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Disapproval of Son-in-Law

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

A woman who paid more than 90 per cent of the cost of a £3 million property purchased for her daughter, in whose name the title is held, has failed in her attempt to have the ownership of the property changed to reflect her contribution.

It would seem that the dispute arose after the daughter married. Her mother disapproved of her choice of husband, a tax inspector who had been married three times before.

The daughter claimed that her mother’s contribution to the purchase price of the property was intended as a loan. The result was a bitter court battle, which has led to a schism in the family as well as needless expense.

The judge ruled that the daughter was the rightful owner of the property, although he ordered her to repay her mother £101,000 on the loan.

“Had the financial arrangements been set out clearly at the time the property was bought, the case would not have arisen,” says Mark Brown, head of property at DFA Law. “If you are considering giving financial help to someone else in order to buy a home or for any other purpose, it makes sense to have the arrangements properly documented, so that the possibility of a later challenge is minimised.”

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