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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33002
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I hope you can help. My mother died last October and the

Customer Question

Hello, my name is ***** ***** i hope you can help. My mother died last October and the money left in her bank account was divided by my elder sister between the four siblings. My elder brother and sister showed no interest in my mother's furniture and personal possessions and so my younger sister and I emptied her flat and most of the furniture went to my younger sister's house as she had more room but I brought a 2 seater sofa to my house. My brother, who is the eldest of four siblings then took out a caveat in December and has told us that under that we are not allowed to remove any of the furniture from our homes. About 12 months before my mother died we arranged for an LPA (both personal and financial) due to concerns about her mental capacity. Before taking out the LPA I had received 4 amounts from my mother totalling £3800 which I had originally requested as loans but which she said should be gifts because I had always been around to help her whereas the other siblings hadn't until my younger sister moved back to this country in 2010. My brother says that because these gifts/loans were made within 5 years of the LPA commencement I have to pay this money back to the estate. I have been a single parent since 2003 and, although my children are now grown up, I have no savings. There are separate issues that my brother and elder sister have regarding my younger sister's conduct with respect to spending my mother's money/ATM withdrawals in the last 5 years of my mother's life which they say are preventing lifting the caveat. I now need to have the sofa removed from my house due to lack of space. I don't want to make any money by trying to sell the sofa but I understand that charity shops etc are unable to take second hand furniture which don't bear the "fire safety tag" so I am prepared to pay a "man and van" to take it to the dump if nobody in the family wants it. I have been told there is a caveat appeal procedure but have been unable to find any information on the internet/government website. Sorry if this has been a bit long-winded but I am grateful for any advice you can offer.
Submitted: 22 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 21 days ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What assets are there still in the estate?

What happened to the property?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Mum's flat was rented so we had to get everything out within a few weeks of her death as the housing association needed it for another tenant. Most of the furniture and possessions went to my younger sister's house, the sofa and a few smaller items (books, pictures, ornaments and clothes) to me, and the remainder to charity - arranged mostly by my younger sister. After a month/six weeks my brother requested an inventory and he and my elder sister then decided they wanted a few pictures and items relating to my dad . Up to that point he had shown little interest in my mother and none in her possessions with the exception of coming to the funeral. To the best of my knowledge, the only other assets remaining are £2500 in shares with Legal & General (which I believe my brother has control of) and approx £4k (inc interest) in my elder sister's account which my mother asked her to look after over 20 years ago. Mum's bank account was closed and the money (approx £16k) passed to my elder sister who divided it between the four of us. None of Mum's possessions were antiques or of high value.
Expert:  Clare replied 21 days ago.

Right - so for clarity the remaining assets amount to £6,500 controlled by you brother and sister.

have you asked for your share of this money or are you willing for them to keep it?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Hi Clare - it's complicated because of the way my elder sister divided up the money last November but I do not want or expect any of the 6500. In my mind there are two questions: whether there is an appeal process for caveats such as this? but also whether informal loans from the deceased to an attorney within 5 years of the commencement of an LPA have to be returned to the estate after death?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I work full time and can usually only take phone calls between 8 & 9 in the evening so a phone call is not very practical. Also I don't think I can afford on top of the £31. Thank you
Expert:  Clare replied 20 days ago.

If you do not wish to make any claim on the other assets then you have no need for worry,

The Caveat is o simply prevents anyone from applying for Letters of Administration

You are free to dispose of the sofa any time you wish - there is no action your brother can take against you.

If he wishes to obtain Letters of Administration and try and claim the money back then he is welcome to try and do so there is no five year rule and the fact that the loans and gift were made prior to the making of the LPA means that there is no wrongdoing on your part

I hope that this is of assistance please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Hi Clare, thank you for these answers. If at all possible could you please point me in the right direction of eg a government website or other official website that I can quote to my brother to substantiate the above?
Expert:  Clare replied 18 days ago.

You can read about what a Caveat does here

As you can see it doe snot refer to anything about not disposing of any items in your possession

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