DIFFICULT TO UNTANGLE LEGAL ARRANGEMENTS WHEN FAMILY TIES BREAK DOWN

Two cases at my MPS last night caught my attention. The first concerned a resident whose husband died a few years ago and, upon her friend’s advise, she included the name of her unemployed son as the joint owner although the flat was already fully paid for. She now wants to remove his name because he is abusive and stopped her other children from visiting her. But it’s not so simple because she had made him the joint owner.

In a second case, a resident felt cheated because his brother had persuaded him to transfer their deceased father’s flat to him but now that the resident is ill and wanted his share back, his brother refused. He claimed that he was cheated by his brother and the agent.

Both are sad stories but both transactions were carried out legally and cannot be unscrambled just because that’s what the aggrieved party wanted. The point to note is that even when family relationships are involved, it is always wise to think carefully and consult widely first on the implications before signing anything. One cannot always assume that because there is a family relationship involved, people will honour their obligations. Often, such transactions are the most difficult to untangle.

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