Intestate

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
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Keir66Keir66 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
Hi All

I would really like some advice on a situation we have found ourselves in recently. My MIL died recently but left no will. Previously her four children had been asked to help her buy her council house but only one child could afford to do so at the time. Fast forward a few years to recently when that relative has asked that all of his siblings sign a document relinquishing any inheritance they have on their mother's property.

He is apparently doing this on the grounds of ' I payed the mortgage for 5 years so the house is mine'

We are questioning somewhat quietly if this is legally correct given she died intestate and her name was on the deeds of the house but her son was allegedly paying the mortage payments. We have no proof that he was in fact paying the mortage payments. We find this difficult to believe as at points during the last years he has been unemployed.

Please some advice would be appreiciated in what may be a difficult situation.
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Replies

  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    You could all stick to the letter of the law and have the estate divided four ways.

    You could get confirmation of how much he has actually paid - bank statements, etc - take that out of the value of the estate for him and then divide what's left between the four of you.
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    Since any one of you can get letters of adminsitration, I strongly recommend that 2 of the other children get this done urgently.

    they can download the forms from the Probate web-site. http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/probate

    That will ensure that the rest of the siblings have some control over the situation.

    You may also want to check the Land Registry web-site http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public which will enable you to see whether there is a mortgage attached to the house and who the provider is.

    The administrators will be able to discuss the mortgage with the company and sort that out. They can also ask for copies of all bank statement if necessary to confirm where the money for the mortgage has come from.

    My personal view is that the relative who has contributed should be re-imbursed and then the rest of the estate split (what would otherwise be called a deed of variation).
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    This has all the signs of getting messy and becoming a family dispute.

    I would check the terms of RTB on this claim it may be outwith the rules which gives some potential control.

    clearly one has made their position known
    What do the other 3 kids want to happen?
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
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    RAS wrote: »
    My personal view is that the relative who has contributed should be re-imbursed and then the rest of the estate split (what would otherwise be called a deed of variation).

    Another more equitable view.

    The person that paid the debts(mortgage) gets that % of the property and pays off the mortgage from that share.

    The discounted RTB % gets split between the benificiaries.

    There will be other ways to split the pot but a refund of payments does not reflect the risks involved.

    There is another issue that if the person paying the mortgage tries to put in a claim and was not lliving there they may have a CGT assesment as well as the potential issues with RTB(which I have no experience of).
  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    My only experience of the right to buy was viewing a suitable ex council house only to discover that the owner could not sell it (in the year 2001) until she had owned it for 5 years (and and keep the discount). It would also have come with some restrictive covenants that were a method for the council to extract more money from the buyer.

    First question - why did the other three children fail to help provide a roof over the head of the widow (?) !

    It looks to me as though the supportive brother was taking a huge risk (one in 3 - 4 ?) that mum would have gone into a care home and the whole lot could have been grabbed back by the local council to pay the fees?

    Step one is definitely to get an on-line print of the Land Registry and see if there is any sort of restriction on it for the benefit of the council or the son. Paste the entry on here and someone will be able to comment on what is says.

    If you want to share this out legally get your own lawyer on the job.

    When it comes to fairness, and therr is nothing fair about life it is nearly all down to chances, I would start with the capital value including the discount 5 years ago and work out what would have been the situation if mum and the 4 children had shared the purchase of the house, then work out how the sums would have worked out had the 5 of them owned the house at the date of death. Then work out the interest the other children could have earned by "saving" that monthly commitment.

    To my way of thinking mum's legacy consists of the percentage of the house value "bought" by paying rent for years and earning the discount plus any of her own capital put into the purchase. The four children then have the figures to argue about how much capital the brother put into the house and what it cost him to rent the use of that money for 5 years. That should show how much "profit" his part of the house has made in 5 years.
    Depending where in the country the house is, he may well have made a loss or in the London area a nice profit. Surely that was his gamble? Nobody forced mum to buy her all expenses paid council home.

    Presumably the document the brother wants signed is a "deed of family arrangement", perhaps better known as a "deed of variation", that has to be "signed sealed and delivered" in front of a witness?

    When the four all agree the "fair" settlement, all four can draw up such a deed to share out mothers estate; in effect writing a retrospective will for her within 24 months of her death.
  • ben9090ben9090 Forumite
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    If someone leaves a house in a will can they insist that its sold and the proceeds split rather then having to split it between multiple people and them having to sell it. There are 4 siblings (my wife being one) and 1 is a total head case (see my other posts!)

    He will refuse to sell / refuse all offers etc and let it go to rot. Therefore could it be sold without his involvement and then the porceeds split? Would we need to name someone to negotiate the offers for the estate? My wife has power of attorney for this person making the will so we were considering trying to overcome potential problems in advance!

    Thanks for your help.

    Ben
  • ben9090ben9090 Forumite
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    Sorry for hijacking your thread, stupid work compuer is so slow Ive replied to thread instead of posting a new topic!
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    ben9090 wrote: »
    If someone leaves a house in a will can they insist that its sold and the proceeds split rather then having to split it between multiple people and them having to sell it. There are 4 siblings (my wife being one) and 1 is a total head case (see my other posts!)

    It very often causes problems if a property gets left to a group of people - one may want to rent it out, one may want to live in it, one may just refuse to sign anything, one will hold out for an unrealistic price, etc.

    It's usually better if the executors can sell the house and divide the proceeds, although you can still get problems if the executors have different ideas about the house's value.
  • troubleinparadisetroubleinparadise Forumite
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    ben9090 wrote: »
    If someone leaves a house in a will can they insist that its sold and the proceeds split rather then having to split it between multiple people and them having to sell it. There are 4 siblings (my wife being one) and 1 is a total head case (see my other posts!)

    He will refuse to sell / refuse all offers etc and let it go to rot. Therefore could it be sold without his involvement and then the porceeds split? Would we need to name someone to negotiate the offers for the estate? My wife has power of attorney for this person making the will so we were considering trying to overcome potential problems in advance!

    Thanks for your help.

    Ben

    Dear Ben,

    The wording of the will can make it clear that the property is to be sold and the proceeds shared equally, or divided up into percentages, between named persons (beneficiaries) and distributed.

    The executor/s named in the will can sell the house according to the wording in the will and distribute the proceeds as instructed. Your wife could be one of the executors if the testator wishes. No beneficiary should witness the will.

    Whilst your wife has POA for the testator, she cannot use the POA to write that person's will. The testator should have capacity (be mentally able) to make and understand the will for themselves. Her POA will cease upon the date of death of the donor and no longer be valid.
  • madbadrobmadbadrob Forumite
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    Keir66 as others have said your first stop is the land registry and see who actually owned the property. If it was just the deceased then under intestacy rules the house should be sold and the inheritance split between the entitled heirs in relation to prescribed law. That being first the spouse if he/she survived then the deceased's full blood children. Whether one person paid the mortgage or not doesnt come into it. If after the shares have been made you all want to pay an equal amount to the person who has paid the mortgage that is up to you but in the eyes of the law there is no requirement to

    Rob
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