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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35043
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My Partner died 8/14. Her Will was drafted so that all her

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My Partner died 8/14. Her Will was drafted so that all her Estate ( including the house ) was put into a Trust for the benefit of her Grandchildren. In 2012 her daughter and 3 children moved in with my Partner on the advice of Social Services/Police. The daughter has been going through the Divorce process. Decree Nisi 10/13. At a meeting with daughter's Solicitor and Barrister 6 weeks ago was a"shock" when daughter was told her Mother's Estate had to be taken into account in any Financial Dispute Resolution. Similarly properties purchased by her husband before they started cohabiting are only of value in terms of the increase in their value. The daughter has been told by 2 Solicitors in the past that her late Mother's Estate would not form part of any settlement, and the Will was drawn up by a firm in Cardiff used by Lloyd's Bank ( who were aware of the situation). Daughter very confused and upset that her late Mother's wishes are being cast aside, and why has the information "changed"/ the Will not been drawn up in a " cast iron" manner so husband can't "get his hands on it" as was the intention.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWhat does the Will actually say about the property?What has she actually been told about possible settlements
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Clare . The daughter has been told that her/children's 50% (as it were) of her mother's Estate will be taken into account( her brother/children has the other half). Barrister seems very keen to wrap it all up quickly. Daughter feels she is making every concession and husband (who is cunning scheming and unreliable) just sits in the family home/has given up work etc. Financial dispute resolution hearing in July, not much chance of any resolution daughter believes, nor does her solicitor. Trying to find the Will for the exact wording. Her mother's Wishes attached to the Will are that the mother's home should be considered the daughter and 3 grand daughter's home for as long as they should need it. Will send further information when it is available. Hoping that is acceptable.
That is fine.It would be helpful to know how long the couple lived together and how old the children are, plus what the value of all the assets are
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cohabitees since 1997. Marriage 1999. Three girls aged 16 14 and 13. 7 properties owned,all mortgaged. Approximate value £1.5 million.Also Marital home worth £ 800k.Plus a Building plot worth £240k .Paddocks associated with Marital home for children's ponies ? value. Her mother's house has just been valued at £430k. Daughters share of her mother's monies £150k. I am unable to attach the file in which my late partners will and wishes resides. Please get back to me when you can if you need further information.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hopefully, Clare I have attached my late Partner's Will and Wishes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare, hope you received my response to your question concerning assets/marriage etc. Plus a copy of my late partner's Will
Thank you for thatJust to check - What capital did they each bring to the marriage and what settlement did the Barrister actually suggest?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Marital home mortgaged and in joint names as is building plot and paddocks.
Husband brought the majority of the assets into the marriage
The barrister has not advised a settlement but wish to conclude the matter as soon as practicable.
Daughter is content to walk away from any dispute over the marital home she is looking for a suitable home for her and her children together with an ability to run her business as a Saddler.
to walk away from any dispute over the marital home she is looking for a suitable home for her and her children together with an ability to run her business as a Saddler.
to walk away from any dispute over the marital home she is looking for a suitable home for her and her children together with an ability to run her business as a Saddler.
As I pointed out initially it is the fact that the daughter has been told by two different solicitors that her mother's Estate would not be taken into account into any settlement only to learn that although it is in a Trust to the grand children (2 boys with her brother and 3 girls with her) it is now to be so counted. And that she does not understand why !
The daughter's bot***** *****ne is as stated, she needs a family home and sufficient income to be able to run it with no mortgage as her income from a Sadler is about £6,000 a year.
She feels that as her husband has been so cunning, scheming and manipulative with no apparent intention of fulfilling his promises made at Mediation that she might as well fight rather than make all the concessions to enable a swift conclusion ! Though that is what she wants after four years and having nursed her mother through her terminal illness and suffered phone tapping, car tracking and being followed by the husband !
Lovely man.Can she remember exactly what the Barrister said about it being "counted" - I ask because whilst I can see that it will be taken "into account" - that is a little different to actually having a major bearing on the division - if you understand me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare. If I start by saying that daughter having been told x 2 that her Mother's Estate held in Trust would not form part of any Financial settlement...the Barrister was very clear that the Trust would be looked at as part of daughter's financial assets in any settlement. Along with only the increase in value of the husband's rental properties since cohabitation started in 1997 being taken into account as part of his assets,rather than the present total value. As I have said, the daughter is prepared to walk away from her and her children's wish to return to the marital home provided a suitable family/saddlery dwelling and the retention of the paddocks in her sole name forms part of the financial package to secure these matters are in place.Daughter wishes a reasonable settlement but does not believe husband is prepared to be "reasonable" and do what is right for his wife and 3 children. The division of any assets is surely, at the bot***** *****ne, up to the Court to decide if there is no agreement between the 2 parties ( as seems likely ).At the moment we believed that the Trust "protected" her Mother's Estate from being considered part of daughter's assets, and certainly Hugh James in Cardiff was instructed to draw up such a deed to so protect the daughter and grandchildren's share. As far as we can see....husband and wife as a married couple (before any separation) had assets "jointly owned through marriage" of £x. After separation those assets still exist at £x. Now we are being told £x is less than expected because only increase in value of rental properties can be counted, and £y which has passed in Trust to granddaughters forms part of daughter's assets ! Daughter's Solicitor is being very tardy in responding to these points despite several written and email contacts requesting "enlightenment" ( invoices come very quickly !!). Hence our turning to you for hoped-for clarity and spell-out what all this might mean in practice for daughter and granddaughters future. Daughter does not wish to "take husband to the cleaners", but has no faith in his promises to her and his children, nor eventually to any Court judgement.
As a starting point remember that the Barrister has only given an opinion - that does not mean that he or she is correct.Given a near 20 year relationship the suggestion that it is only the Increase in value of his properties that will count is controversial and whilst it could be an area for negotiation - but I would certainly not agree that only the increase in value is relevantWith regard to the Inherited Assets if it is a way that the wife could house herself and the children then it will have to be taken into account -which does not meanthat her ex can have a share of it.I suspect that it is this last fine difference that has caused the problem.Yes the inheritance is safe in so far as her husband cannot force a sale - which is different to it being an entirely separate asset.Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much Clare. Neither the daughter nor I left the meeting with the Barrister with any impression other than " this was the law:that's how it is: take it or leave it:let's get this done with and goodbye to the husband ". Your explanation that this is her opinion has been very reassuring to the daughter. Hopefully it will enable her to have a more meaningful discussion with her legal team in the future. It would be nice to think that there was sufficient money in the daughters 50% share of her mother's Estate/Trust to be able to purchase a 4 bedroom house of suitable size but where she lives but this is totally impractical unfortunately. As you may have gathered it was the thought that the trust would weigh against any reasonable division of assets should no agreement be reached at the financial dispute resolution meeting in July. At this moment following your comments which have been reassuring, daughters main worry is that we seem to hear nothing from the solicitor in what seems to be a reasonable time frame. In such a case other than a phone call asking if there is a problem with the solicitor specifically or the firm is there anything else we can do ? Thank you again
I suggest that se makes an appointment to see the solicitor and goes armed with a list of questions 0 and do not leave until she has all the replies!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your advice. Most helpful. You have cast light upon our "darkness" !
You are welcome
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