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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33283
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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my mother passed away last year and probate went through in

Customer Question

my mother passed away last year and probate went through in jan2015 the property was sold and the day after completion i was contacted by a solicitor who was acting for my neice and nephew who were unhappy with the inheritance they had been left all 5 grandchilldren were left the same sum of 5000 and the rest was left to me the solicitor said i was not to touch the money until his clients had finished their enquiries as my mother had previously told them she would make sure they were left comfortable i was advised to sent their solicitor cheques made payable to them to fulfil my duty as executor of the will i was then told i should not have done this then last week was told they accepted the money as part payment of anything that they may get in the future and that by return should te;ll them i will not access the remaining balance of inheritance i know know they have cashed their cheques but by them doing this it seems wrong that i can not use mine is this right

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year 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.
What is the net value of the estate?
I assume they are saying that they should have received their parent's share of the estate?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

yes the property was sold for 300k but my mother had released equity so after everything was paid back it was 170k i think they were expecting their deceased mothers half but my mother made her will 10 years ago and felt it unfair not to treat all grandchildren the same also i had cared for my mother for the last 8 years and they had only seen her a hand full of times in the last 10 years

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Did your mother refer to this in her Will at all?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

no will just said 5000 each grandchild everything else to me

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HI
Did she tell the solicitor who made the will that she felt you deserved more because you had cared for her?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

no it was made by a will company i didnt know what it said until i opened it after she passed away i thought the reason for a will was so person could decide what happened to their assets

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
May I ask how you know what her wishes were - after all all the grand children will not ultimately receive the same as your children will eventually inherit from you?
Sorry to sound harsh - this is the area the court would be looking at
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

she actually said the children would only get 200 each originally she didnt know my neice and nephew by name or sight they will actually be better off than me as by the time everything is paid there will be very little left anyway but obviously i will be left once again sorting everything out and they will benefit from me looking after her for many years with out pay instead of putting her in a care home thank you for your input

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

also as a foot note my children will never be better off as they all have the inherited condition that there father passed away from 3 years ago so i am not being hard on my neice and nephew it is life that is hard

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
There are some confusing facts here.
If your mother made the Will ten years ago then she could not have known that you would care for her in the last eight years of her life
Equally you say that you did not know what she would put in the Will - then say she was only going to give them £200.
It is this kind of confusion which would go against you if the matter went to court, so it is very important that you sit down and write out everything you remember about what your mother said about the Will and when.
Given that they could not expect to receive more than half of the estate (IF they get even that which I doubt) you shoudl write back to their solicitor saying that you will keep the balance of half of the estate in a separate account pending the outcome of negotiations, and then you can take half of the estate for your use!
This is a reasonable compromise.
You should also offer to attend mediation with your nephew and niece.
They do have a potential case that a court would consider. It is not necessarily the strongest of cases given the relatively poor relationship they had with their grandmother - but they are likely to receive something if they go to court - so offering say £20,000 each to settle might be wise.
I appreciate that this is not what you wished to hear - but sadly it is realistic.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare

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