You and the Law – 9th February 2010

He wants his half

I am 59.  Some 15 months ago my husband left me after 40 years of marriage to live with another woman in her house.  He now wants to sell our home and split the money.  As there won’t be enough for me to buy another property, would I have a claim on my husband’s work pension?  We are not legally separated or divorced.  GB

You should discuss your finances in detail with a solicitor specialising in matrimonial work.  Don’t sign away your claim on the house before doing so!

The divorce courts wouldn’t necessarily split it 50/50  it’s possible for example that you could keep the house if you were to forgo maintenance but it will depend what other assets (including your husband’s pension) are available to divide between you.

Untaxed gain

We have recently made a Will leaving our house to our son, who is buying his own house.  Will he have to pay Capital Gains Tax on the rise in value of our property when the day comes?  I understand that, if he’d bought our house, he would only have to pay Capital Gains on the difference between the purchase price and the sale price?  RW

A Capital Gains Tax is not payable on death.  There may be Inheritance Tax to pay on the second death, depending on the size of the estate, but the first £650,000.00 is tax free for married couples.

If the sum total of what you own comes to more than this you should make an appointment with a solicitor specialising in tax and estates planning.

The only circumstance in which it would be financially advantageous for your son to buy your house would be if he lived with you and you needed to raise cash.  If that’s the case discuss the plan with a solicitor.

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