you may find this site useful: https://www.gov.uk/passport-services-disabled. As I said I do appreciate you do not want to go down this route, but all I can say is consider how your daughter will cope doing this on her own if something did happen to you.

    Hope something here helps you.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 682 Pioneering
    I'm shocked that Leyla and Templar are not permitted to ask and receive advice which would, of course, be extremely relevant information for other people.  I would have hoped that an organisation intended to help disabled people and of course carers would welcome such posts.  As the  O.P says, discovering the correct specialist in anything is hard, but with solicitors it is next to impossible. 

     (To pre-empt the trite signposting to yet another futile circle, no, no, no, "ask the law society" will certainly not help.  One can  ask, but it is merely a list of whatever the various local firms claimed to have ability in, at the time they filled the form in.  They might have ambitiously claimed they could do crime, divorce, family, immigration,  wills, conveyancing, commercial, and more.   But there is no reason to think they ever did have anyone competent and up to date in anything, let alone everything, and of course they did not have specialists. )

    Templar was a gold nugget to be treasured.   The fact she was giving general, free advice was to  be grasped with delight.   If, as a result of being aware of at least one specialist, people asked her directly, or could be redirected to a selection of her colleague specialists, I wonder if a) people at the end of their tether with inability to get essential disability related advice would find the sky brightened and the sun shining at last?  Or, b)  the sky would fall ?
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Oh what a relief to find I am not the only one who just doesn't understand the ban on Templar's help.

     To be honest my daughter and I discussed this and pretty well gave up last night.  I've long ago been through all of the options such as trusts and decided against them as they are so complicated and the hassles it would give her are far too much.  I don't need help from ombudsmen or leasehold advisors,  I know the questions I need to ask. 

    I tried many local lawyers,  one of whom appeared less than sympathetic to the plight of a disabled young woman facing life alone,  and another who did warn me about a particular pitfall but left it to me to find out how to resolve it. From anecdotal experience I know that lawyers who are particularly interested in disability matters are rare and precious, which is why I thought it was worth asking in this forum.  
    As Newborn points out, there must be other people in a similar position who would welcome advice.  There are plenty of places to get mutual moral support, but good, solid,  sensible practical advice seems as far away as ever.  
    You know what my daughter says, every time we read about appalling treatment of disabled and otherwise marginalised people,  and she is extremely engaged with everything that's going on in the world,  ME does not affect the intellect,  she says 'They just want us all to go away and die, Mum, not make any fuss, not shout about inequality, not ask for the pittance of benefits which they think we can live on...'. And that is not the voice of a depressed person, its the voice of an angry young woman,  who disappeared when she was 12.

    I doubt I will ask any more questions on here,  I shall just have to continue my search elsewhere for someone to answer.  





  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 682 Pioneering
    Layla you describe well the frustration of the pointless loops One other organisation I thought of is Carers, which at least would in theory be exactly right.  Are you a member?
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Oh no, I haven't come across that one,  I'll check it out, thank you :-)
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 682 Pioneering
    P.S. I once had a battle with a council over what should not even have  needed a solicitor, because it was so obviously foolish.    (They wanted to measure the height of my perfectly standard 5 foot fence from the ground level of adjoining land, which was so much lower it was effectively down a pit) I was tormented, and struggled for months to discover someone who would slap them down by telling me what statute and case law to quote.   
    That gave me an idea of how vital it is to get the right lawyer. And, how next-to- impossible it is to find one.
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Oh you're so right.  I just don't understand why when you think you've come across a chance the door is slammed in your face. 

    My daughter just said to me,  you think when you enter the adult world that you'll find other fully fledged adults who are paid to do a job will actually be able and willing to do the job they're paid for.  But you find out that vast numbers of them are actually inept and unwilling despite charging huge fees for their 'services'. The whole system is designed to grind you down until you just stop asking or looking for help! It makes me very sad that this is her main experience of life!!

    Did you actually get your fence problem sorted out? 

    I just feel defeated now,  My idea of a group like this was mutual help and advice,  I do wonder really now what the purpose is of this group other than trying to send people off in a different direction and back into endless useless loops.

    One clear thing I have taken is that we will indeed have to get her a passport.  How utterly ludicrous for someone who can't even manage to walk in her own garden.  There must be vast numbers of disabled and generally  disadvantaged people who need official ID. Why on earth isn't there an official ID card they can apply for! It wouldn't have to be a universal national id card,  surely some government department could come up with something legally acceptable.  Not a lot of kudos in that though is there!!! And I quite agree with what you said earlier,  the hoops you have to jump through to prove identity are many and get higher all the time.  If people have been able to get away without providing the documents listed in the first group on official requirements I think they've been very lucky.

    I've had her name added to all the utility bills and she has a bank account so she's OK on the second group,  but what I'm thinking about  is that when I die she will have to negotiate probate, selling the house,  buying somewhere to live, all sorts of massive things she has absolutely no experience of at all.  And without a passport it's almost as if she doesn't exist in the financial and legal world.  Let's face it,  life for disabled people is **** isn't it!! Good job she has a sense of humour and a strong sense of what's right. 

    Rant over for now!!
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    By the way, Newborn, did you mean Carersuk? I think I did join that some time ago, I must check it out again.  They also allow PMs which is very helpful. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,730 Disability Gamechanger
    Scope allows PM's but only after you have been a member long enough.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • layla53layla53 Member Posts: 14 Connected
    Ah,ok, thanks, that's fair enough
  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,940 Disability Gamechanger
    As woodbine mentions, once you've made 25 posts you are able to send a PM. If someone else has made more than 25 posts, then they can send you a PM to which you can reply even if you haven't made 25 posts yourself.
    The purpose of this community is to offer both help & support to disabled people, or those that have a disabled relative or friend. Please understand we're just such people ourselves, & tho many can help with benefits they know about, lived experiences, etc. we can't safely offer medical advice, &, as already mentioned, it's strange that Citizens Advice signposted you here, as ordinary members will not have any legal advice, rather they should have been able to help more.
    I'm sorry you seem disappointed in the community, but often the best that can be done is to signpost people to resources that we hope may help. If that turns out not to help someone, that's perhaps not the fault of the community, but rather the organisations that haven't provided the help we would expect.
    Just to add, there was indeed a possibly helpful post just made today by a member of the Scope team, which may help you as far as photo ID goes for your daughter. Please look at this post & scroll down to Ross's post about an Access or DID card. Please see: https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/comment/398085#Comment_398085
    We are all trying to help you the best that we can, & please remember we give our time freely trying to do so. Many of us appreciate your frustration; as mainly disabled people we've had to face many & varied problems too.


  • chiariedschiarieds Member Posts: 7,940 Disability Gamechanger
    @layla53 - Just again to mention the Blue Badge scheme, altho you feel your daughter would not get the benefit out of it, if she receives certain benefits she would automatically qualify, & these cost £10 if you're in England, & last 3 years, or until such a benefit might expire.
    Again, considering probate, most young people won't understand much about it, but, if you find an appropriate solicitor with your will making, then they can act as executor, or co-executor with your daughter. I speak as someone who changed their will last month, & I was given to understand that you can ask a solicitor to deal with probate at a later stage should you wish, as currently I have my daughter & son as co-executors, but this can all be left up to a solicitor.
  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,730 Disability Gamechanger
    layla53 said:
    Hi woodbine
    I have of course already made a will long ago doing just that.  If there wasn't a problem I wouldn't have asked for help, but I'm not going to detail it all on here. Suffice to say I know exactly what I want to achieve but I wanted some knowledgeable legal advice which is why I was pointed here in the first place. 
    Hence the problem, if we don't know the detail we can't be of much help, my only advice now would be to contact the law society who might signpost you to some legal expert who could help.
    Don't get me wrong i'm not suggesting you tell us anything you don't want us to know but you can appreciate perhaps thats why this seems to be going round in circles.
    I hope you get the advice you need from the right people.
    Good luck.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
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