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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9345
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My mother and father divorced in the 60's and my father

Resolved Question:

My mother and father divorced in the 60's and my father remarried a divorcee with 2 children of her own. Whilst my younger brother went to live with his father he later returned to live with his mother. My father jointly purchased a home with his new wife and it was always stated by my father and his wife that my brother and his step siblings would share in their estate. My father died 18 years ago and was survived by his wife whom has recently passed away. My brother has been advised by his step sisters that he will not share in the disposal of the family home. Does he have any claim in this matter ?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Do you mean that your father left everything to your stepmother and your stepmother has written a will which excludes you and your brother and only include your stepsister?

Do you know whether your father left a will leaving his share of the house to your stepmother or just the right to live in it for life?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
During a visit to my father and stepmother they discussed with me that my brother would share in their estate with his two step sisters. I was not to be included as my own financial position was comfortable and I agreed with this.
At the time of my fathers death I was not made aware of the details of his will or indeed if he left one. The same situation applies to that of my stepmother. I am 11 years older than my brother and only looking after his interest in this matter.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

I’m sorry to tell you that if your father left a will leaving everything to your stepmother and your stepmother then leaves a will leaving everything to her children and leaving you and your siblings out, there is nothing that can be done about that.

You need to know what’s in your father’s will. Ask your stepmother and if she either doesn’t have a copy or doesn’t know or is reluctant, you can get a copy from the Probate registry for £10.

https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate

depending on the terms of your late father’s will, you may be able to do something or you may not.

You would all have a claim for part of your stepmother’s estate if she promised that you would be looked after and you all relied on that promise to your detriment. For example, she promises to leave you something if you look after her. It needs to be something which is to your detriment. Then, can bring a claim in Promissory Estoppel. It’s a complicated area of law and not an easy or cheap or risk-free claim to bring.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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We can still exchange emails. Best wishes. FES.

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