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Late father's legal Aid charge on my inherited house

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  • Late father's legal Aid charge on my inherited house

    Hi there.

    I would be really grateful for some advice on this slightly tricky situation.

    I am an only child and my parents divorced many years ago.

    My father moved out of the family home and moved into another home with a new family.

    I remained the family home, with my mother, who passed away (intestate), leaving me as the sole heir to the estate - I remained living in the same house.

    My father recently passed away and I was invited to go to the solicitor for the reading of his will - my father's will confirmed that he left me any beneficial interest in my home, to me (everything else to go to his new wife).

    The one thing that did arise, however, is that the solicitor mentioned a legal aid charge that remains on my home - this was occurred by my father whilst divorcing my mother.

    The solicitors then went on to say that it is not payable by me but by my father's estate.

    I pretty much left things there - was a bit awkward to ask anything further about this in front of my father's new family.

    My issue now is what this means for me and my home - if the statutory charge is not payable by me, how can I have it removed?

    Having done a bit of research, I realise that whilst the charge on the house remains, I shall never be able to sell it.

    Apologies for the long post - any advice would be much appreciated.

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  • #2
    There is no "reading of the will" ceremony in English law - which may indicate that that the governing law of your father's estate is not English Law.

    Assuming that the governing law is, in fact, English law and whilst I am not an expert on probate, it seems to me that the legal aid charge on the property becomes payable by your father's estate when ownership transfers from your father's estate to you.

    It would be useful for you to obtain a copy of your late father's will and post up a redacted copy on here.

    Do be aware of the difference between legal ownership and beneficial interest.



    • #3
      Thanks ever so much for that - really useful.

      This is an English claim - I think I have been watching too many US programmes on TV! I should have clarified that my father's wife merely invited me in a non-official capacity.

      I shall indeed try and obtain a copy of the will and upload it as suggested.

      I feel a lot more confident now, that I am not going to be pursued for anything as I am aware that Legal Aid charges incur a not-insignificant interest rate of 8%.

      From what you have said, therefore, it does seem that upon my father's death two things happened:

      I inherited my current home with no interest remaining from my father.

      My father's wife inherited her home.

      Everything else, that my father owned, now needs to be used to pay off the Legal Aid charge.

      Whilst I have no intention of moving, I suppose that I need to now wait for all of this to take place before I can register the claim with a clean title.


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