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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34236
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I gave up my job and home to look after my elderly mother who

Customer Question

I gave up my job and home to look after my elderly mother who suffered from Alzheimer. She died last year leaving 3 surviving children, me and two brothers. I still live in her home and have gone back to work to try to make up years of little or no income. We have reached probate stage and the brothers will want their share of the estate. I don't think there would be much estate to share out had my mother been looked after in a care home or hired carers. I have been told I am entitled to a larger share of the estate because I gave up my own income and home. I cannot afford to buy them both brothers shares outright. Can you clarify whether I am entitled to more of the estate than my brothers? This sounds very mercenary and I don't mean it to be that way. I will need a solicitor's advice, probably one on one. Thank you. Alexandra Wood
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

Thank you question.

I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Did your mother leave a Will?
How much is the estate worth?
Did you own the home that you gave up?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Clare,

Backwards answers. No I did not own the home. It was a rental in Devon. I think the estate is worth £270,000 approx., Yes she left a will.

Thank you

Alexandra Wood

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

Thank you - backwards is fine!
Was the Estate shared equally between you and have you discussed the issue of the sacrifice you made with your brothers?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

After small amounts going to grandchildren and friends, yes, the estate is to be divided between the surviving three. My sister died a few months before mother.

Only yesterday did I bring up the matter with one brother who is an Executor and dealing with the probate. He seemed not to have thought about it at all.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

How long were you out of work caring mother?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I came back to my mother's house in April 2010 and was able to work a little on a part time basis rest of that year. In 2011 I had a part time rather badly paid job. By the end of that year my mother's dementia was so bad I could no longer go to work. I did not work at all throughout 2012, 2013 and only returned to work in June 2014 when I had settled her into a care home. She died at the end of July. So about two and a half years of not working at all. None of it was easy. The point being that I was unable to hold onto my own furniture and possessions and unable to work properly towards my own future. Nobody else was affected in this way.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.

Since you were financially dependent on your mother at the time of her death provision of your housing then you have a potential claim on the state larger share of the assets
You can read more here
http://www.pcm-law.net/briefguideinheritance.html
There is a time limit of six months from the Grant of Probate - but this can in some cases be extended - and in any event it can be used as a negotiation point with your brothers - as the cost and delay if they have to try to evict you is likely to be higher than if they simply make you an offer of a larger share
You may wish to negotiate with them using Family mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
Please ask if you need further details
Clare