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  • FIRST POST
    • muddyl
    • By muddyl 4th Feb 18, 10:25 PM
    • 557Posts
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    muddyl
    Advice on death without a will.
    • #1
    • 4th Feb 18, 10:25 PM
    Advice on death without a will. 4th Feb 18 at 10:25 PM
    Hi all,

    Looking for some advice please to help my wifes family out if possible.

    A member of my wifes family has terminal cancer and is coming to the end of her life.

    We have encouraged her to write a will but she's never organised that or anything else financial at all. She has lived with the same partner for approx 20 years.
    They live in an ex council house. The house in his name as it was previously his mothers that she rented from the council, but my wifes relative paid to buy the property and still has receipts etc to prove this.

    Without a will, what will happen with the the property and her possessions when she passes?
    The man she lives with is horrible, he's been a bully to her for years and made her life hell. We don't care if her estate goes to charity, we just don't want him getting everything after what he's put her through. She asked a solicitor who said she had to get him to sign a form to say she is entitled to 50% of the property but he's refused. This seems a little odd to me as all he has to do is continue refusing and he gets the lot.

    Any advice or help appreciated.

    Cheers
Page 1
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 4th Feb 18, 10:41 PM
    • 4,990 Posts
    • 5,552 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 4th Feb 18, 10:41 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Feb 18, 10:41 PM
    Your relative could not buy the house under right to buy so she does not have a receipt from the council, which is why the house is in his sole name.

    She cannot leave the house to anyone as she does not own it. If she stumped up the money it was either a gift or a loan. If the latter then it becomes a debt owed to her estate whether she has a will or not. A loan should have an agreement properly drawn up, otherwise it is going to be a hard thing to prove it was actually a loan.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 4th Feb 18, 10:55 PM
    • 4,136 Posts
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    Yorkshireman99
    • #3
    • 4th Feb 18, 10:55 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Feb 18, 10:55 PM
    If they are not married the partner inherits nothing if there is no will.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 4th Feb 18, 10:59 PM
    • 4,990 Posts
    • 5,552 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #4
    • 4th Feb 18, 10:59 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Feb 18, 10:59 PM
    If they are not married the partner inherits nothing if there is no will.
    Originally posted by Yorkshireman99
    Although if everything is in joint accounts then it all becomes his and the estate consist of nothing but chattels.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 5th Feb 18, 1:51 PM
    • 6,487 Posts
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    TBagpuss
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 18, 1:51 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Feb 18, 1:51 PM
    Unfortunately, if the house is in his name then the property is his, and will remain his after your relative's death.

    She could, if she wanted, make a claim for an interest in the property. She would have to show that the money she put in was paid on on the basis of an understanding that she would be entitled to a share of the house. This is probably not something she wants to get into now, while she is coping with her illness, and if she is not someone who wants to deal with financial or legal issues.

    If there are personal items of sentimental value then the most sensible thing may be for her to gift these to her family of friends now - so anything like family photos etc can be passed on as gifts in her lifetime.

    If she passes on the receipts she has to whoever would be entitled to act as administrator of her estate they could then take advice about whether any claim could be made against the property but I think in her absence, and with no evidence that she sought to pursue any claim while they were both alive, it would be very difficult to prove anything.

    If she saw a solicitor and said that she wanted to pursue a claim, and got the solicitor to write to her partner and to set out her claim then it might be easier to pursue it even after she is gone, but since you say you don't want it for yourselves, the more practical thing to do may be simply to let it go, and to reassure your relative that you don't need or want anything from her unless she has keepsakes she would like you have, so it is not a source of stress for her in her final weeks or months.
    • pphillips
    • By pphillips 5th Feb 18, 3:28 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 204 Thanks
    pphillips
    • #6
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:28 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Feb 18, 3:28 PM
    Without a valid will, her estate will pass under the rules of intestacy to her closest blood relatives but if there are no relatives then her estate will go to the Crown.

    Regarding the property - Check the ownership.
    https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry
    If he owns the property then it is his - but depends on her contributions
    If she owns the property then it is hers - but depends on his contributions
    If they own the property as joint tenants in equity, then it will automatically become his unless she severs the tenancy and then they will each own 50%
    If they own the property as tenants in common, they may have already specified what each others shares are - normally split 50/50.
    Last edited by pphillips; 05-02-2018 at 3:39 PM.
    • muddyl
    • By muddyl 7th Feb 18, 3:53 PM
    • 557 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    muddyl
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 3:53 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 3:53 PM
    Thanks for all the advice.

    She's decided not to pursue the whole house issue. She's also started to pass on some of her possesions to family members and close friends.

    She's decided she wants her sister to take control of her bank accounts. Does this need to be done within a bank as it won't be long and she will be house bound? She's not yet but she's very reluctant to leave the house.
    What would we need to do with this?

    Thanks.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 7th Feb 18, 4:16 PM
    • 32,035 Posts
    • 19,222 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 4:16 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 4:16 PM
    Thanks for all the advice.

    She's decided not to pursue the whole house issue. She's also started to pass on some of her possesions to family members and close friends.

    She's decided she wants her sister to take control of her bank accounts. Does this need to be done within a bank as it won't be long and she will be house bound? She's not yet but she's very reluctant to leave the house.
    What would we need to do with this?

    Thanks.
    Originally posted by muddyl
    Sometimes in these situations a pragmatic approach of just gifting the contents of the accounts to the sister to deal with stuff and shut the accounts may be easier than trying to set up any sort of POA, Joint status etc.

    sounds like it is too late for LPA and standard POA would cease if she became too ill.

    If there are significant funds/assets and the sister would not be the beneficiary then an adjusted strategy may be needed but still gift away everything.
    • muddyl
    • By muddyl 7th Feb 18, 10:01 PM
    • 557 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    muddyl
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:01 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:01 PM
    Sometimes in these situations a pragmatic approach of just gifting the contents of the accounts to the sister to deal with stuff and shut the accounts may be easier than trying to set up any sort of POA, Joint status etc.

    sounds like it is too late for LPA and standard POA would cease if she became too ill.

    If there are significant funds/assets and the sister would not be the beneficiary then an adjusted strategy may be needed but still gift away everything.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Thanks for the help.

    Talking to my wife today, it seems like the relative has deteriorated significantly in the last week after deciding to give up on chemo treatment and is pretty much house bound now. So getting the finances sorted out in any way is going to be hard work. I don't believe there is a significant amount, it would have just been simpler if this had been sorted previously.

    If nothing else, it shows the importance of getting your affairs in order well in advance.
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