KELLY HYNES You and the law.
Expert advice on your legal problems Q My mother is in a private nursing home but has run out of funds. Is there any way we can prevent the council putting a charge on her property? An assessment is taking place at the moment. I'm a widow with two children and would like to move in.
A You could sell your own property, or remortgage, and pay your mother's nursing home fees yourself without involving the council. If the council takes responsibility for her care your mother may have to move. Alternatively, if you are due to inherit the property, you could take out a mortgage on the house after her death in order to pay off any council charge.
If you had been living with your mother her property may not have featured in the assessment. If her health allows her to return home, she may be entitled to community care funded by the NHS.
Q My father died six months ago and my sister says he didn't leave a will. I find this hard to believe, and my sister has started buying expensive items for her home. How could I find out if my father did leave a will? A If your father didn't leave a will you would be entitled to a share of anything he owned under the intestacy rules.
If he owned a house, for example, you or your sister would have to apply for probate to deal with his affairs: the house couldn't be sold, or the bank accounts cleared, without this official document. You could apply yourself if your sister hasn't already begun the process. Once probate has been granted the records, including any will, become public, so you can obtain them from the Probate Registry.
Q Our title deeds ban people from running a business from our houses, or keeping a van used for business on the premises. However a letting agency has bought the property next door, and although tenants have moved in, the agency still keep the advertising board on the front lawn. Are they allowed to do this indefinitely? ANo.
Estate agents' sign boards are supposed to be temporary, and should be removed not later than 14 days following the sale or letting of the property. This is under Town and Country Planning legislation, which is separate from the restrictions contained in your title deeds. You could possibly get an injunction to have the sign removed through the courts, but it will be cheaper to ask the council's planning department to issue a notice to the agents.
| Question for the column? Email mail@LAWQs.co.uk. Your legal questions answered by Kelly Hynes of Gamlins Solicitors LLP. Telephone 01248 672414, www.gamlins.com