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intestacy probate

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GLudGLud Forumite
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Following the death of my father-in-law in 2018 we have been fighting with his widow to have his wishes followed as he has discuss with my wife (his only daughter) and his wife (3rd marriage) 

they did not follow his wishes and have during the pat 3 years held back asset payments from the estate despite our legal team making several request, the worst case was for the pension monies which she had paid 12 months before she finally declared them to the list of assets.

We have now received the final schedule of assets where they have added an invoice for works o the property he owned £5800 and removed his half of the joint account that was in all previous schedules.

Before we sign to settle is there anyway we can have these costs reinstated and can we recover any of our legal fees where we have had to chase for information to be declared to the estate several times?

Replies

  • edited 8 April at 4:23PM
    naedangernaedanger Forumite
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    edited 8 April at 4:23PM
    I think that is a question for your legal team. No one here will know the full details to determine whether you have a good claim for legal costs.

    From what you have said I am not sure I understand a few points. You talk about your father-in-law's wishes. However if he died intestate I did not think his wishes came into it, and instead the rules of intestacy applied. It is also unusual for pension monies (other than pension instalments due to the deceased prior to their dearh) to be part of someone's estate. And if he lived in England I believe assets in a joint account also usually don't form part of someone's estate and instead pass to the surviving account holder.


  • GLudGLud Forumite
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    we know why the rules intestacy were applied but it took us over 2 years to get all assets declared, the pension was his government one that he had left deferred and never taken, not his private one.

    The confusion on the joint account was that is was left as an asset by their legal team every time until this final statement.
  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
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    If (as the heading implies) your FiL died intestate, there is a strict procedure to be followed.

    https://www.gov.uk/inherits-someone-dies-without-will


    With regard to the pension, are you sure that it was an asset of his estate?


    The money in the joint bank account would normally fall into the ownership and control of the

    surviving account holder although the deceased's share would need to be declared for IHT purposes.


  • naedangernaedanger Forumite
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    GLud said:
    we know why the rules intestacy were applied but it took us over 2 years to get all assets declared, the pension was his government one that he had left deferred and never taken, not his private one.

    The confusion on the joint account was that is was left as an asset by their legal team every time until this final statement.
    Thanks for the clarification.

    Obviously still a question for your legal team. However my thoughts are that it would not be worth pursuing, provided the inventory is now correct and the works were definitely done and did cost £5,800. My reasons being:
    - The cost spent on the property should have added to its value, so provided the valuation was based on these works having been (or assuming to have been) done then I don't think they have done anything wrong,
    - Unless there is good evidence the joint account money should have not passed by survivorship I think the inventory is now correct on this point.
    - As regards claiming your legal costs I doubt that will be worth pursuing either, but your legal team should have a better view. 
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