Elementary problems for the Holmes Family Lawyer

18 Jan 2017

In this brave new world order, even the previously untouchable BBC drama Sherlock has been branded as too clever for its own good by some tv critics, who were perhaps jumping on the band wagon of bashing intellectual elites (even fictional ones).

Whether you found the series finale too “Silence of the Lambs meets Jane Eyre” or not, it had at its heart a universal theme, which private client lawyers are very familiar with - families are complex!

Mr and Mrs Holmes are a “normal” married couple, in their retirement and wishing to get their personal affairs in order, as life ticks by. They are comfortably off and have three adult children. However, as they explain to their lawyer, there are some issues:

Their eldest son, Mycroft, has a very high powered job in the Government but is prone to errors of judgement – like when he introduced the UK’s most notorious criminal mastermind to their daughter.

Sadly their daughter, Eurus, has a serious mental health condition, which means that she will not be able to handle money or take care of herself in her life.

The youngest son, Sherlock, works as a freelance detective, but has battled with drug addiction. Unfortunately his flat was recently destroyed and they wish to help him get back on the property ladder but worry about simply giving him the money.

The lawyer is not phased, as many families have similar issues. Instead the lawyer makes a series of suggestions. Consider setting up a trust in their Wills and appointing independent executors, so that money can be advanced to their children as and when they need it – but they do not have control over the money. Mr and Mrs Holmes should set up Lasting Powers of Attorney, so that they can choose attorneys that they trust to handle their financial affairs, should the need arise. Mr and Mrs Holmes can safeguard any funds they put into the new property, by ensuring that they formally record in writing the agreement with their son.

Seeing that there are practical solutions to the various family issues, Mr and Mrs Holmes are pleased that they sought advice and are going to recommend to their son’s friend – who has recently been widowed and has a young daughter, that he should speak with the lawyer too…

Further reading

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New guidance issued for valuation of flats and investigating fire safety

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Government sets new energy targets for domestic and commercial buildings

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Just seven days’ rent arrears used to be enough for commercial landlords to take action; the latest adjustment pushes that out to 554 days
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