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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11132
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Many years ago my wife and I loaned my mother and stepfather

Resolved Question:

Many years ago my wife and I loaned my mother and stepfather sufficient funds to help them buy their council house. Our conditions to do so was that they had a joint will drawn up in normal form i.e. He to Her, Her to He and once both died we would inherit the property concerned. This they did and once we received a copy of said will we advanced funds which was approximately half of the costs involved for their house purchase. Sadly my mother died first and my stepfather continued to live in that property as per their wills.
As time passed my stepfather made in clear to us that he preferred to have little or no further contact with us, a situation that was totally unexpected. Over the intervening years we continued to send only Birthday and Christmas cards to him and his blood relatives. Over more recent years we tried several times to find out about his welfare
especially written request within Christmas cards, without success. Quite by accident we very recently found out that my stepfather died almost three years ago and that he had changed his will so that what had been my intended inheritance was willed solely to my son and daughter. We honestly believed that my stepfather was a man of honour and would have at least inform us that he intended to change his will in their favour. We know that anyone can indeed make a new will but we would like to know if we have any right to a claim of any sort regarding the property that we agreed to pay half of those many years ago. The property is in Fife in Scotland. A clear answer would be very much appreciated
Yours faithfully,
Mr. David Macary.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 11 months ago.

I am a solicitor in Scotland. Unfortunately, the agreement with your mother and stepmother wasn't properly set up initially in my opinion. A will is all very well but as you have discovered it doesn't work if someone changes it. What should have happened was that you should have taken a security (charge) over the property and a loan agreement should have been made in writing and registered in the Books of Council and Session for preservation and execution. None of that was done and the loan you made was more than 5 years ago so the obligations there, presumably verbal, are time barred. The only saving grace here is that the property went to your children. You have no case for making a claim I'm afraid. Happy to discuss further. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

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