To ask WWYD re inheritance(279 Posts)
I'll try to keep this as brief as poss, more of a WWYD I think
DM and DF bought a house 20 years ago (v nice location, meant for their retirement) months before DM passed away (v sudden and unexpected). DF met someone else (let's call her W from witch) v soon after (months) and again v soon after that he retired, sold his business interests and moved in with W into said house.
I did find it all rushed at the time but I was 20 hrs old, devastated after losing DM and just wanted DF to be happy. There was never any conflict between me and W, quite the opposite, although as the years went by I came to realise she was very selfish towards DF and just not a nice person.
About 5 years ago, DF's health deteriorated and I believe he and W have arranged wills. In a casual convo they told me that the agreement is that the surviving partner gets to remain in the house until their death, at which point it will be sold and split equally between me and W's son.
I had no objection whatsoever, my main concern was DF getting better and I even refused to talk about wills and inheritance and things like that. The justification was that W has sold her property whilst living with DF and given DF half the value of the house - I find this vv hard to believe as DF also sold another 2 properties whilst with her (again bought together with DM), had a pension and still worked; there's no way he could have spent all that money. But as it was now her home as well I felt that was the right thing to do.
My DF passed away too a couple of years ago, it completely floored me and the last thing on my mind was this house. Before the funeral she told me it would cost £8k to "read the will" and as we already know what their agreement was, there is no point to waste so much money.
I kept in v close contact with W, mainly because I felt she was a kind of link I had with DF's memory but as months went by this link started to fade and she became somewhat disinterested. However every time I went to see her, take her out for lunch etc she made a point of telling me how her son has given her money for various home improvements and generally pointing out many negatives about the house - they all seemed if not made up, then greatly exaggerated.
This made me somehow suspicious so one day over lunch I've casually asked to see DF's will. All hell broke loose, she started screaming at me, calling me names and stormed off. Just like that.
She has not spoken to me since, although bar a birthday card and a card for an anniversary, I've made no attempt either. I have though searched online and there is no will logged with DF's name; I've also looked up land registry records and the house has been in her name since 2003 (I presume DF's name was also on it and taken off).
I guess my question would be If there's anywhere to go from here? If the house is now solely in her name and I don't have a copy of DF's will, does that mean I have no claim whatsoever? Is there any point paying a solicitor?
It's hell of a lot of money to say goodbye to, but what kills me is it's the house DM bought and envisaged retiring in and this nasty woman got everything DM didn't have a chance to. And why didn't I say anything to DF at the time, but that's another thread.
This came up not that long ago in another thread. You can get the will online for a 10 quid fee:
I'd do that and hire an estates solicitor to review it for you.
Miss I have tried that already but DF's name is not on the list.
Does that mean his will has not been executed or doesn't exist? I'm pretty sure that when writing it he would have left W to deal with legal side, sorting out with solicitors etc but I cannot yet bring myself to believe she would have chucked it in the bin then and the whole thing has been premeditated.
Do you know who his solicitor was? If so, ring them and ask if they have it on file. If you're named in the will in any way they should be willing to send you a copy. If he passed recently it might not be available yet on line.
If you don't know who his solicitor is, find one of your own who does estate work and ask them how to proceed. Wills in probate are public documents. You should absolutely make sure your fathers wishes are being followed. The fact that W blew up at you when you asked about it is very telling. It was a perfectly reasonable question.
If he died without a will and didn't marry her then you should inherit his estate. House is her name, sneaky bitch, so doubt you'll have claim on that but his money should've been accounted for.
She's lying through her teeth and knows you know it.
That sounds awful and I very much sympathise. In several generations in my family the inheritance has passed to step-relatives and I feel it’s very unfair to bio family who are denied the fruits of their parents’ labours. You should absolutely pursue this.
I don't know who DF's solicitor was although it's a small town so I could probably find out; it would also be W's solicitor though so I doubt they would want to talk to me.DF passed away in 2013 so I think it should be online by now, I'm starting to think this will has never been actually properly recorded with a solicitor.
Thank you for your advice Miss
I wouldn’t waste money chasing this , it will just cost you in the long run . Similar happened with my GF , GM died , new woman on scene within months and when he died she got the lot , despite GM thinking she had protected her 2 sons before she passed . My uncle tried very hard to challenge it and got nowhere .
No, they were not married.
ijust she said there was no money in his account when he died, which I absolutely believe and good for him, I'm glad he enjoyed it while he was here. I'm sure her bank account is brimming but that's another story.
Would I still not have a claim on the house even if it was in joint names and she applied to land registry to take his name off it after he passed away ?
You can obtain the will, it's a public document.
You can also obtain the deeds to the house, through land registry, so that will show the reansfers of ownership.
I believe he and W have arranged wills. In a casual convo they told me that the agreement is that the surviving partner gets to remain in the house until their death, at which point it will be sold and split equally between me and W's son.
So you don't know if a will was made? The house may have been in joint names, in which case it defaults to her.
Or, IF the house was in joint names its quite possible it was a mirror will and the survivor (Step mother) inherited. If so, it is hers to do what she wishes with it.
IF the property was in your DFs sole name he has two choices (a) to SM (b) SM has life interest.
As shes already invested in the house, I'm guessing he has left his 50% to her, or it has defaulted to her
This sounds dodgy as get out. If she was left in charge an didn't register hIs wil surely the estate would have to be split equally between you and her as his next of kin. Get a solicitor, and getvit checked out
Would I still not have a claim on the house even if it was in joint names and she applied to land registry to take his name off it after he passed away
Almost certainly not. Most things like this are known as "either &/or survivor" unless otherwise stipulated
If she wasn’t his legal NOK and there was no will surely she wouldn’t be able to just remove his name , can you do that ?
My bet is she's planning for the whole house to go to her son. You will never be in her final will.
You must take action. They were not married. You have WAY more rights!!!!
your OP asked WWYD.
well, i would pursue it legally and ascertain if there was a will that could be found, has it been managed correctly, and who / what should your fathers estate have gone to
for all you know he made a will saying that the lot should go to her. or to the dog home. or you. whatever. doesn't matter. i would expect clarity, and pursue it. for my own peace of mind and to ensure the wishes of my father were respected.
you NEED to pursue it. i'm glad you've alreayd done the obvious thing of checking if there's a will logged as part of the public record - the fact that it wasn't on its own needs some investigation, surely!
Splinterz I know DF wrote a will as he told me so. But as I couldn't find it online, I assume W never registered it with solicitors (I'm pretty sure DF would have let her sort out the legal bit).
I remember seeing a kind of document which said in a few lines at the bottom that the house is to be split between myself and W's son after the death of the surviving partner.
Sorry I have no knowledge of legal stuff; would it be possible that DF left the house to W and this letter I remember was a kind of condition/addendum? If so, would it have any bearing ?
In your position OP, I would certainly seek legal advice. It sounds like this woman has not acted on your fathers wishes. If she has nothing to hide then why not just show you the will?
Go and see a lawyer. Ideally you should track down the lawyer who helped with the wills. You won't be able to see W's will, but if he did both, he'll talk to you.
Tbh, I wouldn't believe a word that woman has said. Assume everything she's told you is wrong. I'm sorry you've had to go through all this, but I hope you can find out the truth.
The will is only available if it went to probate. If the house was in joint names and he had no other sole assets then I'm not sure it would have been required. However, if he had pensions it's possible these might have included life cover that should have gone to you as nok unless he named her as a nominee. If the relationship with her has broken down you could chase it, but it's likely to cost a lot.
Thank you all for your advice, this sounds horrible but it's not so much DF's wishes being ignored as I feel it's a bit of a "made his bed" situation, but I am just so gutted for DM. She was an amazing woman and I know I was her world and she was mine and she would be devastated.
I will try to track down his solicitors and go from there, I think I got a good chance of finding them but I feel embarrassed, although I know i shouldn't.
"No, they were not married."
As far as I am aware, if they were not married, W cannot inherit unless named on the will, and then she will only inherit what was bequeathed to her.
Nor can she close his affairs (including bank accounts) unless she is the only named executor.
Get a solicitor.
"Tbh, I wouldn't believe a word that woman has said. Assume everything she's told you is wrong."
^ ^ ^ this
If both their names were on the title any rights he had to the house would have ceased to exist when he died including your right to inherit unless he made an act of severance like writing a will. Do you have a ytgingthat would prove that he intended to act on his share separately. Examples of this could include but not be limited to him taking out a loan only in his name garunteed by his half share of the property, a chain of emails or a letter notifying W that he wanted to treat their shares as separate, an attempt to sell his share either to W or someone else.
I would suggest that you first try to find the will. If not then your only hope is in severance. You may also consider asking for copies of his bank statements at the time that he died. Even a couple thousand pounds could give you the upper hand. She's acting like she has something to hide so you may be able to intimidate her into a settlement.
Oh, op. I have nothing to offer that would be of any help but persue this if you can, this does not sound right at all.
^ Before the funeral she told me it would cost £8k to "read the will" and as we already know what their agreement was, there is no point to waste so much money.^
So she basically did admit there was a will. Does this not need to be declared at probate? It all smells quite dodgy and you need to get to the bottom of this one way or the other. Absolutely I would look into this further.
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