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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My mother died in 2008 leaving her half of the house in trust

Customer Question

My mother died in 2008 leaving her half of the house in trust to my stepfather for his lifetime. The will says that after my stepfather's death (02/02/15) the Trustees (I am a trustee) should distribute her estate to myself and my brother in 'equal shares or to the survivor absolutely' provided that if either beneficiary dies in her lifetime leaving children then the share of the beneficiary so dying shall be held in trust for their children. Neither of us died in her lifetime so the last part does not apply.
My question is - my brother died in 2011 so does that mean that I inherit his share of her estate as well as my share.
I would be very grateful for clarification as there has been some suggestion that his part of her estate went to his estate on the day she died and so will now go to whatever it says in his will. If this were correct then where would the 'survivor absolutely' come into things.
I would be very grateful for your opinion as this is very distressing.
Thanks
Gill
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.
Could you give me the exact wording please
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Certainly

I give all my half share and interest in the freehold property to my Trustees upon trust with the consent of my husband during his life to sell the same and to hold the net rents and profits until sale and the net income from the proceeds of sale in Trust for my husband during his life and after his death my Trustees shall hold the said share in such property if unsold or the net proceeds of sale of the investments representing the same upon trust to distribute the same in the following manner:-

If I shall survive my said husband I give legacies of £5000 to each of my grandchildren.

As to the remainder to the said(name) (myself) and my son (name) as survive me in equal shares or to the survivor absolutely provided that if either beneficiary dies in my lifetime leaving children who attain the age of eighteen years then the share of the beneficiary so dying shall be held in trust for such children as aforesaid and if more than one in equal shares absolutely.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that in fact your siblings half of the estate does indeed now pass into his Estate for Distribution.
had he died before your mother and not left children then yes the estate would pass to you absolutely.
However since he was alive when she died then he inherited his share - he merely had to wait to receive it, and since he died before he could receive it then it passes into his estate for distribution under the terms of his Will
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

well that is very disappointing because I know that my mother would not have wanted half of her estate to go to his wife or her family. In fact his wife has read the will in the same way that I have in that his share goes to me. He didn't have a will so what do I do now?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry to have given bad news but the legal position is clear
His widow will inherit the first £250,000 of his estate - £400,000 if there are no children
Clare