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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  UK solicitor
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My father in law is expected to pass away this weekend and

Resolved Question:

My father in law is expected to pass away this weekend and we have just discovered he does not have a will. The deeds to the house he & his wife share are in his name only (and some bonds) - all other assets are in their joint names. What will happen legally to these assets in his name only? I can not find an emergency solicitor locally who can come out now and advise/write a will, so am considering a downloaded pack from Law Pack.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

If he does not have a Will then his estate would pass under the intestacy rules.


In the case of a married person with children then his estate would be split as follows:-

 

His personal possession and the first £250, 000.00 of his estate would go to his wife.

 

Any amount of £250, 000.00 would be split in two. The first half would pass automatically to the children in equal shares. The second half would be held on trust for the children with his wife having a life interest, which means that the wife is entitled to the income from the amount until she herself passes away. Once she has passed away the amount then passes to the children in equal shares.

 

If you google "intestacy rules" then you will see that the above is correct.

 

The house would be included in his estate, as would any other assets held in his sole name.


If this is not what is desired then he should execute a Will. However, because he is near to passing away it would be a good idea to have it witnessed by independent witnesses, preferably reliable professional persons who should also have a conversation with him to establish that he has the requisite mental capacity (ie. he understands the implications of the decisions he is making) to execute a Will.

 

Please accept my sympathies for the situation. It's obviously very difficult but you are doing the right thing in checking.

 

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kindly rate my answer if you are satisfied with the information I have provided.

Kind regards,


Tom

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you


 


Can you tell me if his joint assets e.g. their joint back accounts would be frozen during that process in the case of him a) having and b) not having a will?


 


All the children are adults who want all assets to pass solely to his wife. Will the release of those assets to his wife be speeded up and simplified by having a will?


 


 

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

 

The joint assets would pass automatically to the surviving joint owner. This is regardless of anything stating otherwise in the Will. Effectively, those joint assets are not included in the deceased's estate.

 

Yes, if he has sole assets in excess of £250, 000.00 then a Will would be the best way forward to ensure that all assets pass to his wife.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Tom

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