In order for a family member to buy a home, for example, a parent or sibling may give or lend a deposit due to the difficulty faced by younger people to obtain mortgages following the financial crisis.
This could lead to a difficult legal position when the property is sold, so there are legal decisions that need to be made early on.
Earlier this month a London court ruled where a mother sought to evict her daughter from a one-bed flat worth £1m. The daughter claimed the flat had been given to her; Ann Hermsen-Wilkinson, 72 won the case, obtaining a possession order.
Difficulties also arise where one family member helps pay another’s mortgage, without being named on the deeds. Here the likely difficulty would be in proving the financial contribution.
Another common situation arises where people live rent-free in a property belonging to other family members.
The involvement of “new” family members – such as in-laws, step-parents or step-children – can intensify the dispute or trigger new disagreements.
Therefore, it's best to deal with the legalities whilst everyone is on good terms.
From King Lear to Downton Abbey and Bleak House to War and Peace, there is nothing new about financial feuds within families. But in today’s Britain, warn lawyers, the opportunities for fallouts are greater than ever. That is because soaring house prices and rents are giving rise to increasingly elaborate financial arrangements between family members.