My mother sadly passed away 2 weeks ago, she was an extremely organised person. For many years she had told my sister and I everything about her will etc. My step father has informed us she has left no will. We both believe this is not true. He is now also telling us the house has been remortgaged. Mum had cancer and it was very quick in the end. She repeatedly told my sister in front of my step father that everything was documented and we would be looked after. We believe we have been told many lies... No life insurance, no pre paid funeral plan etc. We know Mum had these as she had told us numerous times. How can we find out about the life insurances, house etc? We are not looking into this for greed, there are personal reasons also. Mum did not want anything to go to my step fathers children. Any help or direction would be appreciated
Thehouse is valued at approx £500,000. Pensions £40,000 a year, life insurances totalling nearly 200,000
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.
My name is ***** ***** am happy to assist you with your enquiry.
The first thing you need to do is to try and establish that your Mother did indeed make a Will. Then, and only then, will you have the legal right to challenge your stepfather over the life insurance etc.
More often than not, a client will leave their original Will with the Solicitor who drafted it.
You therefore need to contact your Mother's Solicitor, if she had one/you know who they are. Sadly, there is no central register of Wills, so it is really a case of looking in the dark. You could also ask her Bank, who may be holding it.
You can find solicitors in your Mother's area who deal with Wills by using the following Law Society website search engine:-
Select "wills and probate" - all medium sized high street practices will have private client department that deal with issues like this as well as tradition probate/will functions.
I'm afraid the fact that your Mother had told you that she had made all the necessary arrangements concerning her Estate is no grounds for you to take action against step father at this stage.
However, if you are adamant that your Mother left a Will, and it sounds to me that you are, and you wish to pursure matters, you should instruct a Solicitor as soon as possible and he can register a "caveat" at the Probate Registry on your behalf. What this does is that it stops your step father from being granted Letters of Administration (the same as Probate, but is the word given whereby a party dies without making a Will). Without the grant of Letters of A, your step father will be prevented from dealing with the Estate until your dispute has been dealt with. I will leave it to your Solicitor to advise, but basically, once a caveat has ben issued, you would then need to provide evidence that your Mother did indeed make a Will. Otherwise, the Court will grant Letters of Administration to your step father.
I hope this assists and sets out the legal position.
Apologies I do not know if my reply went through ok.
With the threshold of 200k being passed if the property has not been remortgaged, how do we find out the status?
What do we then do as we would both be entitled to some of Mums estate.
We are really not money orientated just looking to implement Mums wishes
Also my sister and I are allowed no access into the family home, we have been told it is nothing to do with us now.
We just want to be around my Mums belongings etc.
Thanks for your reply.
Under the Intestacy Rules, your step father is entitled to the first £250,000.
You can quickly see if the property is mortgaged or not by applying online to the Land Registry website for "Official Copies" which are a copy of the Deeds. If there is a mortgage, it will be shown in the Charges Register. It won't, however, show how much is outstanding.
Link to Land Registry- https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry
If it did come to it, it would be up to your Solicitor to ask step father or his Solicitor for a copy of a Mortgage redemption statement, which will show what amount is outstanding.
As regards ***** *****'s personal belongings, under Intestacy, step father inherits these, so unless you find a Will or he is happy to assist with your request, I'm afraid there is nothing you can do.
Sorry I can not give you better news.