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Genuinely bewildered

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  • Genuinely bewildered

    Hi, I am so confused and upset. My mum died suddenly a few months ago, my dad 20 years ago. He left everything to her, she remarried and has left everything in a property for her husband to stay in. They bought it together, apparently equally. She did leave me and my sister some money, which was great, but I'm in the middle of renovating my house so it all went really quickly. I have 2 kids of primary school age. Apparently, my mums house is in a life interest trust and I can't touch it. Is that right? I can't believe it, if so. I had no idea about all this before so am dealing with the two shocks. I'm starting to panic at the thought of raising my kids without her, and without any kind of safety net. My cousins think I'm being greedy and selfish, saying its what she wanted but it has never occurred to me before that I would be left in this position, with no parents and no safety net. I'm devastated. Any words of wisdom would be welcome.
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  • #2
    Hi Debooli,
    Sorry for your loss it must be hard for you and the grandchildren. From what you say it sounds like your mum left her share in the property to you (maybe other siblings too if you have any?) but that her husband has the right to stay in the property or move to another property and you won't receive a share until certain trigger events happen, such as your mum's husband's death or remarriage?

    The way the life interest trust operates will be contained in the Will. If you are able to type that part out we may be able to give you some more guidance. It is usual for people to allow partners or spouses to live in their home following a death.

    If you can give a little more information it would be helpful so at least you can understand in what circumstances you potentially inherit your mum's share of the house in the future.
    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


    • #3
      Hi, thanks for coming back to me. My sister is included in the same way I am but she is able to be more relaxed about it. She has been told by a lawyer friend of hers that we aren't entitled to anything until he dies, but that doesn't sound right. Surely that can't be the case. What if I get into difficulties, which could be possible due to my circumstances, can I ask him for help? Does he have to help me? Excuse me if I sound like I'm panicking but I am! It seems crazy that, having seen our dad work hard to give us a nice home, which he did when we were kids, we might not benefit from that for years, possibly decades. How could we not have known this until now? Sorry, yes, I will find my copy of the will. Too busy reeling from the shock to think straight.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi, so yes, I think this is the key part of the will, 'trustees shall retain any investments in which my estate is invested at my death and may invest money requiring investment in or upon the acquisition or security of any property of whatsoever nature as they shall think fit and may vary or transpose any such investments in all cases without being liable for loss and in all respects as if they were entitled thereto beneficially...'

        It goes on 'trustees shall have power to allot appropriate partition or apportion (whether expressly or by implication) any investments money or other property forming part of my estate or subject to the trusts hereof in or towards satisfaction of any share or interest whether settled or not in any part of my estate and the income thereof in such manner as my trustees shall in their absolute discretion (without needing to obtain consent) consider just according to the respective rights of the persons interested and even though one or more of my Trustees may be beneficially interested...'

        Could you explain that please? I've tried to understand it but it's difficult. Thank you.

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        • #5
          Hi Debooli,
          It sounds like there is a life interest trust in favour of your mum's husband but it would be necessary to see the whole of the clauses in the Will I'm afraid to understand it more fully. If it is a life interest trust then you wouldn't have any 'right' to any of the estate until her husband dies. Who are the executors? Are the trustees different to the executors?
          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


          • #6
            Hi, thanks for your response. I think you're right. My sister has made some more enquiries and the position seems to be as you say. I can't believe we didn't know this before. I'm in shock and disbelief that not only have I got to raise my children without my mum and dad around, I have to do it without any kind of safety net, and I feel dreadful for feeling this way. I feel like a child but I am genuinely scared what the future holds for us. We, my sister and I, don't have a close relationship with my mum's husband so I wouldn't dream of asking him for help. He has his own family anyway. I don't mean that there was ever any bad feeling but it just wasn't that sort of relationship where the family's merged, if you know what I mean. My sister and I were both really close to our dad as well so it was hard for us when mum got married after he died. We were happy for her but we kept her husband at arms length, so I wouldn't dream of broaching the subject of money with him. I can't believe the position my sister and I have been left in. I can see the need for this sort of trust set up but, as someone who is living it, the reality is harsh. As if losing both my parents wasn't bad enough, I feel like I'm being penalised all over again.

            Thanks again for your help.

            Comment

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