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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33501
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My brother in law died last year, leaving his property, including

Resolved Question:

My brother in law died last year, leaving his property, including the house, to his family by his first wife. His will also gave his widow the right to stay in the house for 6 months after his death. She wants to stay longer, but has she any such right? If she does stay, who is responsible for maintaining the house, which is not in a particularly good condition? If it is the family, do they have any rights of access?

Sorry, this is more than one question!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: 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.
How long had they lived together, how much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets and debts are there?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, and thanks for the response. Jane and George married in August 2009 and he died in September 2013. He had been fairly unwell before, but his death came after only a few weeks illness and was sooner than expected. The house (a former council house) would be worth about £180k, and George had about £60k in other assets, which were left to the family of his first wife. On their marriage Jane retained her flat (worth about £200k) and let it out, using the rent to pay off the mortgage. She inherited about £400k from her mother, who died early in 2012, and has passed a large proportion on to her children, as well as transferring the title of the flat to one of them - I think that this was done before George's final illness.


 


Just to add that the house is not in particularly good condition, and would need work to put on the market - or if Jane continues to live there.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
had they lived together prior to 2009 - if so for how long?
Does she wish to remain in the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


 


No, Jane and George did not live together at any address before 2009. They only met a couple of months before they were married. She says that she wants to remain in the property for the time being, but she is unwilling to pay for any improvements. And, of course, the family do not want to pay for any improvements while she is there and especially if she makes no commitment to move out.


 


Steve

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Does she wish to remain in the property as it is - or does she wish to make improvements but be sure that she gets the benefit of any increase in value?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


 


I think that Jane wants to decide how long she stays in the house, but doesn't want to put any money into its upkeep.


I forgot to mention earlier that George did leave Jane about £30k in his will, separately from the assets worth about £60k that he left his family.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Again for clarity - she is willing to remain in the house indefinitely in the condition that it is now?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


 


That is the conclusion that I would draw from what she has said recently.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
As his Widow she is entitled to make a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act
It was a short relationship , which means it is not a substantial claim since she has her own assets as well, but almost certainly she would have the right to either remain in the house as long as she wished - or to receive a larger lump sum
There is more information here
http://www.pcm-law.net/briefguideinheritance.html
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for that. If Jane remains in the house while not the legal owner, is she responsible for maintenance and up keep?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That will depend on what is negotiated as the settlement - the likelihood is that she will have to pay for the ongoing maintenance - the estate for major repairs
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33501
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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