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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10487
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My dad died 5 years ago. He had remarried and had another

Customer Question

My dad died 5 years ago. He had remarried and had another child to my stepmum so my brother and sister and I didn't get any money.
I have just found out she got 316000 from his estate and he has recently sold the house she had with m dad and moved in with a new man.
Will we still have a claim to some money five years after he has died?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Hello - was there a will? how did you find out about the estate?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No will brother found the document online through paying ten pound for it
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
District probate
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I cannot afford the phone call so will have to correspond on here
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
You still ther
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Have I Paid for this ?????
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

Thank you of your question

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you

If there was an Intestacy - no Will - and the Estate was worth more than £125,000 in 2012 then you may have a claim on the estate

I would need to know the exact figures - net and gross given for the Estate to comment further

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
His wife got probate of 321000 .
316000 net
Expert:  Clare replied 9 months ago.

For Absolute clarity - she got Letters of Administration NOT a grant of Probate - there was no Will?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It states in the high court district probate but domiciled in England and Wales intestate
It was granted to her mum and dad for the use of her
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

If your father left a will and this is what happened under the terms of the will, that everything went to your stepmother, it is very difficult to contest that when everything is been left of a spouse in a will but notwithstanding, you are out of time to bring a Inheritance Claim in any event.

If he died without a will:

The cut-off date for someone who dies without a will (intestate) historically here is 1 February 2009 because that is when the exemption rate changed..

If your father died before 1 February 2009 then his spouse inherits the first £125,000 and a life interest in half of the remainder of the estate, the children get the other half of the estate.

After 1 February 2009, the limit was increased to £250,000.

Here is an article giving the date of the increase:

From 1 October 2014 the rules changed yet again but that doesn’t apply if your father died in 2012.

If the total value of your late father’s estate at the date of death in 2012 was more than £250,000 then his spouse gets the £250,000 plus a life interest in half of the remainder and children get the other half of the remainder on death and the half of which she has a life interest, when she eventually dies. (Yes it is complicated).

What you need to establish here is what the total value of your late father’s estate was at the date of death. If it was £250,000 or less, then the whole estate would have gone to his spouse, your stepmother. The value now is not relevant.

I did use this House Price Index calculator (which is quite useful)

and just basing the calculations on a house on its own, if it was worth £250,000 in 2012, depending on where it is in the country, it’s likely to be worth more than £300,000 now which means there is unlikely to have been any prejudice to your financial position. There are some exceptions to the house price index increase, Wales being one of them, where the valuation will have increased but isn’t likely to be more than £300,000.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Please take a moment to look at the top right hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen. It’s important you use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! All you need to do is press Submit. Thank you. If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
HiI state above there was no will and the estate was paid to his wife in November 2012.
So the monies were paid 9 months after his death so therefore the estate was around the 316,000 value when he passed away.So if that is the case how do I and my 2 siblings go about claiming without paying any solicitor charges.Thanks?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

I know you said there was no will. I was just explaining in detail both scenarios.

When you said she got £316,000 from his estate, I thought you were valuing the estate now. I apologise for the confusion.

In 2012 she was only entitled to £250,000 and a life interest in half of the remainder. That means that she would get the interest from half of everything over and above £250,000, that is the interest on half of 66,000, being the interest on £33,000

Children would share the other £33,000, when she dies, they would get the £33,000 on which she has a life interest.

Whilst there are strict time limits for bringing Inheritance Act Claims, there is no time limit or fraud and if she has had money which she was not entitled to, children have a claim against her personally.

You may find that as an early stage she might take more notice of a letter coming from a solicitor even if the solicitors don’t actually issue the court proceedings.

Because, if your claim is successful, you would normally get costs awarded in your favour against her, you may find solicitors that would deal with it on a no win no fee basis so it would be certainly worthwhile making a few telephone calls.

The circumstances here appear to be relatively straightforward.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
SorrySo basically 33000 divided by 4 now and then when she dies 33000 divide by four on top?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

No need to apologise.

She was entitled to the first £250,000.

The estate is worth, back then, £316,000

the surplus is £66,000.

She gets the interest on half of that, £33,000 and the children get that half when she has died

the children get the other £33,000 now divided equally between them. If any of the deceased’s children has predeceased, but themselves left children or grandchildren, the grandchildren inherit the share which their parents would have got.

It doesn’t matter how many mothers the children have had, it is children of the father which are relevant. That includes adopted children, not stepchildren.

If there are 4 of yr father’s children, (even by two different mothers), then what you are saying is correct, £33,000 divided by 4 now and £33,000 div x 4 when the spouse dies