How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25417
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

My children inheritted money from their grandmother when they

Resolved Question:

my children inheritted money from their grandmother when they were both under 18 over 10 years ago. Their mother (we are divorced) has since used this money to purchase property. My children are now 22 and 25 and my son of 22 is now living with me in Spain and needs private psychotherapy which I cannot afford. Where do my children stand with regard to gaining access to their inheritance ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask if your ex wife is benefitting from the property she has bought personally to youryour knowledge please or if she is paying the income to your children?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

she is benefiting from the property and earning rent from the property. The children have never received any income from this. I am told that that she now owns a portfolio of properties utilising buy to let finance to pay the balance on the properties. this is while my daughter lives in rented accommodation (owned by my ex wifes partner) and my son now lives with me in Spain following a breakdown in the UK leading him to attempt to take his own life.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Do you know if the will provided that your children were entitled to the money absolutely subject only to their reaching 18 or another age - i.e. no other conditions?Was your ex wife the executor of the will? If not how did she come to have the money?If she was not the executor do you know who was the executor of the estate?Finally do you know roughly how much money was left between your children back then?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I believe she was the executor of the will. Over and above this I have no further information at this moment. Our children were obviously young at the time. I will need to ask my son to contact someone in the UK for further detail. I will also try to find out more detail

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. on the face of what you say, your ex wife is holding the money as trustee for your children and she should be investing the money on their behalf. If the trust was simply a contingent trust, i.e. I leave money to buy grandchildren upon them reaching the age of 18 or 21 years old for example, then your children are entitled to the money together with interest or accrued capital value in respect of any property that has been invested in as soon as they reach the age of 18 regardless of any older age the will may have specified following the decision in Saunders v Vortier. This was a decision whereby the court decided that beneficiaries who are all 18 years of age could demand monies from a contingent trust as soon as they reached the age of 18 irrespective of whether the trust provided for a higher age. If your ex-wife has been using the monies to benefit herself rather than her children, she is in breach of trust and will be liable to pay to your children all of the monies held under the trust together with capital value or interest according to the basis on which the money has been invested. She will need to provide a full accounting trail for the money to the reasonable satisfaction of your children so that they can ascertain that they have received every penny they are entitled to. If she resists full disclosure or paying them everything they are entitled to, they have on the basis of the above a straightforward claim against her for breach of trust together with costs and interest. If the amount involved is worth more than £10,000 which I suspect may be a distinct possibility given that you refer to investment property, then they would likely do well to instruct a solicitor to assist them with the claim has they will be able to claim back at least some of not all of the legal costs depending upon the value. Solicitors may be prepared to act on a no win no fee basis in the circumstances.As you say, the first steps are to obtain further information, in particular perhaps a copy of the will from the probate Registry London and a copy of the grant of probate see you could confirm who the executor or executors were of the estate. If there was more than one executor that acted jointly with your ex-wife, you may wish to contact them for their input initially. The grant of private will also give you confirmation of the total value of the estate and the will will confirm the amount that was left to your children at the time which obviously would increased in value have significantly by now. From there, your children can potentially contact their mother to obtain her input and if not satisifed or if she refuses to response, they may consider instruction a solicitor pursue a claim for breach of trust.Fortunately, from what you say she has not squandered the money but is used it potentially to enrich herself which is a far better position because she squandered the money, though they may be to bring criminal charges against her, the likelihood of recovering substantial assets would be prejudiced where she has invested the money wisely, albeit to enrich herself potentially rather than them, at least they have assets against which to make a claim against so this is by far the better of the two possibilities.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Joshua and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua, Apologies for not getting back to you sooner.. Thank you for the advice, this has been useful and will be looking to find out further information through a UK no win, no fee company (having of course checked out their fees first !).