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Claim against mother's estate

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  • Claim against mother's estate

    My mother passed away a couple of years ago - she didn't leave a will, but had a live-in partner of 20 years, they weren't married, in a civil partnership or engaged, and had no shared bank accounts, bills or mortgage.

    He recently brought a legal case against me - I'm now the executor of her estate. As her only next of kin, I'm the only person able to do this, and he was fully aware.

    I approached him about signing a written agreement, so that he can continue to live in the house, as it was now in my name and we had no guidelines over rights and responsibilities between us. He told me he didn't need one, as he owns the house - paid for it 50/50 the whole time - and I'll inherit it when he dies. This is the first I've heard of this, and it's not true.

    His legal case however claims that I'm forcing him to leave.

    My solicitor has advised me that due to the length of time he's lived there, it's unlikely he'd be made by the court to leave, so the likely conclusion is a written agreement. His conditions for settling out of court are that I pay all of his fees up till now and allow him to make a claim out of time on the estate, which basically consists of the house.

    Just want it to go away. What do you think?
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  • #2
    So presumably the house was solely in your mothers name? I think he's pushing it. Point out that you will not agree to an out of time claim and his only way forward is an agreement with you, the owner of the house.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by roger1moore View Post
      My mother passed away a couple of years ago - she didn't leave a will, but had a live-in partner of 20 years, they weren't married, in a civil partnership or engaged, and had no shared bank accounts, bills or mortgage.

      He recently brought a legal case against me - I'm now the executor of her estate. As her only next of kin, I'm the only person able to do this, and he was fully aware.

      I approached him about signing a written agreement, so that he can continue to live in the house, as it was now in my name and we had no guidelines over rights and responsibilities between us. He told me he didn't need one, as he owns the house - paid for it 50/50 the whole time - and I'll inherit it when he dies. This is the first I've heard of this, and it's not true.

      His legal case however claims that I'm forcing him to leave.

      My solicitor has advised me that due to the length of time he's lived there, it's unlikely he'd be made by the court to leave, so the likely conclusion is a written agreement. His conditions for settling out of court are that I pay all of his fees up till now and allow him to make a claim out of time on the estate, which basically consists of the house.

      Just want it to go away. What do you think?
      So,it would appear that you have successfully applied for letters of representation and now you are the personal representative of your mam's estate.

      As your mam didn't leave a will her estate will be passed on under the laws of intestacy and as you are the only child you inherit the lot.

      Mam's live-in partner has no rights under intestacy law as he wasn't married or a civil partner.

      I recommend that you exercise all your power as personal representative and as you now own the house you can evict him from the property.

      You are the executor (or personal rep) and so all the power is with you (not some solicitor or the tenant) - never forget that you are in charge.

      I would call his bluff about him having any 'rights' to living in your house and give him written notice of you evicting him,you may have to give him reasonable notice of his eviction in view of his length of tenure - give him 9 months to get out or you will get a high court order to evict him and he will end up paying your legal costs.

      Why should you pay any of his legal costs ? You haven't brought the case, he has. He will probably lose it and end up paying all his own costs anyway.

      The courts will look at you being 'reasonable' and if you give him,say,9 months to get out as you want your house back then that will show you as being a reasonable person.

      He is being totally unreasonable in lying about him paying for the house and being vexatious about his 'legal claim.' All you want is closure and what is legally yours.

      You may also get some good advice on the moneysaving expert probate forum as there are some solicitors there who are quite helpful.

      Here is the link:
      https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com...play.php?f=217

      Good luck,and remember you are in charge as the law has given you the power to administrate the estate and you are the sole beneficiary.





      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Roger1Moore,

        Can you confirm what sort of claim your mother's partner has brought. Is it a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975? As her long term partner he may be able to bring a claim. However the time limits are quite strict. Usually, unless the Court allows it, any claim should be within 6mths of the Grant of Letters of Administration being issued. When did you get the Grant?

        As far as his paying half the bills/mortgage etc that does not in itself give him any 'rights' to the property. He would have to demonstrate that a trust had been created There are several types of trust including where people have contributed to the purchase of a property or carried out major works themselves believing they were going to receive a share. It is a technical area and my examples are very simplified but needless to say the fact someone contributes to bills and the mortgage does not in itself mean they are entitled to a share. It would also be for him to prove that a trust had been created whether express ly between him and your mother or implied through their actions.

        It appears that you have been reasonable in offering he stay at the property but that you remain the owner. As your solicitor has suggested a written agreement may be the most sensible way forward. Maybe mediation could help, although he doesn't sound the most reasonable of people!

        If we can give you any more pointers do post again but it sounds like your solicitor also has his number so hopefully you are receiving sensible advice.
        I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

        Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

        If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.

        Comment

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