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  • FIRST POST
    • dbd2012
    • By dbd2012 14th Mar 17, 2:11 PM
    • 2Posts
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    dbd2012
    Intestate inheritance advice
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:11 PM
    Intestate inheritance advice 14th Mar 17 at 2:11 PM
    Hello,

    I need some advice on behalf of my mother.

    My great grandmother passed away in 1966 without leaving a will but owned some property and a business with debts. My grandfather lived and ran a haulage business from the property at the time of his motherís death and paid his sister a sum equal to the value of the property to avoid selling it - this transaction was never documented / in a signed contract. He also paid off the debts associated with the property and my great grandmotherís business.

    My grandfather continued living at the property until he passed away around 7 years ago. My mother has also lived at the property for around 40 years and is listed on the deeds. She is worried that one of her cousins (her fatherís sisterís children and descendants) has the legal right of claiming inheritance of her property due to nothing ever being documented regarding the transfer of assets / settling of estate etc.

    Any help would be greatly received.

    Thanks,
    Justin
Page 1
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Mar 17, 2:20 PM
    • 2,309 Posts
    • 1,845 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:20 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:20 PM
    Hello,

    I need some advice on behalf of my mother.

    My great grandmother passed away in 1966 without leaving a will but owned some property and a business with debts. My grandfather lived and ran a haulage business from the property at the time of his mother’s death and paid his sister a sum equal to the value of the property to avoid selling it - this transaction was never documented / in a signed contract. He also paid off the debts associated with the property and my great grandmother’s business.

    My grandfather continued living at the property until he passed away around 7 years ago. My mother has also lived at the property for around 40 years and is listed on the deeds. She is worried that one of her cousins (her father’s sister’s children and descendants) has the legal right of claiming inheritance of her property due to nothing ever being documented regarding the transfer of assets / settling of estate etc.

    Any help would be greatly received.

    Thanks,
    Justin
    Originally posted by dbd2012
    Start here to work out who inherits in the case of intestacy.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/death-and-wills/who-can-inherit-if-there-is-no-will-the-rules-of-intestacy/

    You need to work through the two estates. Then someone can apply for letters of administration to admionister the two estates. You probably need to consult a solicitor in view of the time and complexity.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 14-03-2017 at 2:23 PM.
    • dbd2012
    • By dbd2012 14th Mar 17, 2:30 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    dbd2012
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:30 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:30 PM
    Thanks for the advice @Yorkshireman99 - it is very complicated and the main issue is that the payment made by my deceased grandfather to his sister is only part documented. The original intestate estate was administered by my grandfather but the documentation is sparse!

    Any other advice about time limits on making a claim on an intestate estate would be great, as far as I can tell any blood descendant could claim on an estate where there was no will which would probably cover most of medieval Britain!!
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 14th Mar 17, 2:43 PM
    • 2,309 Posts
    • 1,845 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:43 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 2:43 PM
    Thanks for the advice @Yorkshireman99 - it is very complicated and the main issue is that the payment made by my deceased grandfather to his sister is only part documented. The original intestate estate was administered by my grandfather but the documentation is sparse!

    Any other advice about time limits on making a claim on an intestate estate would be great, as far as I can tell any blood descendant could claim on an estate where there was no will which would probably cover most of medieval Britain!!
    Originally posted by dbd2012
    It as not as difficult as t you imagine! If an estate has been administered the there should be a grant of probate. A copy of any will can be obtain for a small fee.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 21st Mar 17, 4:54 PM
    • 5,465 Posts
    • 7,147 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    • #5
    • 21st Mar 17, 4:54 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Mar 17, 4:54 PM
    Was the property transferred into grandfather's name?
    What was the 'part documentation'?

    Is the sister still alive?

    If sister is alive, then it would be sensible for her to provide a statemetn confrmaing that she received a lump sum and wasbought out by her brother.

    If she isn't, then your mother should ensure that she has, and keeps, as much documentation as possible to show what happened.

    If one of the cousins were to make a claim, then ultimately, a court would have to deice whether or not, on the balance of probablities, Sistrer recieved her sahre of the estate or not.

    Obviosuly the fact that there is some doecumentation relating to her having a payment, and the fact that following her mother's death, she made no attempt, in the following 40 years, to calim her share of the estate, would be relevant. I suspect that a court would probably accept that it was more likely than not that the payment was made and that she did, therefore, receive her entitlement.

    It may be worth checking when the property was registered in your gradfather's name and whether the solicitors who dealt with that still have any paperwork. I realise it was all a very long time ago but it is not impossible that some documents still exisit.

    I am not sure about time limites. Generally speaking there is no time limit for a claim for a breach of trust, so if the claim was that grandfather was administering the estate and dishonestly failed in his duty as a trsutee to distribute the estate correctly, a claim could theoretically be made. However, if his action was innocent or neglogent, trather then deliberately dishonest, the normal 6 year time limit applis.

    BUT there is also a legal doctrine called 'laches' - it is a defence which basically allows the defendent to argue that the claimant accetped the situtation - so in your case, the argument would be that even if Sister didn't get her full share, she accepted that situation and chose not to make any kind of claim to recover it, and that her delay makes it unfair for the claim to be made. (in the case, the argument would probably be that due to the delay, it is no longer to properly defend the case, as grandfather isn't there to give eveidence of the payments he made, nor can sister be questioned about what she did or did not receive) (thats a bit of a simplification but broadly accurate)

    So, it seem unlikely that they would have much chace of success.

    As a first step, do a search to see whether there was a formal grant of letters of administration / probate for either your grandfather's, or great grandmother's estates.
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