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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34266
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My brother is attempting to claim money from me that is over

Resolved Question:

My brother is attempting to claim money from me that is over and above what was left to him in my mothers will. I was the main beneficiary of her will because since he started to work he never contributed to the family finances. He returned home from abroad after many decades and has been in the UK since 2001. Up to now he has not been able to stand on his own feet. Besides that he has received numerous sums of money whilst living abroad where he managed to get into severe financial difficulties. This depleted my parents savings.
He is now threatening legal action and has hired solicitors on a no win no fee basis unless I comply with his demands or agree to mediation. I feel he has no rights to further amount then the £20,000 that my mother left to him in her will.
His attitude is that I am obliged to support him for the rest of his and his wife's life. In short am I obliged to attend mediation procedures or indeed respond in any way to his demands?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When was Probate granted and how much was the Estate worth?
When did your mother last give him money?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear Clare

Thank you for responding so quickly. The answers to your questions are:

1. Probate was granted on 3 Oct 2014

2, The value of the estate was £642,015.00 which includes the value of a flat left to me.

I would like you to take the following information into account in responding back to me.

1. My mother left the bulk of her estate to me and bequeathed £20,000.00 to my brother.

2. In a codicil she explained the reasons for the lesser provision in the case of my brother.

In summary it is because he left for South Africa 35 years ago returning to the UK in 2001. During that period he got married and then relied on my parents to assist him financially throughout his stay in South Africa. On his return with his wife in 2001 he remained with meagre means and continued to rely on our parents financially. Shortly after he became virtually homeless and this time my mother agreed to give them £20,000.00 towards the purchase of a studio flat. Even though fit and able to work he kept badgering my mother for money as and when he ran short. That pattern continued to the time of her death. During all this time his wife never sought employment to bolster their finances.

My mother is on record as to how severely the constant hand-outs to my brother depleted her savings and how she had to neglect her own needs. In contrast to my brother's inconsiderate attitude towards my parents I worked and supported my parents to the extent that I did not get married. My mother is also on record to that fact.

In leaving the bulk of her estate to me my mother asked me to exercise fair judgement in any future dealings or arrangement concerning my brother's welfare. I have to state to you quite clearly that I never had the opportunity to discuss my mothers estate with my brother as he immediately instituted a claim against me within weeks of my mothers funeral.

I also have to let you know that the solicitor who was recommended to me has advised me he has calculated under the Dependency Act that I am obliged to offer him a sum of £17.500.00 as he is entitled to it. Is that the case?

What I am seeking from you is advise on how I should deal with my brothers claims and his threats to take legal action or push me prematurely into a mediation procedure. In essence I need advise on how to best deal with my brothers bullying tactics.

With my thanks and appreciation for your interest.

June

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
May I just check - he is suggesting that you offer him £17,500?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

The sum of £17.500 as an offer to my borther was suggrested by my solicitor. In fact, he has written to my brothers solicitor accepting the fact that my brother's status of being an adult child was in line with the family and dependancy Act 1975 ("the Inheritance Act).

I really don't understand why my solicitor accepted my brothers status as adult child. The inheritance Act was never explained to me hence I am totally confused and appreciate your continuting interest.

At this stage I would like to agree with you on what your charges might be as you proceed in advising me.

Looking forward to your reply..

With thanks

June

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Offering £17,500 is effectively a token offer to make your brother go away.
It is about giving him a small sum to save the costs of a legal fight in terms of money time and emotion .
Your brother was used to being financially dependent on your mother in terms of her ability and willingness to help him whenever asked.
Your brother is indeed an Adult child of the deceased and accordingly is entitled to bring a claim - which does not mean that he will be successful - indeed I believe he would not BUT that fight could be long and expensive - hence the token offer.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Bad service was ticked in error. It should have been 4 Stars for good service.

June

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi June
Thank you - that is very kind i hope all goes well
Clare
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