An elderly lady who gifted her home worth £1.4m to her daughter for “inheritance tax reasons” has been evicted from the property by a judge after the relationship with her daughter sadly broke down.
Norma Gibbons, who is 82 years of age, lived in the same property as her daughter, Dawn Gibbons, in Earlsfield, South-West London. The Victorian terraced property had been divided into two, with Norma living in the upstairs flat, and her daughter Dawn residing in the downstairs flat.
In 2004, when relations between the pair were good, Norma transferred the legal title to her upstairs flat into her daughter’s name in order to avoid inheritance tax. However, she did not inform her daughter that she had done this.
Sadly, the relationship between mother and daughter broke down irretrievably following a long-running dispute spanning over ten years. Dawn finally served her mother with an eviction notice in November last year.
In July, a judge ordered that Norma had to leave her home as she was in effect a licensee of the flat, and that following service of a notice to leave the property, she was obliged to vacate the flat immediately. Norma’s claim that she had been “tricked” into gifting the flat to her daughter was dismissed. Norma was also ordered to pay £10,000 to contribute towards her daughter’s legal costs which totalled over £28,000.
This is a particularly sad case, which demonstrates what can happen on the breakdown of relations between close relatives, and how this can result in expensive and time-consuming litigation.