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Intestacy Rules

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  • Intestacy Rules

    Hi Legal Beagles

    My brother died intestate in 1985, he was married with 2 children (14 & 16)
    His wifes name was not on the house deeds,
    Could anyone help me with some questions.
    1) Would his wife have automatically inherited the house ?
    2) What amount would have been allowed against the value of the house in 1985. ?
    3) How much iether in , or % would the two children be entitled to recieve when they reached 18 yrs. and then on the death of his wife( haveI got this right?)

    Regards RAZOR

  • #2
    Re: Intestacy Rules

    Originally posted by razor View Post
    Hi Legal Beagles

    My brother died intestate in 1985, he was married with 2 children (14 & 16)
    His wifes name was not on the house deeds,
    Could anyone help me with some questions.
    1) Would his wife have automatically inherited the house ?

    Depends on the net value of his estate,

    2) What amount would have been allowed against the value of the house in 1985. ? As above - Do you know what the value of his net estate was?

    3) How much iether in , or % would the two children be entitled to recieve when they reached 18 yrs. and then on the death of his wife( have I got this right?) Depends on how much over 40K the estate was worth, and how much of her estate she left to them. The children would not automatically get what he left to the wife, it was hers to do as she wished with.

    Regards RAZOR
    http://www.dfpni.gov.uk/analysis_of_...gacy_paper.pdf Page 13 shows you what the limits were.

    Is there a specific scenario/problem you have?


    • #3
      Re: Intestacy Rules

      Thanks Emerald.
      I believe the house was worth around 60K in 1985. Just to expand on the situation--

      What I believe to be the situation was at the time, the two boy's were under 18, and his widows name was not on the house deeds, there would have been a sum of money to which the two children would have been entitled to when they reached 18, ( that would have been 1987,and 1978) but that sum of money, which I believe would have been about 4K to each child, was never paid.
      Today,one of those sons is taking legal action against his mother, and claiming 50K for his share of the estate, which includes compensation.
      There is also a problem with some missing paperwork from 1985/6 after my brother died. Although they were married, his wife's name was not on the deeds for the house, and because the children were under 18, she had to have an administrator on the paperwork, and he was a partner within the firm of solicitors who were dealing with the estate at the time.
      The missing paperwork which I believe was called something like "Family arrangement deeds" would prove that the house and assets would been transferred to his wife. What her son is claiming today, because she hasn't got this document, she would have been a "tenant" since 1985, also, the estate had been "Miss-Managed" due to the missing document.
      His widow still lives in the house, but if it goes to court,and lost, she would probably have to sell the house, to pay the settlement, don't forget, there are two children who would be entitled to a financial settlement.

      If anyone could give me any suggestions, particularly in what she (the widow) could do now, which would prove that she was the sole owner of the house, the "administrator" is still around, but retired now, he hasn't any recollection of the missing paperwork, and the solicitors who managed my brothers estate in 1985 were taken over,and have no records.

      Please feel free to ask me for more information if it would help.

      Regards Razor


      • #4
        Re: Intestacy Rules

        What is important is was there a will?

        What was the total NET value of the estate? = Property value excluding mortgage, plus any insurance and savings. And then any savings specifically for the children.

        Just because the wife was not on the deeds doesn't mean she didn't own a % of that property in financial terms - think if they had divorced what a court would have awarded as being her rightful share.

        What paperwork has she got left over?

        Nationwide and Halifax Price Index go back years for house prices so have a check there and see what the house may have been worth, but the will is more important, if there was no will and as your title is intestate I assume not, so where do the children think their entitlement to 4k comes from.

        Also are we helping the wife or children here? (Doen't make any difference just curious)
        ------------------------------- merged -------------------------------
        Also after all this time can they even make a claim? When were they 18?
        Last edited by Emerald; 23rd March 2010, 20:14:PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost


        • #5
          Re: Intestacy Rules

          Hi Emerald

          There was no will, he committed suicide, I believe they were having marital problems at the time, my brother was under pressure with his job, and frequently got drunk, and there was talk of divorce. I wasn't aware what was happening at the time, and it has been left for 25 yrs, when now one of the boys has decided to demand what he considers as his share of what he would have been financially entitled to when he was 18. that would have been in 1987.
          I am neutral, I'm the only family member who can talk to both the mother and son, they talk to each other through solicitors letters, although he has moved back into the house. I could write a book on their story, but I'm more interested in find a legal solution, if his brother got hold of him, there would be a murder.
          The legal position as I understand it, is, the house was valued at a figure in 1985, there was a legislated allowance which would have been deducted from the value of the estate, the balance being divided equally between the two boy's, who should have had 50% when they reached 18, and 50% on the death of the mother. This didn't happen.
          So far, I believe my sister in law has paid 3K to solicitors to try and resolve the situation, but as there was no will, and this paperwork which is missing "deed of family arrangement" (or words similar) she is finding it difficult to prove that she owns the house, so her son is contesting her ownership. as this solicitors name is still on the paperwork as an "administrator"of the estate.
          I calculated according to the Bank of England interest rates, that if he was entitled to 3-4K in 1985/6, that would now be around 15K, but how would a court decide what the financial amount should be in today's money.?
          The son has had an estate agent to value the property,and has applied the percentage in today's value,compared to the value in 1985. he wants 50K.
          Surely, there must be a legal solution, or is having no will a problem?. they were married at the time of his death. and the house was there own, although her name wasn't on the paperwork. She continued paying the mortgage, which I believe has now been paid in full.
          My sister- in- law realizes that she should have paid the sum due to the children long ago, but bringing two children up and paying a mortgage she didn't have the money.
          I do not know if there is any paperwork which gives a specific amount which she should have paid the children, the figures I have mentioned are what I have been told. Why I'm unhappy about the situation is because it's the same firm of solicitors, who took over from the ones who wound up my brothers affairs, the actual solicitor who dealt with my sister-in- law at the time in 1985, went to prison for fraud,(not related to her case) that's one of my lines of suspicion as to why the missing paperwork either wasn't completed in 1985, or went missing.
          She agrees that the boys should have had around 3-4K settlement in 1987. but that never happened. but without this document which would show that she had inherited the assets of her husband (and the house) she is finding it difficult to agree a final financial settlement to her son, (he wants 50K) and is taking his own mother to court to get it. I don't know how her son is funding his case, probably a No win- No fee as he has no money. hence wanting the 50K
          Please ask as many questions as you want, I will try to get more accurate figures, but it's difficult as I have no access to the paperwork, or solicitors.
          I'm finding it difficult to find a specific question to ask, but one which would help would be-
          1) How to obtain paperwork today, which should have been done in 1985, ie transfer of assets to the wife. (missing deeds of family entitlement)
          2) What financial settlement should the two children get today, IF they should have got 4K in 1987.(according to the intestacy rules in 1985)

          I am certain that the solution to this predicament must be in what happened in 1985, how the estate was managed and assets transferred to the widow. if we go down the road of what has happened since, then it would be a book, or even a feature film,

          I look forward to any suggestions. or questions.



          • #6
            Re: Intestacy Rules

            I found this info and I hope it's a little helpful, you will need to put in the figures from the time this happened and try and work out if the children were entitled to anything and if so how much.
            You say that your sister in laws name was not on the house deeds so I don't think the bottom paragraph will apply re the house bit, but as far as joint accounts etc it may.

            Married partners or civil partners inherit under the rules of intestacy only if they are actually married or in a civil partnership at the time of death. So if you are divorced or if your civil partnership has been legally ended, you can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy. But partners who separated informally can still inherit under the rules of intestacy.

            If there are surviving children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of the person who died and the estate is valued at more than 250,000, the partner will inherit:
            • all the personal property and belongings of the person who has died, and
            • the first 250,000 of the estate, and
            • a life interest in half of the remaining estate. This means that if you are entitled to the life interest, you cannot get rid of or spend that part of the estate. You can, however, have the benefit of it during your lifetime.
            Children - if there is a surviving partner

            If there is a surviving partner, a child only inherits from the estate if the estate is valued at over 250,000. If there are two or more children, the children will inherit in equal shares:
            • one half of the value of the estate above 250,000 and
            • the other half of the value of the estate above 250,000 when the surviving partner dies.
            All the children of the parent who has died intestate inherit equally from the estate. This also applies where a parent has children from different relationships.Couples may jointly own their home. There are two different ways of jointly owning a home. These are beneficial joint tenancies and tenancies in common.
            Children under 18 do not receive their inheritance immediately. The inheritance is managed by trustees on the child's behalf until they reach the age of 18.

            If the partners were beneficial joint tenants at the time of the death, when the first partner dies, the surviving partner will automatically inherit the other partner's share of the property. However, if the partners are tenants in common, the surviving partner does not automatically inherit the other person's share.

            Couples may also have joint bank or building society accounts. If one dies, the other partner will automatically inherit the whole of the money.
            Property and money that the surviving partner inherits does not count as part of the estate of the person who has died when it is being valued for the intestacy rules.


            • #7
              Re: Intestacy Rules

              Hi Enaid
              Thanks for your info, these figures are for today, but what would the value have the inheritance figure have been in 1985, My nephew agrees that in 1985 he would have been entitled to approx 4k when he reached 18 in 1987, but he never received it.
              The line which refers to joint tenants caught my eye. What my nephew has picked up on, is that because my brothers wife's name was NOT on the deeds, (and they may not have had a joint bank a/c) the she wouldn't have automatically have inherited the estate, even although they were married. So he is claiming that his mother would have been a "tenant" in the house since 1985.
              The reason why this has taken 25yrs, is that the son involved has been in full time education since 1985, (Universities) and although he's now nearly 40, he hasn't a job, no savings, and wants to get a property of his own, so the easy solution is to go for his mothers property, and he has a solicitor who is pressing for this 50K as a settlement.
              We all agree he should have the money he would have been entitled to in 1987 when he was 18, but not to the 50K he is claiming. The other son is quite happy to wait until his mother passes away, and the property would be left to both the children.but one is demanding his entitlement now.(although 25yrs late)
              My Sis in Law does have copies of some of the documents from 1985, relating to his death, but the one she has no record of refers to her and the property, something like "deed of family arrangement" this was some document which should have been signed while winding up by brothers affairs, but she cannot fine the document,( explained in previous reply)
              I am not happy with the way my Sis in Law solicitors are handling her case, it's been going on now for over a year, and she has to pay up front for every phone call/letter meeting etc, I believe she has offered to pay the son 25K as this is what it could cost in going to court, but he won't accept, he's sticking to the 50K.
              I've told her to go to court, but whoever looses, she will come out worse of, and of course he is still her son.
              There are other reasons why her son is claiming the 50K but they are not related to what happened in 1985, or my brothers estate.
              Some years later, I think about 1995, her mother died, and left a house to my Sis in Law, the other son has lived in this house since then, so as part of his claim, he wants compensation for the other house.
              I cannot see how any other inheritances which went to my Sis in Law, could be relevant to my brothers affairs, I believe the solicitors do agree, that the other house is not relevant.
              As I have said, I could write a book on what's happened since 1985, and it's so sad to think a son could do this to his own mother.
              The law must have been quite specific at the time with regards to whom and how the assets of my brothers estate should have been allocated and who would have been entitled to what and when.

              Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

              Regards Razor


              • #8
                Re: Intestacy Rules


                I am making a wild assumption that your solicitor practiced in the South West and went to prison for 7 years for a large legal aid fraud. If I've got the right person then getting any paperwork from way back then would be difficult as he went on a mad shredding spree for obvious reasons.

                The deed you are looking for is a simple deed of variation information here http://www.ts-p.co.uk/info_zone/info...0Variation.pdf .

                I think everyone is making this too complicated - joint tenants does not mean the wife was a tenant in the rent sense of the word. Whose name is on the deeds now? At the time of death how much was the house worth? How much was the mortgage outstanding? What other savings insurance etc were there? Where did this 4K figure come from?


                • #9
                  Re: Intestacy Rules

                  Hi Emerald
                  You could be spot on with your guess as to whom the solicitor was. I do not know the exact charges, or how long he served in prison, but there has been comments made by those who knew him, that it could be difficult if not impossible, to trace paperwork for which he was responsible for, My Sis in Law does have some copies of the documents, but not he one which appears to hold the solution to her problem.
                  Thank you that link, that's the first time I have found a document which uses the phrase "Deed of Family Arrangement", it is this document which either was never written, or has been lost or destroyed.
                  I also agree with your comment as to why the case is so complicated, the part referred to as Tenant, what her son is saying, (through his solicitor) that because there is no "Deed of Family Arrangement" (which it was it was know as in 1895) she has been living in a property, for which she is not the owner, and to add another twist to his claim (50K) that because my Sis in Law has had a partner since about 1993, he should have been paying rent for the time he has been there. (This is all being done through his solicitors now)
                  I will later today find out who's names are on the deeds now, I know that one is that of the solicitor who dealt with the affairs in 1985 (I think he was a partner to the one who went to prison) but I'm certain the names are given as "Administrators" because the two children were under 18 in 1985.
                  The 4k which has been mentioned, was calculated from the intestacy rules at that time 1985. I do not think there is any dispute over this figure, it could have been less. I'm not sure whether my Sis in Law has paperwork with this information, this was one of her lets say "excuses" that she was never involved with their finances, her husband (my brother) did all that, she was too young when they took out their first mortgage in 1962, that's why her name was never on the paperwork, she wasn't aware until he died, that her name wasn't on the house deeds, and the house was not in joint names.
                  As I have said previously, I believe the house would have been worth around 60K in 1985/86, it's now worth around 250-300K. I don't know how much mortgage there was on the property, but he had cancelled his life policy before her died, so she was not covered by insurance, she has since carried on paying the mortgage, which I believe is now paid up.
                  Again I agree with your comments as to "everyone is making this too complicated" but it's the solicitors who I believe are dragging this along, I know she has even seen a Barrister, who will "investigate" her sons claim that she was a"tenant" in what she thought was her own house, because he had never heard such an accusation, but it's the son's solicitors who have found this "loophole" due to the missing or never made Deed of family arrangement"

                  I will be in contact with my Sis In law later, so I will try and get some more accurate info. so please watch this space. I'll be back.


                  • #10
                    Re: Intestacy Rules


                    I have sent you a PM with a link to who I think we are talking about - won't put link on here for obvious reasons. In any event you may find it a good idea to get in touch with him, apart from his much publicised downfall his knowledge and advice was always brilliant.


                    • #11
                      Re: Intestacy Rules

                      I have some more information which may help

                      I am getting the impression , that my brothers estate wasn't fully transferred to his widow, documents she have show his estate worth around 56K, and in that year, the amount which she would get was 40k, which would have left around 16K . which would be split 50-50 between the two children, 8k each, which would mean they would have had 4k when they reached 18. (but didn't) that would have been in 1887/89
                      The problem now is. My brothers name is still on the paperwork, although he died in 1985. his widow is shown as "Personal Rep", and the solicitor who acted for my brothers estate, is a "Trustee". now whether this is where the document "Deed of Family Arrangement" (now called Deed of variation) should have been made, and perhaps never was, ???
                      My sis-in law has remained in the house,and been paying the mortgage ever since, always believing that she was the rightful owner, the paperwork she has, only refers to "The Estate" and doesn't mention the house, although this must be regarded as the estate.
                      This is why her son is saying, because his fathers name is still on the paperwork, his mother has been a tenant of the past 25 yrs. and should have paid rent.
                      I cannot see how he could win his case in a court, but it looks very likely that this will be what will happen,
                      Obviously there's no way of going back 25yrs and finding out exactly what happened to the paperwork, the solicitor who did it was sent to prison (unrelated case)
                      If anything else crops up, I will return.

                      Thanks for you advise. Razor.


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