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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12195
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor. Partner in own firm.
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Hello, My wifes mother has just passed away in the UK. (we

Customer Question

My wifes mother has just passed away in the UK. (we now live in Australia, My wife is a UK citizen)
Around 20 years ago My wife took up a right to buy opportunity on a flat for her mother in South London. Since that time she has invested heavily in renovating the property with the sole aim of making her disabled mother comfortable. (her mother being the sole name on the title)
Although my wife's sister has never contributed to the property in any way, it was her mothers wish as written in her will that the property be split 50/50 between the two siblings. (which we are absolutely comfortable with, as it was her wishes)
The issue we have is that there were no instructions left in any documentation with regards ***** ***** costs. My wife's sister has absolutely no financial way of contributing towards the occasion, for this reason we have had to borrow the money to afford the many costs associated with the event. (There is ample equity in the property to cover any eventuation).
Finally to the Question: Is there a document that can be drawn up and signed by both parties that makes a provision for the funeral expenses to be paid equally by both parties out of the will, before its final execution.
What should this document/ contract be called and what do we do to draw it up and execute it so its legally binding.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
There is no requirement for any document to be drawn up. It is the law that when a person's estate is wound up debts, including funeral expenses, are paid from the estate before any settlement is made to beneficiaries.
So the house will be sold and the funeral expenses paid, or refunded to whoever paid for the funeral, legal costs deducted and then the balance divided.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.