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Legal entitlement to intestate estate of mother

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  • e888boo
    started a topic Legal entitlement to intestate estate of mother

    Legal entitlement to intestate estate of mother


    My mother died just over a year ago from cancer, however she had no will in place as she became ill very quickly before she could sort it properly. The only family she had left was myself, my brother, my step-father and a niece.

    She had remarried after divorcing from my father and her estate consisted of her house, which she owned with my step-father, (the outstanding mortgage on the property was settled in the couple of months before her passing by a terminal illness payment on their life insurance), and a reasonable amount of money in her savings account.

    My brother still lived at home, paying rent informally in the form of housekeeping, so no formal tenancy agreement.

    After she died my step-father almost immediately, (within 36 hours), transferred the money from her accounts to his and closed hers down, and subsequently has also taken possession of the house in its entirety, he also without telling us just sold her car and claimed to have donated the money to a charity. My brother has continued to live there, again by paying rent informally in the form of an increased housekeeping amount which covers all the bills, he has now married and is moving out imminently.

    My step-father has been pushing him relentlessly since he married to move out, pestering constantly, and has hinted to him that he is going to sell the house and downsize or move away/abroad. I will add he has two daughters who he is estranged from.

    Before my mother died she had a spell in hospital and was in quite a bad way, I believe she didn't think she would be coming out, she asked me on a visit to look into if she could will her half of the house to me and my brother as my step-father's not very responsible with money and has debts and she didn't want her estate to end up in the hands of his daughters despite their estrangement and also wanted to provide something to me and my brother. After looking into it it appeared that it wasn't possible as the house was jointly owned so would revert to my step-father which upset her, she told me she would have to speak to my step-father to state her wishes in so far as she didn't want want us to go without, which she subsequently did and she told me several times that she had made him promise to 'do right by her boys', something which I believe he acknowledged as he told me one day before she died that he was going to put my brother and I in his will as that's what mum wanted, I don't know whether this was ever done.

    So far my brother had had absolutely nothing from my mum's estate save for a few pieces of costume jewellery which he didn't even really want, but it was a task to obtain anyway.

    I believe the property to be worth between 300,000-350.000 and there was approximately 40,000 in her saving at a conservative estimate.

    How do we stand as regards any entitlement legally to any of her estate or is this a case of that we have to just try and move on and chalk it up to inexperience?

    Hopefully someone can offer some advice.

    Tags: intestate

  • des8
    Possibly. i would suggest an initial chat with a solicitor to see about his options.
    Should be possible to arrange it for free or limited cost only

    Leave a comment:

  • e888boo
    That's what I suspected. So my brother may possibly have a claim under the inheritance act as he lived there and is struggling to afford to move out?

    Leave a comment:

  • des8

    Sorry to hear of your loss, but it would seem you and your brother have no claim to your mother's estate.
    The house passes automatically to her husband if they owned it as joint tenants
    Then all the personal property and belongings and the first 250,000 of the estate also pass to him.

    Unless you can make a claim under the Inheritance Act I doubt there is anything you can do

    Leave a comment:

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