Thank you. That accounts for why your brother is getting less.
The issue appears to be over whether your mortgage gets paid off first and then the proceeds divided or not.
This should not hold up the sale of the house but could hold up the division of proceeds.
Obviously, your mother should have written a new will with this later provision for paying your mortgage off but that did not happen.
There was the intention to pay your mortgage off but not written in the will, only a letter to the building society and you would not be able to rely on that letter against the will.
There is a legal doctrine called Promissory Estoppel. This arises if a person makes a promise and whoever has been promised relies on that promise changes their position to their detriment. In that case, the promise can be enforced.
It cannot be enforced simply because it was a wish of the now deceased. In your case, you would have had to rely on the promise as would happen if your mother said to you, “I will pay your mortgage off if you let me come and live with you” and your mother came to live with you.
You could not rely on the promise if your mother said “I will pay your mortgage off because I want you to continue to live in the street”
In the second example you have not changed your position relied on the promise to your detriment.
Estoppel claims are not easy to bring and they are not without risk and you need to consider whether you want to go to court over this if your sister and brother steadfastly refuse to accept that it was your mother’s wish.
A legal action may cost many thousands of pounds the cost of which would normally be paid by the losing party.
It may have been her wish but legally, the court will take little notice unless that wish is put into a will except with regard to Estoppel which I have already mentioned.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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