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  • FIRST POST
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 15th Aug 19, 2:36 PM
    • 13Posts
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    LeahXL
    STORY TIME: Inheritance Act 1975 - Protect your family
    • #1
    • 15th Aug 19, 2:36 PM
    STORY TIME: Inheritance Act 1975 - Protect your family 15th Aug 19 at 2:36 PM
    My dad died when I was a teenager and a couple of years later my Mum met someone who was 21 years her junior.

    He never worked due to mental health conditions and although we completely supported her decision in her relationship, 18 years after they got together we found out that he had been having an affair for two years and when she finished with him he went missing to 'top himself'. She kicked him out but 6 months later she got really sick. In order to help herself and to help him she offered him lodger status.

    For 3 years he lived in her home as a lodger and they remained friends but she always ensured that we knew that was all it was. They had separate bedrooms and he was never included in any events she went to or holidays or any life stuff, including our wedding.

    She made her will when they were together (within the first 5 years) and he wasn't included as she had made it clear that any inheritance was from her and my Dad and, because he didn't financially support her, she was not including him in the will.

    She passed away last year and we found it really awkward to ask him to leave the house, but he was always well aware of my mum's wishes and seemed to be compliant....until we were about to put the house on the market. Mum had a huge mortgage left to pay on her home so we had to sell the property in order to pay this whacking great big mortgage.

    He refused to leave the property and was adamant that he had a right to stay and he also thought he had a claim to some of Mum's inheritance. so much so he sought legal advice.

    He had been claiming housing benefit to pay Mum as a lodger (she couldn't support him financially when she got ill) and had only recently received money from his late fathers estate which he didn't contribute to mums home at all. To me this would be enough evidence to prove that he was not her partner as if he were this would be fraud.

    He is on contribution based ESA which means he is allowed to have as much savings as he wants without declaring it so we know that he was not claiming benefits illegally but he decided to keep all the money to help him in his future (which is fine).

    It took MONTHS and thousands of pounds before we could put the property up for sale as we had to legally have him removed from the property.

    But in the meantime he also made a claim against the will through the Inheritance Act 1975.

    For those that do not know, the Inheritance act is to protect partners or dependants of the deceased not named in the will. In some ways it's a good thing for children who fall out with their parents or partners who were forgotten about.

    His claim was that he was financially dependant on my mother (he wasn't) and that she was going to put him in the will (she wasn't) and she just didn't have time.

    She was fine up to the day before she passed away so any changes could have happened, she knew she was sick so she would have changed it when she was compus mentus.

    We have had 6 months of pure hell which could have been avoided if Mum had included a clause (which you would hope you don't need) when making her will.

    We have 5 days left before he brings the claim to court (if he does) and we have been waiting nearly 3 months since our last rejection of his claim which outlined 10 witnesses (friends of our mothers) and also a police crime number of his explicit sexual predatory behaviour of a very sick neighbour just after my mum had passed away.

    The value of the estate is small - so small it will be thrown out of court as soon as it goes in but it caused SO MUCH heartache (and still is because he still could do it out of spite!).

    This is more of a cautionary tale tbh so if there is something you really want in your will and you want to make sure the people you name in your will get what you want, you have to be extremely explicit if you don't want someone getting something.

    Obviously always seek professional legal advice but from experience the chance to grieve has been so limited due to this heartbreaking time and I just wish I had known this could have happened before so I could have asked my Mum to be careful.

    I don't know now what the outcome will be and I do hope that this is the end. 5 more anxious filled days left but hopefully this will have a better ending for me and my family.
Page 1
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 15th Aug 19, 3:43 PM
    • 6,597 Posts
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    Malthusian
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 19, 3:43 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Aug 19, 3:43 PM
    We have had 6 months of pure hell which could have been avoided if Mum had included a clause (which you would hope you don't need) when making her will.
    I'm not sure it would. He could have made a claim anyway, no matter how baseless it was. It might make it more likely to have been thrown out but you seem to think it will definitely be thrown out anyway.

    The lesson here is not "gold-plate your Will" but "don't let scroungers move into your house". If you want a lodger, advertise via a letting agent or the local papers like everyone else and do due diligence on them. I'm not criticising your mum's decision, as you say this is a cautionary tale.

    Sorry for your loss and I hope it goes well.
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 16th Aug 19, 8:38 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    • #3
    • 16th Aug 19, 8:38 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Aug 19, 8:38 AM
    Thanks for the advice - I totally agree - she should have known better.

    She was a very pragmatic woman and I always had a suspicion he would be difficult towards the end so I had countless conversations and she continued to give me reassurance he wouldn't do it but I guess I was (unfortunately) wrong.

    I just can't wait for the next 4 days for this to be (potentially) over.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Aug 19, 3:00 PM
    • 13,877 Posts
    • 11,171 Thanks
    unholyangel
    • #4
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:00 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:00 PM
    If he was claiming HB while living with your mother then either his claim now under the inheritance act is fraudulent or his claim under HB was fraudulent - the local authority isn't going to pay you housing benefit to pay your romantic partners mortgage.

    Either way, not boding well for his credibility. Perhaps you could use the above to convince him his current course of action would be unwise.

    ETA: did he pay your mother in cash or via bank? Just wondering if perhaps bank records could help - if not to show he was passing housing benefit to her then perhaps to show your mother wasn't financially supporting him. Especially if the bank records during lodger time are vastly different to the set up before they separated (ie show him as financially dependent then but not after he started claiming for housing benefit).
    Last edited by unholyangel; 16-08-2019 at 3:07 PM.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 16th Aug 19, 3:07 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    • #5
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:07 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:07 PM
    If he was claiming HB while with your mother then either his claim now under the inheritance act is fraudulent or his claim under HB was fraudulent - the local authority isn't going to pay you housing benefit to give to a partner you live with who has a mortgage.

    Either way, not boding well for his credibility. Perhaps you could use the above to convince him his current course of action would be unwise.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    We have been saying this all the way through - either you were a lodger or you weren't. I contacted our solicitors today to see if anything had happened.

    He said that if he hears nothing by the cut off date then he will call them the day after the deadline to check they didn't issue proceedings because if they have it could be a further 4 months. Either way, I will be contacting the DWP after that six month date has passed (I didn't want to unnecessarily cause aggravation).

    He is very unpredictable though so it wouldn't surprise me out of spite he wouldn't do it. Thing is, if he does do it and he wins he would get a grand total of 3k which, according to his solicitors, is not enough to keep him in a life he was (apparently) accustomed to.
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 16th Aug 19, 3:09 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    • #6
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:09 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:09 PM
    ETA: did he pay your mother in cash or via bank? Just wondering if perhaps bank records could help - if not to show he was passing housing benefit to her then perhaps to show your mother wasn't financially supporting him. Especially if the bank records during lodger time are vastly different to the set up before they separated (ie show him as financially dependent then but not after he started claiming for housing benefit).
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    We have the records to show he paid 200 every two weeks. It is (mostly) what was paid. There were a few missed payments but they were caught up further down the line.

    He then received over 65k a few months prior to my Mum's passing when his dad passed away, which he did not offer to help my mum pay her mortage (and rightfully so as he is a lodger...but a partner would have done).
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 16th Aug 19, 3:12 PM
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    unholyangel
    • #7
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:12 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:12 PM
    We have been saying this all the way through - either you were a lodger or you weren't. I contacted our solicitors today to see if anything had happened.

    He said that if he hears nothing by the cut off date then he will call them the day after the deadline to check they didn't issue proceedings because if they have it could be a further 4 months. Either way, I will be contacting the DWP after that six month date has passed (I didn't want to unnecessarily cause aggravation).

    He is very unpredictable though so it wouldn't surprise me out of spite he wouldn't do it. Thing is, if he does do it and he wins he would get a grand total of 3k which, according to his solicitors, is not enough to keep him in a life he was (apparently) accustomed to.
    Originally posted by LeahXL
    Probably not enough to repay any benefits he received during that time either!

    From that nugget (his potential gain of the claim against your mothers estate), he looks to be in a better position now than he would be by claiming. Anyone who speaks to him who could point that out? Along with the possibility of legal fees further reducing any potential funds he'd be entitled to?

    Some folk will cut their nose off to spite their face. Other people know you need to pick your battles.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 16th Aug 19, 3:19 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    • #8
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:19 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Aug 19, 3:19 PM
    Probably not enough to repay any benefits he received during that time either!

    From that nugget (his potential gain of the claim against your mothers estate), he looks to be in a better position now than he would be by claiming. Anyone who speaks to him who could point that out? Along with the possibility of legal fees further reducing any potential funds he'd be entitled to?

    Some folk will cut their nose off to spite their face. Other people know you need to pick your battles.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    I genuinely don't believe he could win, all my mothers long-term friendships (longer than how old he is!) and family members all knew her wishes and have agreed to be a witness if it ever went to court.

    He tried contacting a few of them and they ignored him but let me know that this had happened because they were angry that he thought (given he never spoke to them when she was alive) that they would lie for him.

    They also wouldn't lie for me and my brother but they certainly would stand up for what is right for my mum. She was well loved and she was also very well known for her sense of justice. If he loved and knew my mum at all he would know this.

    It's like their whole time together before his affair was still not really valid...as with the fact that the other woman is still (I believe) in his will and my mum not.

    I truly believe if proceedings were issued the judge would not even waste time on it.

    He did offer my mum a kidney (but didn't go through with it) and he feels this is enough to be granted some sort of compensation....
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 20th Aug 19, 11:12 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    • #9
    • 20th Aug 19, 11:12 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Aug 19, 11:12 AM
    UPDATE: Today is the last day and still no news. Tomorrow our solicitor is ringing his solicitor to see if they actually issued court proceedings and not informed us.

    I think they have until 5pm today to contact us and let us know.

    I am still very very anxious about it and until I know for certain tomorrow I just can't rest.

    Please keep everything crossed.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 20th Aug 19, 2:04 PM
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    Malthusian
    I am still very very anxious about it and until I know for certain tomorrow I just can't rest.

    Please keep everything crossed.
    Originally posted by LeahXL
    Unhelpful cliche warning: it's only money. Even if he has withdrawn all claim, it could still be some weeks or months before you receive the money, depending on where the solicitor is with all the other stuff that needs doing.

    So unless your finances are in dire straits and you are in urgent need of it, I would relax, i.e. live your life as if you didn't have an inheritance coming. If they are in dire straits, I would start making alternative plans, i.e. live your life as if you didn't have an inheritance coming. Because even if he has withdrawn his claim it could still take a while to release your money.

    If he was a bit more cunning he could have stolen her money while she was alive or pressured her into changing her Will. Thankfully that apparently hasn't happened, but it's happened enough times...

    An inheritance is a windfall and windfalls should be enjoyed as a bonus, not stressed over as an expectation. This still applies if the windfall is delayed by pointless legal action.

    Best of luck and I hope you get good news.
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 20th Aug 19, 2:49 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    Unhelpful cliche warning: it's only money. Even if he has withdrawn all claim, it could still be some weeks or months before you receive the money, depending on where the solicitor is with all the other stuff that needs doing.

    So unless your finances are in dire straits and you are in urgent need of it, I would relax, i.e. live your life as if you didn't have an inheritance coming. If they are in dire straits, I would start making alternative plans, i.e. live your life as if you didn't have an inheritance coming. Because even if he has withdrawn his claim it could still take a while to release your money.

    If he was a bit more cunning he could have stolen her money while she was alive or pressured her into changing her Will. Thankfully that apparently hasn't happened, but it's happened enough times...

    An inheritance is a windfall and windfalls should be enjoyed as a bonus, not stressed over as an expectation. This still applies if the windfall is delayed by pointless legal action.

    Best of luck and I hope you get good news.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    Thank you and I 100% Agree - it's not really about the money (there isn't much, like nothing life changing) but more about my Mum and her memory and the fact he has made a mockery of her and told so many lies.

    The house does need to be sold still and that is where all the money is. Once that goes through I am pretty sure it comes to me (as executor) to do as my mum wished in her Will.

    Luckily it's just me and my brother so nothing complicated. 50/50 right down the middle and he lives in the States.
    • Dox
    • By Dox 20th Aug 19, 3:03 PM
    • 1,560 Posts
    • 1,172 Thanks
    Dox
    UPDATE: Today is the last day and still no news. Tomorrow our solicitor is ringing his solicitor to see if they actually issued court proceedings and not informed us.

    I think they have until 5pm today to contact us and let us know.

    I am still very very anxious about it and until I know for certain tomorrow I just can't rest.

    Please keep everything crossed.
    Originally posted by LeahXL
    Posting here doesn't make an iota of difference, I'm afraid!
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 20th Aug 19, 3:06 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    Posting here doesn't make an iota of difference, I'm afraid!
    Originally posted by Dox
    True story.
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 22nd Aug 19, 9:02 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    UPDATE: He dropped the case - said he wanted to move on. It just proves to me that he knew what he had done was wrong. We can all finally move on.
    • hb2
    • By hb2 22nd Aug 19, 9:15 AM
    • 478 Posts
    • 1,767 Thanks
    hb2
    Thank you for the update. I hope you will now be able to put this behind you and concentrate on the important things in your life.
    • LeahXL
    • By LeahXL 22nd Aug 19, 9:23 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LeahXL
    Thank you for the update. I hope you will now be able to put this behind you and concentrate on the important things in your life.
    Originally posted by hb2
    100% This has been quite consuming in terms of anxiety and stress levels but I have my job and have my family and a roof over my head so the things important are ok.
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